the church nor responses from God. I'm all he's got and I'm not a rich man by any stretch of the imagination and THE HELP I'M GIVING HIM is starting to strain my finances and my marriage.
I want you to notice the part I uppercased in your words. You SHOULD help him. That's the right thing to do. In fact, if people were to do as God commanded, then no one would have any needs, because we would help one another.
Perhaps, then, God IS helping your friend--through you.
And perhaps He wants to help him more--through His people. Can you blame Him, then, if His people refuse to listen? No, but God can. And He will. On Judgment Day, and those who did do as God commanded, they He will reward.
Funny thing there, isn't it . . . we spend so much time praying for God to help people when half the time His answer is to look at us and say, "OK. So help them."
So where does that leave me and my friend? Am I supposed to sacrifice my own financial health and allow my marriage tank because the church won't do what God commanded them to do? Because I am quickly reaching a point where I won't be able to give him anymore help and can't let him down like that. He's been denied disability three times and his insurance company won't give him a dime because his problems are the result of "pre-existing conditions".
You can't give what you don't have to give, Pauley. I know you want to be able to help your friend. I know people in the same situation, but I simply can't do for them because I, right now, don't have the resources. So while God has commanded me to take care of my neighbor before myself, He has also commanded me to take care of my family. Your marriage comes FIRST.
I'm thrilled that you are helping your friend. More people should. His church should be there, and if they aren't, then God will take care of that. But there are also other things that you can do beyond giving your friend money. Let me give you an example of something I know of here locally:
An individual at the school where I work is from Kenya. He has lived here for the last six years without his family. He's only able to see them every 1.5 - 2 yrs. He has two more years to go before he finishes his degree and can go home. The government won't let him bring his family over here because he doesn't meet the income minimum of $20K/yr. He applied for a job as a chaplain at Emory Hospital, which would pay him $22K and let him bring his family, and they accepted him, provided that he take a thirteen week course. The problem is that he can't take the course because it is Mon-Fri, 8AM -5PM. He has to work to pay living expenses for the three months.
One of the people I know found out about the situation and offered to raise three months worth of living expenses for the man. This person did some calling around and found a church that was willing to sponsor the fund, and is now collecting $5,000 to pay this man's living expenses so that he can take the course, get the job, and bring his family over here.
I tell you that simply because I've seen how we can help people without financially burdening ourselves. Maybe you could go to your friend's church and sit down with he pastor himself. Let him know what is going on, and tell him your struggles. You can't take care of him all by yourself. You need help helping your friend. If the pastor is a halfway OK one, then he'll recognize the need and take it up with his benevolence committee, and you should be able to get some help. Get creative, but don't try to take it all on yourself. It will be the end of you.
I can tell you this much about God and His blessings. He isn't a "sugar daddy," but if you are doing something that He has called you to do, then He will provide those resources. So the old quip goes, "God will never call you where His grace will not sustain you."