Faith without works is dead. How should we live out our faith in the light of the injustices that we so commonly see? As Christians how should we respond to injustice? We must remember that God’s judgment will certainly come upon the oppressors. James 5:1 says, “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.” The rich who are oppressing the poor will reap what they sow. The law of the harvest will definitely prevail that what a person sows, that will he also reap. The rich who are tyrannizing the poor will weep and wail as they go through the miseries of God’s judgment.
The word “wail” is the cry of mourners at a funeral. I once attended a funeral here in the U.S. where the family from Asia hired professional mourners to mourn at the funeral. There were three hired mourners wailing very loudly in the foyer of the building. It was so loud that you could hardly hear one another speak. I felt so uncomfortable that I wanted to flee. All through the funeral service, one could hear the mourners outside of the meeting room. What a miserable experience! This is how those who oppress others will be wailing when they have to go through God’s judgment.
Therefore, when we witness and hear about acts of injustice, we feel the pain of the oppressed but are consoled by the knowledge that God sees it all and, in His time, will execute His judgment on the oppressors. Also, knowing the weeping and wailing that the oppressors will face, we want to pray for them that they will come to know the love and forgiveness of our Lord.
Have you ever thought of praying for the oppressors as well as the oppressed?
Prayers for Three Angels
Pray for Haiti and its people, particularly in the aftermath of the recent earthquake, the assassination of its late president, and the current fuel shortage and other factors prompting social unrest and rampant gang violence. Pray that God’s peace would rest on the country, its leaders, and its people.
The afflicter of injustice thinks he can get away with his crimes, but he does not know that the Lord hears the cries of the innocent: “Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty” (v. 4). God hears the cries of the oppressed.
God heard the cries of the Israelites when they were in Egypt: “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So, I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them out of the land” (Exodus 3:7).
Nothing was hidden from God. He knew the full extent of the oppressor’s sins: “You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.” (vv. 5, 6). Their sins of self-indulgence and crimes against the innocent were fully known to God.
A young boy was angry at his sister. Therefore, he took her rag doll and buried it in the garden. The doll was made by her mother by sewing cloth together and stuffing it with barley seeds. When the girl could not find her doll, her brother said he had no idea where it was. He thought he had gotten away with his crime. The coming spring, a large patch of barley in the shape of the doll sprung up in the garden. Then the doll was discovered. The boy’s perfect crime was revealed.
Our secret sins are fully known to God. Nothing is hidden from Him.
What are you going to do about your secret sins?
Prayers for Three Angels
Pray for the seventeen Christian missionaries recently kidnapped and held hostage by terrorist gangs. Ask God for their safe release, recovery from this traumatic experience, and full restoration in Christ. Ask God to bless their ministries and bring peace to their families. Pray that their abductors would repent and come into saving relationship with Christ.
The oppressors of the poor were hoarding physical treasures, not knowing that their riches on earth would one day be worthless. James says, “Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days” (vv. 2, 3).
Many people have found to their dismay that treasures on earth do not bring lasting happiness. Margaret Loughrey of Northern Ireland found this to be true. She won the EuroMillions in 2013—$37 million, the largest jackpot ever won in Northern Ireland. Prior to winning, she was living off unemployment benefits of $100 per week. Six years later, in 2019, she said, “Money has brought me nothing but grief. It has destroyed my life. I have had six years of this. I don’t believe in religion, but if there is a hell, I have been in it. It has been that bad.” She died September 3, 2021. (Freya McClements)
In Matthew 6:20, Jesus said, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Margaret Loughrey’s treasures were on earth. Her heart was on her earthly riches; therefore, all it brought her was misery. Treasures in heaven are what we do for the Lord and others—people to whom we have demonstrated the Lord’s love, people whom we have helped in the name of the Lord. These are the treasures that we can take with us to heaven.
How are you doing in laying up treasures in heaven?
Prayers for Three Angels
Pray for Three Angels and its various ministries—the Angel House orphanage, the Angel Academy and its kindergarten through sixth grade curriculum, the medical and dental clinic. Ask God’s blessings on the children and families served by Three Angels—for comfort, encouragement and safety for teachers, nannies and other staff.
We see injustices taking place all around us. The common cry is “Where is God?” This was probably the cry of Joseph after his brothers sold him into slavery. And then to compound the offense, when he was a slave, he was falsely accused of attempted rape and thrown into prison. Then, he experienced further pain when he was forgotten in the prison by those whom he had helped. Pain after pain, Joseph suffered for thirteen years. Joseph was a godly man. Had God abandoned him?
We know that many years later, after Joseph was elevated to be governor of Egypt and his brothers came to Egypt, he was able to say to them, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph was able to see God bringing good out of all the evil that was afflicted upon him.
God’s work is like a piece of embroidered cloth. God is weaving something beautiful, but we see only the backside of messy threads. Therefore, we do not understand what God is doing and we cry out, “God, what are you doing?”
This is why James says to his readers to be patient for God’s timing to make right the injustices they are enduring. “Be patient … until the Lord’s coming, like the farmer waiting for his harvest” (v. 7). “Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (v. 8). “Don’t grumble against each other” (v. 9). The prophets are an example of patience in the face of suffering (v. 10). We consider blessed those who have persevered. Look at Job and how the Lord blessed him at the end (v. 11).
Can you wait for God’s timing to make right the wrongs that are taking place? Do you believe that God is making something beautiful out of the mess that we see around us?
Prayers for Three Angels
Thank God for His ongoing, faithful provision. He recently delivered the container with valuable medical supplies and equipment amidst the ongoing turmoil facing Haiti. The safe, intact arrival of these supplies at Three Angels was miraculous. Ask God to stir His people to support Three Angels both in prayer and financially.
The Lord has great love for those suffering from injustice and for those committing acts of injustice as well. “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy” (v. 11). God’s love is limitless like the ocean.
Could we with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretch from sky to sky.
—Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless free,
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fulness over me.
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love;
Leading onward, leading homeward, to my glorious rest above.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore;
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, never more;
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, Love of ev’ry love the best;
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessings, ‘tis a haven sweet of rest,
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ‘tis a Heav’n of Heav’ns to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee.”
— S. Trevor Francis & T.J. Williams
God’s love is the driving force behind every Christian, and it provides the motivation to live the Christian life with fervor, enthusiasm and love. In 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15, we read: “For Christ’s love compels us … And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again”
Is the love of Jesus the driving force of your life?
Prayers for Three Angels
Pray for the children served by Three Angels. Ask that God would provide loving, Christian “forever families” for the twelve Angel House children. Ask for safety and encouragement for the 300+ students of Angel Academy and other sponsored students who have graduated and will continue their education. Pray His blessing upon the staff, who love these children wholeheartedly.
Freya McClements, “‘The Good She Did Should Be Remembered’: Lottery Winner Margaret Loughrey Has Died” (Irish Times, September 3, 2021).