It’s tragic how many people are oppressed, needy, poor, and hurting—and God is passionate about helping every single one of them.
John 10:10 says, The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (AMPC). God wants us to enjoy life, have our needs met and enjoy His blessings—this is the life Jesus died for us to have. But He doesn’t want us to forget the poor, lost and needy, or that we have an enemy who wants to steal, kill and destroy. In fact, there are more than 2,000 scriptures that tell us to help people in need.
As Christians, God’s passion should be our passion. That’s why our world missions outreaches are extremely important to me and most dear to my heart. And there is an urgency in my heart today to share this message about God’s righteousness and justice because it’s not God’s will for us to be inactive and passive when wrong things need to be made right.
Understanding God’s Righteousness and Justice
Psalm 89:14 (AMPC) says, Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne…. This scripture shows us that God’s throne is upheld through righteousness and justice. Simply put, He is righteous and just—it’s His character and makes Him who He is. And God is powerful because He is righteous and just.
If we want to have powerful lives filled with God’s peace, joy and fulfillment, we have to understand righteousness and justice.
Now, these two characteristics are very similar but they aren’t exactly the same thing. I like to describe them like this: Righteousness is choosing to do the right thing according to the Word of God. Justice is working to make wrong things right.
God’s righteousness is given to us through salvation; we are made right through the blood of Jesus. It’s righteousness that causes us to strive to do what’s right for the glory of God. Justice is done when wrong things are made right.
The Right Response to Injustice
Whenever we see something that’s wrong, our first response should be to pray about it, and our second response should be to ask, “What can I do about this?”
I didn’t always react this way when I saw situations that weren’t right. Instead, I remember thinking, “Somebody should do something about that” until finally one day I woke up and realized I am somebody and God can use me to make a difference!
One example of this is when Dave and I went to Cambodia in 2007. While we were there for an outreach that was planned, we visited a trash dump in Phnom Penh. At this dump, there were children, some as young as four years old, who had been sent by their families to work there. They used a type of stick to pick through garbage, looking for bits of glass or plastic they could sell or maybe something to eat. I’ll never forget seeing children with sores on their bodies, and some of them had lost some of their hair.
Anybody who sees a situation like that knows it’s not right. And I was determined to do something about it.
I spoke with my son David, who oversees our Hand of Hope world missions outreaches, and we decided to look into providing a feeding center for the kids. We were able to purchase a couple of buses that were turned into mobile feeding units that visit the dump five days a week to provide a nutritious meal and also give them some basic education so they can have a chance for a better future. This program was able to help hundreds of kids over several years.
Do What You Can Do
You may be thinking that there’s no way you could do something like start a feeding program. But you don’t have to have a ministry to make a difference. If you will give God what you have, He will show you what you can do to help someone else.
I know of a woman who wanted to do something for others and when she prayed, God put the idea in her heart to use her ability to bake. So she asked her pastor if she could bring her cakes and pies to church each week to sell and then donate the money to missions.
There are so many needs and God will show us how to meet them if we are aware of them. Don’t let the devil lie to you and tell you the little bit you can do won’t matter. Each one in the body of Christ has an important part in bringing God’s love and justice to the world.
Whatever God puts on your heart to do, step out in faith and trust Him to give you everything you need to do it.
Love Finds a Way
God is love, and He’s calling us as the body of Christ to show His love to a lost and dying world. In Matthew 22:37 and 39, Jesus tells us that the greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect) and to love your neighbor as [you do] yourself (AMPC). And 1 John 3:18 says, Let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity) (AMPC).
Love is not just a feeling, a theory or a nice word. Love is doing something for someone else, and it will cost us something, like some time, energy, effort or money. But whatever the cost, we can’t out-give God. And I know from personal experience that it’s impossible to be happy, fulfilled, satisfied or in the will of God if you aren’t reaching out to help people who are in need.
God is good and He has a great plan for your life. He wants you to live with His power to help people who are hurting and have needs.
I want to encourage you to do three things that will help you discover how you can make a difference:
Always remember that indifference makes an excuse but love finds a way.
Pray and ask God for a plan of action—He will show you creative ways you can make a difference.
Keep your passion to help others strong—be aggressive about walking in love.
Let’s make a decision every day to use our time, energy, ability and resources to share Christ and love people. Choose to live with God’s passion, and be the “somebody” He uses to bring justice to someone in need.