Responding to Suffering

A homeless man in Paris

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“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’” – Luke 16:19-25

I admit that when I see people suffering in some way, I don’t always know what to do. At times, it can seem overwhelming for in this world there is a lot of evidence of brokenness. My heart goes out to those that hurt and I attempt to do something. I believe these verses are talking about the condition of our heart and not what we are able to do.

Jesus said we would always have the poor with us. How our heart responds to needs makes the difference, but we need to remember that we can’t do it all. God doesn’t want us to take on everything. That’s why he gave everyone a special call on their life. Listening carefully to the Spirit is needed at all times.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that I may be moved to respond where you call me to do so. I thank you that you give me the ability and enable me with your power to complete the task assigned. Amen

Faith Tip: Do you know someone in need of comfort today? Pray to God to give you direction and discernment.

Cry over sin

Jesus Wept

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As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 19:41-44

In the Luke account of Jesus entering Jerusalem, he shows that Jesus paused before entering to weep over the city. His heart is broken because his people will not obey him and would rather follow their own desires. We, like the people in biblical times, seem to need disastrous occurrences before we take notice of what God is telling us.

Knowing that we break God’s heart alone should make us stop and turn around, but it doesn’t, does it? It takes us being uncomfortable in some way to begin seeking and searching for the answer. The answer is always Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the heart that you have for me and all your people. I pray that I don’t take that for granted and care about what is on your heart. Amen

Faith Tip: Do you have a challenge today? See how Jesus is the answer and follow him.