God’s word instructs us to be very aware of what other members of the body are going through in their lives. “… members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it …” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
Many members suffer negative experiences in life. James did not tell us to count it all joy when we fall into various trials for nothing! Solomon declared that “… time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). But time and chance does not happen to God’s people the same way it happens to people in the world. Solomon also said, “… yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him” (Ecclesiastes 8:12).
If some trial comes upon us, God either allowed it or caused it for His own purpose. God does not make mistakes. He is the author of allowing all things to work together for our good. “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). God can cause good to come out of every situation – even the most serious and hard to deal with trials.
The unity and care we experience in shared trials is inspiring and encouraging. It inspires a sense of togetherness. It draws us together and addresses the division that can so easily accompany severe trials. The fruits of the flesh have an opportunity to exert themselves when we are under pressure. The positive influence from other members can help steady the ship.
When we come together in sincere empathy and concern for one another, it is a clear reminder that we are of the one body. Setbacks and disasters of all kinds can be used to build the physical and spiritual family. A recent disaster happened to a young family in the Philippines. They built a business that supported the immediate and extended family. Through no fault of their own, a fire gutted the premises causing a total loss. The caring and loving response from members in other parts of the world who do not know these members personally was very heartwarming. The family realizes they are a part of a larger family – the body.
Children learn that they can survive terrible and destructive times in their lives. We all learn that we are never alone, even when our world is falling apart. Even though we are separated, we are together. “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:27).