Devotional – Standing with People when they are down and out

I’ve never truly understood the saying “a friend in need is a friend indeed”, but I do understand a little bit about friendships and about standing with people. I’m sure I learnt this character from God and my family.

I have been in some situations that if it weren’t for my friends and family – I really don’t know how I would have made it out. I have also had the privilege to stand by the sides of my friends and family to see them come out successful in their situations.

I believe that God is this way, if He wasn’t then we won’t have the desire to be there for people. And yes, we can’t be there for everyone and you shouldn’t. There are some people who will use you until you’re all dried up and then leave.

But there are people who God brings into your life and they invest in you or others and are good-hearted, hard-working folks who (just like us) have some down days; these are the people that we must stand with.

Stand by people, when people are down and out – bless them, do good to and for them; not because of the blessing, but because this is the character of God in us.

In the Bible, Ruth had this character – her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and herself lived during a famine and over the course of time their husbands had died. Naomi decided that they would all go back to their homelands.

Now that the husbands had died there really was no family tie that held these women together, and Naomi wasn’t wrong in deciding for each to go back to their homes, maybe the women would have the opportunity to marry and live happy lives again.

One daughter-in-law left for her home country, but Ruth refused to leave her mother-in-law. The Bible says “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her, Ruth 1:16-18.

For a woman to want to stay with a mother-in-law says volumes! But this is what Ruth decided to do, to stand with Naomi during their difficult times. At the end of this story, Ruth was blessed so abundantly for the love she showed Naomi. They were redeemed from the curse of the famine. Not only that, Ruth gave birth to a son who was the linage of David!

Stand by people, when people are down and out – be the strong one, say a word of encouragement, give, bless them, do good to and for them; not because of the blessing, but because this is the character of God in us.

May the blessings and favor of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.

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