First Verse, a journey through the Psalms: Psalm 41

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
(Psalm 41:1, NLT)

The month of November is a good month to stop and give thanks for the many blessings we have. In our culture, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements telling us about the latest thing we need and how happy we will be, how fulfilled we will be, and how great our life will be, if only we have this thing.

But things cannot satisfy. Things may entertain us or make life a little more convenient (when they work properly) for a season. But that usually only lasts until we see the next thing we need. And soon our life is filled with the clutter of things we have become slaves to.

Instead, let’s stop and be thankful for what we already have. Maybe this month, find something (or someone) every day you’re thankful for and spend some time giving God thanks for it.

Then, let’s take it a step further.

The Psalmist says a strange thing.  Joy shows up when we are kind the poor. That seems kind of weird, doesn’t it? We don’t really expect our own joy when we’re kind, do we? Sometimes being kind may seem like an inconvenience, like we don’t have the time, or the energy, or the means. But Scripture tells us we reap what we sow. If we sow kindness into someone else’s life, we reap a harvest of joy, both for the recipient and for us.

I don’t want to take away from the core of the verse – being kind to the poor. There are many in the world who do without the necessities of life. Healthy food, clean water, proper clothing or shelter, education, opportunities to provide for themselves and their families. There are so many organizations with the mission to provide these things. These organizations can be local or they can be international. Either way, I encourage you to investigate and consider supporting, participating in and assisting one that stirs your heart.

I also want to point out there are many other ways someone can be poor.
Someone may have just received devastating medical news about themselves or someone they love.
Someone may be alone, without family or friends
Someone may have a marriage falling apart
Someone may have recently lost someone they loved
Someone may be going through some difficult times emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially.
Someone may just be having a really hard day, or week, or month, or year.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t see it as inconvenience, if we realized we do have the time, and the energy, and even the means, to be kind to someone.

My church hosts an event labeled Random Acts of Kindness. It’s a day we agree to spend looking for and doing acts of kindness for others who cross our paths. A creative list of ideas is provided for the participants and they are encouraged to have fun as they look for ways to be kind to others throughout the day.

What a great way to remind ourselves to be aware of those around us and to be ready with a kind word and a kind action when a need is spotted.

Oh the joys of those who are kind to every type of poverty.

Heavenly Father, You show great kindness towards us everyday. Your mercies are new every morning, Your compassions never fail. May we, in response, seek ways every day to show kindness to others.

Grace & Peace


About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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