If a church member were to come to you for help, what would you do? Would you say to him or her, “Don’t worry, God will provide”? What if God sent that person to you?
James is telling us that when people come to us for help, we ought to do what we can. Words of faith will not do them any good. But faith accompanied by works would benefit them greatly. James mentions two needs that a person may have–clothes and food. You simply can’t see a person naked and hungry and send them away hoping and praying that things will work out. What good is your faith if you didn’t use it to help that person? When you see a need, don’t miss an opportunity to exercise the faith you say you have. Perhaps you can provide only one of those needs but that’s fine. What you cannot provide, someone else could. Perhaps a friend or another church member could help. You pick up the phone and call. Let the person who came to you see your faith in action. Words will bring that person little comfort if they are not followed by actions. It’s a matter of don’t tell me you care, show me.
If someone came to you for food and a place to stay but you can’t provide either, don’t send him or her away. Invite the person in. Have faith that God will show you what to do. Perhaps, He will bring to your mind two people. One will prepare a meal for the person. You take the person over to that friend’s house and while he or she is being fed, you call another friend who has a spare room. Faith is no good to you or anyone else if it is not a faith that works. Faith that is all talk and no action is worthless. As James rightly said, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”