4. Let your heart break with compassion.
Follow Christ’s model of preaching good news to the poor and setting free those bound up in misery and poverty.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19).
Compassion is the key.
A rich young man asked Jesus if he could follow him. Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. The young man decided that price was too high. He turned and walked away (Mark 10:23).
As he departed, Mark tells us that Jesus looked on him with compassion. The Greek word means that Jesus was deeply heartbroken.
Jesus was filled with compassion as he healed blind people, deaf people, crippled people, and cast out all kinds of demons. And Jesus healed a woman with the issue of blood who couldn’t get married in a time when a husband was the only means of support.
For over 35 years, I’ve known a wonderful man who struggles just above the poverty level. Our church has kept him financially afloat for years.
He told me that one of the things that hurts him the most are the people who accuse him of being the cause for his poverty:
“Some even get angry at me for not being a better person – for being stuck in poverty. They don’t seem to care that I have an emotional disorder that dominates my life and that keeps me from even getting a job. Even if I do get a job after working two or three days the boss tells me that things just aren’t working out and lets me go.”
My friend tells me that the four things he struggles with the most are anger, frustration, embarrassment, and being angry with God for not showing him a way out.
What to Do if You Are the One in Need of Help
First, personally, I’ve noticed that many people who are down and out are too proud to receive the help they need. Swallow your pride and be grateful for what’s offered.
Second, trust God’s promise in Psalm 37:25; “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children breaking bread.”
Third, earnestly pray for God to give you the grace you need to be victorious in the midst of your struggles.
Fourth, pray for a godly way out of your poverty.
Well, Max, I hope that my thoughts will be helpful to you.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Remi Walle