The United States Census Bureau showed that in 2015 43.1 million people were poor; that is about 13.5 percent of the population. The Henry J. Keyser Family Foundation showed that in 2015 9% of whites in America were poor compare to 24% of Blacks and 21% of Hispanics; 14% were in the category of “Other”. Even as Blacks and Latinos are minorities in this country, when it comes down to poverty we are the strong majority.
In 2012, the federal government spent $668 billion to fund 126 separate anti- poverty programs. State and local governments kicked in another $284 billion, bringing total anti-poverty spending to nearly $1 trillion. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three. The famous war on poverty started on January 8, 1964 under the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson 53 years ago. Twenty-three of those 53 years under Presidents of the Democratic Party; that is including 8 years under Bill Clinton and also, 8 years under Obama. Lets take a look at the way the government is fighting this war of poverty.
As we look at these numbers, can we conclude that we are loosing this war on poverty? We can’t say that the issue of poverty has been ignored in the United States; the numbers do not lie. The government is investing a lot of money on these programs; so why is it that the poverty numbers remain consistently high amongst our people? I believe that many who engage on this war on poverty have the best intentions; but good intentions are not above biblical truth and principles. Jesus stated that the poor will always be amongst us (Matthew 26:11). However, does that means that Blacks and Latinos will always be the kings of poverty? Absolutely not! Poverty is not God’s will for his people! So we are missing something, what is it?
We, as minorities are allowing politicians to limit their talking points by offering us more food stamps, more free health care, more free housing, etc. Not that these things are really free; tax payers are actually paying for these programs, but the person receiving these benefits are not required to do anything to earn anything. This approach has created the culture of entitlement. These are the folks who feel that everybody owns them something just because they are black, just because they are latinos and, just because, they are natives. They find justifications on the atrocities committed against us through the bloody pages of our history. The God that I serve is the God of justice. The Bible tells me that his judgments are true and righteous (Revelations 19:2). Our job as Born Again believers is to forgive (Colossians 3:13) God will take care of the rest.
But the question remains, how can this problem of poverty be resolved? The answer is not all that complicated; it is actually very simple: 1) Place our trust in God: (Proverbs 3:5-6). The ultimate trust for our lives, for our families and for our nation, must be giving to God. Only God is worthy of our trust. God is the only one that will NEVER leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). 2) Be aware that it is God and not the government who is able to supply for all of our needs: (Philippians 4:19). David knew this that is why in Psalm 23:1 he is able to declare the following, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” (KJV) Do you know what is it to bless to the point of wanting nothing else? The Government is very limited in what they can do; God has no limits. Not only that he is able to supply for all of your needs, but he is able to give you things that money can’t buy, such as peace and joy. 3) The way out of poverty is through jobs not through federal programs: It is through hard work, not through handouts that we are able to overcome poverty. I am going to offer plenty of biblical references to prove this point because I am aware that telling people to go and find a job is consider offensive and insensitive these days.
- We work for and serve the Lord as we work for and serve others (Colossians 3:23-24). So we are call to do our jobs well and with the right attitude.
- We are called to work and make our surroundings better. (Genesis 2:15) Regarding of the size of your paycheck; as a man and as a woman of God you should be a blessing in your job and in everything that surrounds you.
- God promise to establish the work of your hands not your laziness (Psalm 90:17). Should I say more? You have to do your part and give God something to work for. To work is to obey God; laziness is disobedience to God… is that simple!
- To have food to eat is part of making a living; in order to have food you must work (Proverbs 12:11).
- Not working makes no sense before God (Proverbs 12:11).
- If you want to have things you are required to work for them; nobody is under any obligation to support you permanently (Proverbs 13:4).
- Lazy people are never in charge; they always depend on others (Proverbs 12:24).
- At the heart of making a profit is hard work; at the heart of poverty is laziness (Proverbs 14:23 / Proverbs 6:10-12 / 2 Timothy 2:6).
- Not providing for our own families is denying our faith as Christians and a worst spiritual condition than an unbeliever (I Timothy 5:8). If you go back and read this verse it is clear that we have a responsibility to help each other out as extended families; but especially for those under our own roof. People run to social services for help, but that is what family is for.
- It is God’s will to prosper us through his plan for our lives; it is his will to give us hope and a good future (Jeremiah 29:11). God wants to give you that job; it is his will!
There are more Bible verses that speak against laziness and the blessing of hard work, but I believe I have given you plenty to think about. The words I am giving you today are not Republican or Democrat. They are not part of a political agenda or a particular ideology; these are not empty words; they come straight from the heart of God. Today, I echo the words of my master when he states,
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32 (KJV)
This is the true we need; they are lying to us; lets go after God like never before, lets get to work and lets break this curse of poverty out of our lives. For that, we need God, not the government!