The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. (Isa. 61:1)

NOTHING BREAKS MY HEART MORE or prompts my humble admiration than reading the Prophets and their God-given messages to an unworthy audience. Why does the Father love us so? Why did He, over the centuries, keep warning us, reaching out to the spiritually poor and blind, discouraged and disheartened captives in this life? God’s character is put on display when we also are sent, by the power of His Spirit and its love impulse, to a world in torment.

As a young person, it used to bother me that I didn’t feel compassion for those in need. Oh, I could give a token amount or pray a meaningless prayer when made aware of a certain segment of a suffering population—urban homeless, prisoners, orphans in Africa, and so on. But it wasn’t until I joined their ranks that my Lord taught me at the deepest level how to mourn, not only my losses and afflictions, but others’ as well.

In the process of comforting me, He raised my gaze and gave me a message of comfort, healing, and freedom, despite circumstances. My God so convinced me of His love and power that I can’t help taking this good news wherever He sends.

How has devastation touched your own life and those you care about? Has this moved you toward God, and consequently toward hope? What is your anointing, and how is it like Jesus’? What is your portion?

Let God raise your gaze and then embody His message of hope and healing.

Beth Weikel is the author of the upcoming Hope in the Midst of Loss (May 2015; WPH) about the challenges and suffering of grief.