We hurt when we see someone we love or care about suffering from health problems, or getting into trouble because of bad choices, or needing help due to unfortunate circumstances. Our love or care for them is compelling us to help, and we know God wants us to help, but we don’t know what to do. Many questions and roadblocks emerge from within us, or outside of us, making it difficult for us to know how to help. Following are some of the difficulties we may encounter in seeking to help someone.
We may not know what to do because we lack the necessary resources.
We may not know what to do because we lack the necessary resources. (1) They may need help from others besides us, but we don’t know how to find a trustworthy contact suited for their need. (2) They may be unwilling to get help and we struggle with how to help them become willing. (3) As a believer in God, we may need his help to guide us, but we are not hearing from him. (4) Others may be cautioning us not to get involved and we may wonder how much we should get involved. Will what we do upset God’s plan for what this person really needs? (5) Do we have the skills it takes to help them?
We may have internal struggles. (1) Perhaps we have tried repeatedly to help and now we are tired, worn out, and feel we have nothing left to give. (2) We have prayed for God to fix things, but it hasn’t worked, so we are tempted to give up on God, or we don’t know what to pray. (3) We may be fighting self-centeredness and prefer to stay in our own comfort zone rather than spend time helping them. Maybe we say we are too busy and do not have the time to help. Maybe we are guarding our finances and wrestle over not wanting to let go of any money.
Okay. That’s enough about some of the difficulties we face in helping those we love or care about. If we truly love as God loves, we know we have to help in some way. This means overcoming our reasons for not helping, overcoming the difficulty of not knowing what to do, and finding a way to do it. As believers in God and followers of Christ Jesus, we can admit our weakness, humbly tell him we need his help, and ask in faith for wisdom and guidance to do our part. Following are things that have helped me. God knows I am a contemplative person who does not normally jump into things. The way he helps me may not be the way he helps you, but something I say may stick and help you.
To begin discovering what to do, I have learned to answer a progression of personal questions. What kind of help do they need? Do they want help? What is my Christ-like motive and heart attitude for helping them? What time, money, and personal skills do I have, and what am I willing to sacrifice for them?
After I ask myself a series of questions, I ask God for his help.
After I ask myself a series of questions, I ask God for his help. I say, “Lord, help me know and do what will assist you in accomplishing what you want to do in their life.” Then, I move forward, believing God will work through me to accomplish his will. I also pray, “Lord, from the Scriptures and your Spirit, give me a word that will encourage and guide me in what you want me to do.” I search the Bible. A word God has given me as his way for me to proceed is to trust him, not lean on my own understanding, acknowledge him in all I choose to do, and trust his promise to guide me (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Finally, I listen to what my heart is telling me to do, believing God is working in me, through me, and for me, and will provide what I need in each step I take.
Finally, I listen to what my heart is telling me to do, believing God is working in me, through me, and for me, and will provide what I need in each step I take. To acknowledge him as my co-worker, I stop rationalizing about what I want, or what I think is best, I stop stressing about things, and I choose to trust God. I decide on each course of action, and in each thing I proceed to do, I ask him to fill me with his Spirit so I am Christ-like toward people I deal with, believing God will guide the process and cause all to work out for good. Often, I am amazed at God’ faithfulness to do things I did not expect. I praise and thank him when I notice what he just did.