2 Thessalonians 1; Isaiah 25-26; Psalm 117
There is this ridiculous concept floating around in “spiritual” circles that God assigns financial wealth to people of high spiritual quality. Just as ridiculous is the idea that people living in poverty have special spiritual qualities that make them extra important in God’s eyes. As followers of Jesus Christ we know that all people come to God in the same way: as people who have sinned and need mercy.
That being said, the Bible often speaks of God’s care for the poor. “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall and like the heat of the desert.” (Isaiah 25:4-5a) God takes special care of the poor not because they are better in His eyes, but because they have the greater need.
So what does God’s special concern for people who are poor mean to people like me? First, I have to completely throw out the idea that God sees me as a better person than someone in poverty. It’s so easy to look at someone and think that I’ve gotten special blessings because of who I am. In truth, God loves me because of who He is – just like He loves all people. If I ever forget that I pray that God reminds me of the amazing blessing I received when one of the poorest people I know asked if she could pray for my family.
If God is concerned for the welfare of the poor and needy, and He has blessed me with wealth, then I have a responsibility to use the wealth God has given me to help those whom God would help. In America I would not be considered wealthy; when compared to the total population of the world, I am the 1%. I have to continue to ask myself each day how God wants to use me to help people in need. I may have a lot of wants, but God sees a lot of needs that I can help take care of. Have the same concern for those in need that God does.
Oh Lord, far too often I turn a blind eye to those in need. Give me wisdom and grace as I care for people forgotten by the world, but loved by You.