Most of my trips overseas have been to visit, and hopefully help, people who are suffering far worse conditions than those in my homeland of Australia.
The poverty I have seen in parts of the world like Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and DR Congo is extreme and can be crippling to families and communities.
To try and paint a picture of this poverty with statistics, according to the World Bank, the Gross National Income per capita in the DR Congo is $220 compared to $59,570 per capita in Australia.
However, in the midst of the massive challenge that is poverty, I have observed people who have chosen to have trust, hope, faith and love towards Jesus. This heart attitude sets their life on the path of looking for answers, not giving in to the trial.
What has always struck me is that even in their suffering, they seem to understand that circumstances are not always a good measure of God’s goodness.
God is still good.
They have taught me that, even when it is difficult to see or understand any reason, true love for Jesus is manifest in deep trust in times of trial.
God is still in control.
I believe the reason for this unique life-giving perspective is that they are courageously lifting the word of God and the name of Jesus above their circumstances. They are choosing to graciously respond and not react to daily struggles. They respond with the grace that God provides daily and daily respond to God’s grace!
If you’re facing your own challenges: sickness, addiction, relationship breakdown or whatever it may be, it is not just about whether you can believe God to fix that problem, but do you believe in the goodness, love and grace of God regardless of what you face?
The only way I know how to do this, while waiting for God’s provision, is to live with the presence of the Holy Spirit at work in my life. It is what causes me to say, “His grace is sufficient for me.” This is not by your own might, will, or power but by God’s Spirit, the great comforter.
God is still with you.
Psalm 136 says over and over again that “God’s mercy endures forever.” Some translations say “His love endures forever” or “His kindness endures forever”. The word “endures” tells us something: to endure implies that there will be tribulation, trial or persecution to overcome or to outlast. It also tells us that God’s love, mercy, and kindness never quits!
Have you ever wanted to quit? I’m sure you have, as I have at times, however strength is found in the fact that Jesus will never quit on you.
God is still for you.
Can I encourage you to do a heart check today – like my friends living in extreme poverty, is your heart open towards God, trusting his mercy, love and kindness, relying on and responding to Jesus’ grace that is all-sufficient?
Live in the slipstream of His grace today.