In March 2007, I was standing in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in northern Uganda gazing at hundreds of young refugees who were staring back at me. As I looked into their eyes, saw their malnourished frames, and witnessed their deplorable living conditions, the Holy Spirit filled me in a way I’d never experienced before. I sensed God was telling me, “I love these children. I love them!” And then, it was as if He extended this invitation: “Come love them with me.”

So I did just that. I moved to East Africa and—through both the beautiful and gut-wrenching journey of walking with victims of war and with children who’d been orphaned or abandoned—witnessed the glorious truth of Psalm 12 that “the Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace” and that He sees, He hears, He cares, and He shows up (Psalm 12:6). In His words: “I have seen the violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor” (Psalm 12:5).

Though much of the world overlooks and even dismisses the impoverished, the refugees, the widowed, and the otherwise marginalized, God doesn’t. To the contrary, in response to cries to Him for help, He says, “I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do” (Psalm 12:5). His compassionate heart is revealed in the ways He moves to “protect the oppressed” (Psalm 12:7).

Whether we’re struggling through our own pain or weighed down by the suffering of others, we can take comfort in God’s sure promises in Psalm 12 to be with and deliver the oppressed. Even if we can’t easily see how, we can rest assured that our God is working to rescue the poor—perhaps even using us as part of His loving, restoring work.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 7:36–8:3