I have just returned from a mission trip to one of the poorest countries in the world – Africa. Extreme poverty is defined as living on $1.25 or less a day. Almost one in three people in sub-Saharan Africa go hungry, far higher than any other region in the world, with the exception of South Asia. Yet, in many ways Africans are wealthier than the late billionaire Steve Jobs. And the people’s contentment has nothing do with whether or not their stomach is full. On the contrary, their satisfaction has to do with their focus and attitude toward their Creator.
Are you weak, bankrupt, starved, in despair? God is looking for people who are PHDs – poor, hungry and desperate. If you are in this category, you are just the type of person God wants. God’s choice to empower weak people with His strength may not make much sense. God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Difficult circumstances may make us feel weaker, but they can also move us closer to God through dependence on Him. When under pressure or stress, we may be overcome with feelings of fear or uncertainty. We are not sure if God will come through. We must make the choice to share our needs with our brothers and sisters in Christ. God has provided the Body of Christ to care, bear and share your burdens. If we join with others in prayer, we allow others to enter into our circumstances. In doing so, God unites us as believers and strengthens our faith as we see His provision for our needs.
I believe one reason why the Body of Christ doesn’t function as God planned is because the enemy likes to keep us isolated from each other. Have you ever thought “No one knows how I feel”? It’s risky to share our feelings and feel vulnerable by being open with our needs. That’s just the way God planned it!
Jude 1:20 sums it up well: “But you dear friends must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.”
Your brothers and sisters in Christ want to know how they can pray for you. Won’t you take a risk, share your needs, and open your heart to those who love you? It will be a blessing to you and to them as they pray for you in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Heavenly Father, I am poor, hungry and desperate for Your love. Thank You for Your love for me. Thank You for Your provision to meet my needs through the Body of Christ, to love me, walk with me and pray me through difficult times. I am encouraged by these burden-bearers. Let me do the same for someone in need. Help me to reach out to the poor and needy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.