LAMENTATIONS 1:21a – They heard my groaning, yet there is no one to comfort me . . .”
THEME OF THE DAY. DO WE HEAR THEM? Meditate for a few moments on today’s scripture from the pen of the prophet Jeremiah. As we do, enter his heart; feel his pain, his loneliness, his abandonment . . . then think about the world we live in day-to-day. It is full of hurting people, suffering people, lonely people, and abandoned people. They live beside us as neighbors. They shop in the same stores. They attend our churches. They even exist in our families. And the only hope for all the hurting, lonely, and suffering people is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only Christ can soothe human hearts, provide lasting companionship, and give strength to endure the difficulties in life.
As Christians we know Christ is the only answer to the world’s problems, but there is something else Christians must know. We are responsible to take this Gospel to all the hurting, lonely, and suffering people around us. Go back to today’s scripture. Listen to Jeremiah. Pay attention to what he is saying, “People know I am suffering. They hear my cries for help, but no one lifts a finger to help me, gives me an encouraging word, or meets me in my time of need.”
Fellow Christian, are we hearing the groans of all the hurting people around us? Are we observant to those Jesus describes as “sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34)? Or are we so absorbed in our own lives, pursuing our own wills, satisfying our own desires, and remaining “deaf” to the cries of the masses of hurting people around us? Oh, friends, may it never be said of us as individual Christians and in our churches that we are indifferent to suffering people. Oh, friends, may it never be said of us as individual Christians and in our churches that we are not serving the hurting, relieving the suffering, or ignoring those who need the healing balm of the Lord Jesus in their lives.
When it comes to being like Jesus in the world and fulfilling His will for us in ministering to the hurting, we must strive for two things. First, we must have the heart of Jesus toward people. And to have the heart of Jesus toward people means we must be regularly seeking His heart in our own lives. What this means is that the most important equipping thing we do to have the heart of Jesus is to spend quality time in His Word and prayer seeking His heart. If we are consistently encountering Jesus privately, we will be ministering like Him publicly. It is a natural response to being in the presence of Jesus.
The next thing we are to strive for if we are going to effectively represent and minister like Jesus to hurting people is to put ourselves in the lives of hurting people. Jesus was called “a friend of sinners” (Luke 7:34). To wear this noble title means we must spend time with the lost to develop friendship. This is not a friendship of Biblical compromise with the world, but a friendship of love built on the foundation of Christ’s love. It is caring, sharing, and showing the reality of the Great Physician with those who need His healing touch.
So, how is our hearing? Do we hear the cries of hurting and suffering people all around us? If so, go where they are and give them Jesus. If not, get alone with the Lord and ask Him to give us His eyes and ears so we can effectively be tools of His grace in our worlds of influence.
PRAYER: “Father, please let me always have ears to hear, heart to feel, and feet to serve the hurting around me.”
QUOTE: “Christians are known by our love and our love will be known by our service to others.”