Sorrowful, Yet Always Rejoicing

December 14, 2011

by Bob Finley
Chairman and Founder of Christian Aid

Those who enter fully into the Christian experience will continually share two opposite emotions: joy and sorrow.

Christ our Lord lives on this earth today within the members of His body, collectively called His church. So as we minister to suffering members of His body we minister unto Him. And failure to do so is an indication that we are not living in God's will and need to make things right. "Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (I John 3:17).

It's not enough to say, "If I see someone in need, I will help him." You aren't going to see many in suburbia, or even in inner cities of America. The poorest people in America appear to be fabulously rich when compared to victims of war, famine and contagious diseases in Africa. Or the millions of sharecroppers trying to survive in rural villages of India, Nepal, Burma and elsewhere.

Virtually all of the 800 native missions assisted financially by Christian Aid in poorer countries try to care for the poor and suffering in their midst. They help famine and disaster victims, those sick and in prison, homeless refugees, orphaned or abandoned children, and many more who are destitute and suffering. So whenever you send a gift to Christian Aid for any one of these works of God you are ministering to the needs of our Saviour as He lives on earth today in His body, the church.

It's not because we minister to our Lord's body that we will share His heavenly kingdom forever. It's the other way around. We give to Him (not just at Christmas but all year 'round) because He first loved us and gave Himself for us. If we really believe He died for us, and has accepted us purely on the merit of His blood shed for our sins, we will love Him and give ourselves for Him. And the way we do it is to minister to the needs of those members of His body who are suffering because of wars, famine, disasters, diseases and persecution.