How to Help Someone Find Hope and Healing, Part 2
By Rick Warren
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
Have you ever felt that somebody was a hopeless case? That he or she was never going to come to Christ? Maybe it was an alcoholic relative, a drug-addicted parent, or a co-dependent neighbor — someone with a hurt, habit, or hang-up that kept him from knowing God.
The truth is, no one is outside Jesus’ reach!
Yesterday I talked about the importance of small groups in helping “hopeless” people find healing. From the story in Luke 5 of the group of men bringing their paralyzed friend to Jesus to be healed, we learned three characteristics of a small group that God uses to heal people who others might consider hopeless. Today we’re going to look at four more:
Persistence: We all get discouraged as we try to reach our family, friends, and acquaintances with the Gospel. But we can’t give up! The friends in Luke 5 didn’t let difficulties discourage them. It didn’t matter that crowds were between them and Jesus. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (NIV).
Innovation: These friends dared to do something different. It’s pretty innovative to get up on a roof and tear it apart to get a guy to Jesus. Imagine the mess they made! Ministry is messy because it involves people. Small groups that won’t step out of the box won’t be willing to be messy enough to be instruments of healing.
Cooperation: Obviously, these men worked together to bring their friend to Jesus. It was too big of a job for one guy. It’s the same way with small groups. People come to Christ faster when they do it in the context of a supportive small group. A supportive community is a powerful witness to God.
Sacrifice: Have you ever wondered who paid for the roof in this story? I think the group of friends did. They wouldn’t just tear it up and leave it for someone else to fix. Whether it’s time, money, effort, or whatever, there is always a cost to bringing someone to Christ. Luke 16:9 says, “Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home” (NLT, second edition). Small groups must be willing to make sacrifices if they’re going to be agents of healing in the world.
Talk It Over
- Describe a time when your ministry got messy and you wanted to give up.
- What are some ways small group members can encourage each other when they are discouraged by difficulties?
- Who are the people in your life that you have witnessed to or prayed for God to save? How can your small group help you in your witness to these friends?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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