Real Faith is More Than What You Feel
Many people in the United States have recently lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Some of them need food. Some are wondering how they’ll pay their rent or mortgage. And they need to know that they’re not forgotten, that they can count on others for support.
It’s not enough to just tell them how sorry we are for their circumstances—or send out a tweet with a pious cliché.
Empathy isn’t enough. They need real help.
James says real faith is more than well wishes. Imagine if you walked up to someone in a food line and said, “Hey, I feel for you. Hang in there. Cheer up. Don't worry, be happy.” Doesn’t that ring hollow in such desperate circumstances? They don’t just need your words; they need food.
Genuine faith is practical. It gets involved in people’s needs.
Jesus demonstrated this kind of faith. He didn’t just empathize with our pain and predicament. He came to earth to do something about the sin that separated us from God.
1 John 3:17 says, “Suppose someone has enough to live and sees a brother or sister in need, but does not help. Then God’s love is not living in that person” (NCV).
Your response to the pain people in your community are experiencing will show the world what you believe. For instance, at Saddleback Church, we’ve launched drive-thru food pantries. With just one of our food pantries, we were able to feed 840 families in a single day. Your church may already be doing something similar, but imagine what would happen if every congregation did this right now.
Genuine faith produces compassion. It says, “I will help you with your burden and show you the love of Christ.” Our faith is seen by what we do.
Talk It Over
- Are you in need right now? Reach out to your local church and share what support you need right now.
- What are some practical ways (or additional ways) you, your small group, or your church can help hurting people?
- Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are struggling with anxiety, depression, and grief. Substance abuse is another common problem. What are ways you, your small group, or congregation can offer emotional support or mental health resources to those in need?
- What are some ways you can help people get back on their feet? How can you identify potential employers within your congregation, or the community, who have jobs available?
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.