As a class assignment, I responded to the following verses with the journal entry below:
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
Caring for the poor and needy in all things has weighed heavily on my mind recently. Jesus was so incredibly connected with the true needs of the people around him, whether they were the poor in spirit, finances, or both, and I long to have the same compassion and desire to show them Who can meet their deepest spiritual need as well as personally stepping up to help meet their practical needs. These verses describe exactly who I have been praying to be recently – fearless in the face of bad news, for I know the Lord is worthy of my trust. Steady and triumphant, for I know the Lord is my strength. Distributing freely, giving to the poor, for I know that the Lord is my provider and I do not need to store up riches for myself. Jared and I are joining with another couple whom we love dearly to minister to a family of refugees soon to move into an apartment complex nearby which is indwelt entirely by refugees, mostly from Burma and Iraq. I pray that the Lord will continue growing our hearts in the way these verses describe, that we may freely give in every way the Lord brings to mind, and that above all we may be reflections of the steady hearts the Lord has placed in those who hold fast to His name.
Take 5 minutes to consider and pray for those who are poor and in need today.