In Great Distress

Can you see it in the eyes of your friends and neighbors?  Can you hear it in the inferences in their voices?  Can you feel it in the sadness of the atmosphere of most conversations?  Can you sence it as you try to engage those around you with the gospel?   We live in a world that is in great distress.

Yesterday, I experienced all of these things I have just asked you about.  Several servants from our church joined together to offer food to those in great distress.  Over a four-hour period we provided food, financial, and spiritual assistance to thirty families.  Each of these families had varied needs, but almost all of them were in great distress.

This is not something new.  Since the fall of man, our world has been filled with great distress.  Consider the ministry of Elisha, II Kings 2-7.  The man of God daily was ministering to people who were in great distress.  One example is found in a woman whose son died suddenly.  “For the man of God said, for she is in great distress and the Lord has hidden from me and not told me her problem,” 4:27. 

In this moment I asked myself, “Why did He not know?”  For me it was clear that He did not need to know the particular’s of her distress. He just needed to be sensitive to her distress so that he would ask, why and how he could help.  This is exactly what happened.  The man of God, then goes with this woman and raises her son from the dead.

Certainly, you and I have no power to raise the dead.  But we do serve a God who was has given us the gospel, that has the power to raise the spiritually dead, Ephesians 2:1-4.  Yesterday, I was reminded of the following, “The gospel has the answer for every distress.”  Our team was able to minister the gospel to those battling cancer, dealing with abandonment, loss of loved ones, spiritual darkness, and extreme shame for being poor.

In each circumstance God brought light into a dark place.  This morning I want to plead with each who read today to consider those who are in great distress.  What has God called you to do?  Here is God’s answer:  1) Seek His face in order to keep a heart that is compassionate for those around you.  2)  Seek His wisdom for divine appointments.  3) Step out in faith.  Risk being hurt, heartbroken, and financially challenged for the sake of the Gospel.  4) Allow God to use you to sow the gospel.  5) Give Him glory for it all.

“Thank you Jesus for the honor of being able to serve such an awesome God.  I would not, nor could I ever had the peace I have today without your saving grace.  Thank you Jesus for coming to my rescue.  Where else could I go.  I will follow you.”  

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