Like a slow torturesome death, extreme poverty is hard to watch, even harder to go through. But, unfortunately, in the developed world (USA, Canada, Australia, Western Europe, etc.), we are so far removed from the extreme poor it is easy not to look for it or think about it.
Unless we are purposely mindful of extreme poverty, we can go months or even years not concerning ourselves with the poor. But, of course, that is not what God wants for those who follow Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46). So, in part, God has allowed poverty to exist, to give His followers an opportunity to show His compassion, love, and self-sacrifice for them.
Because we don’t talk about extreme poverty, myths and misinformation have set in and taken hold. For example, many believe:
- The poor are at fault for their situation.
- People are poor because they are lazy.
- Poverty is the result of governments so corrupt that there is nothing we can do to help.
We will see people rise out of poverty if we help the poorest in the right ways—with truth, love, skills, and opportunities. When this happens, it is glorious. Going from hopeless to Hope-filled, faithless to faith in Jesus, little income to abundantly satisfied with extra to give to their church and community. It’s an amazing transformation!
But it all begins with each of us being willing to see the pain of poverty, recognizing the desperation, and hearing the cries of the poor. Then after seeing, crying out to God with prayers that proclaim, “No one should have to live like this!”
If you want to see the poor and learn how to respond to the needy, join Bright Hope’s Prayer Team. Sign up here.
If you’d like to learn more about Bright Hope, check out our cornerstone blogs: