My study Bible cross-references “sanctuary” in this verse to one in 1 Kings which speaks of the Holy of Holies in the Temple. First and foremost, God strengthens us with His very Presence. Secondly, God often chooses to help us “out of Zion”. How often have we been blessed by the faithful prayers or encouraging notes of a thoughtful saint? Edified and strengthened, not by fellow-Jews in Israel, but by fellow-believers in Christ.
It is important to be faithful to church! Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” We need to hear God’s Word preached, we need to worship together, and we need to fellowship with one another!
Throughout his letters, Paul describes the church as “the body of Christ”, composed of many members, all with differing gifts to glorify God and to help one another. Romans 12:4-5 says, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” I Corinthians 12:26 “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” We work together AS A UNIT. The various gifts and tasks we have been assigned are to bring honor and glory to our Savior. They are “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12) Even those of us who may feel we do not have much to offer in the Lord’s work have been created to be a blessing! I Corinthians 12:22 declares, “Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary.” We each have a special, unique purpose!
All through the book of Acts, we find the early church believers working together. They’re praying fervently for Peter’s release in Acts chapter 12, sending out missionaries in Acts 13, singing in prison in Acts 16, making garments for the widows in Acts chapter 9, and the list goes on and on. They were dedicated to STRENGTHENING one another! Philippians 2:4 declares, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
There are times when we desperately need the help of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Times when a phone call from a Sunday School teacher, a warm meal after surgery, or a helping hand after the birth of a little one, seems to mean the world to us. But then, there are also times when God wishes to lay on OUR hearts the desire to be a blessing to someone else. Romans 12:13 speaks of, “Distributing to the necessity of saints” and being “given to hospitality.” When it is OUR time to serve, are we willing to listen to the Master’s prompting?
The time for being a blessing and an encouragement is now! Hebrews 3:13 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day . . .” In order to strengthen each other “out of Zion”, we must learn to care about what other Christians are going through. We need to, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” (Romans 12:15) Will you be there for a brother or sister in Christ this week?