My wife and I do volunteer work through our church at a local homeless shelter. But we get very discouraged because so many of the people are involved in drugs or alcohol and yet won't do anything about it. What is the use of trying to help them? — H.J.J.
First, let me commend you and your wife (and your church) for your work as volunteers. Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our society, and without them our problems would be much greater than they are.
Yes, it can be discouraging to try helping people, for not everyone wants our help—and some will only take advantage of us. But have you ever thought about how God must feel about the human race? He has done everything He possibly could to bring us back to Himself, even allowing His Son to be put to death on a cross for us. And yet—as in Jesus' day—most people still ignore Him and turn away from His offer of salvation.
But does that mean He refuses to have anything more to do with us? No! He still loves us, and He still promises to save us if we sincerely turn to Christ in trust and faith. And He calls us to have that same kind of love for others. The Bible says, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God" (1 John 4:7).
Jesus said, "If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple ... he will certainly not lose his reward" (Matthew 10:42). No, you may not help everyone—but you will help some, and the Bible says there is "rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:7).