March 29, 2013 - Radical Hope

These are difficult times—the jobless rate is high, pay is declining, investments are dwindling and retirement funds are gone.

We feel blessed to be able to put food on our tables—and indeed we are!

We’re doing our best, but is there more that we could be or should be doing?  It’s a struggle just getting by, so how are we to deal with those around us who need our help?

Projections indicate that it will years before our economy returns to that with which we have become accustomed. Others don’t see that happening at all with a full-scale collapse of society as we know it in the not-so-distant future.

Hebrews 13:16 tells us that we are to help others by sharing with them, and that such a sacrifice is pleasing to God. 1 John chapter 3 verse 17 states that if we have material possessions and see a brother or sister in need but don’t have pity on them and help them, we need to question whether or not we have the love of God in us—strong words.

Perhaps we have more to offer others than we realize. They may need financial help and probably do, but there is more to most suffering than that. They may need our friendship, our open prayers for them, maybe a meal or for us to watch their kids so they can be alone for a few hours.

One thing is certain—our brothers and sisters have never needed us more than now. God is not telling us to do something we cannot do, but He may be telling us to do something we don’t want to do—something that requires significant sacrifice. But the reward to us for helping others in such a way is both impressive and eternal.

1 John 3:18 goes on to say,

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

I understand that some of us may have already dipped into or even depleted our cash reserves and even retirement if we were fortunate enough to have them in the first place. Does that mean we’re done? Is it possible that what God wants us to do is give sacrificially, in other words–until it hurts?

It is time for us to get real with our faith and be doers of the Word, not just “hearers”. How do we do this? Spend time with the Lord and ask Him what it is He wants you to give away to help the poor, to help your brother or sister. Let Him tell you what He wants you to do with the money, time and talents He has entrusted to you. Then do it.

If we believe scripture, we will help our neighbors, our brothers and sisters. We will make a difference even if it means we have to break that last piggy bank hiding in the corner.

Question: Is God telling you to do something you don’t want to do?