Well, I finished Richard Stearns book, The Hole in the Gospel, and I finished Revelation this morning. Two endings, both asking the same question: You’ve heard all of this. What are you going to do about it?
One book taught me about the present suffering in our world, suffering that God has given sufficient resources to overcome, and yet we turn a blind eye, or if not blind, we shrug our shoulders and ask what can I do in the face of such suffering? Sometimes, like the rich young ruler after his encounter with Jesus, people go away sad because the challenge is too much, the price to great, the mountain too high.
But in Matthew 17:20 Jesus said “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Did you get that? Nothing will be impossible for us if we rely on faith. Stearns points out that God can certainly move mountains on His own, but sometimes He hands us a shovel, wanting to use us to accomplish His will.
With faith and God-provided tools (and doesn’t the Bible say that everything we have comes from Him?), we can shovel and move mountains of poverty, lack of clean water, hunger, polio, malaria, social injustice, human trafficking and anything else this broken world can throw at us.
I know this because I finished the other book, the Bible. And it teaches that we should pray that God’s kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven. And that kingdom is beautiful and just.
The good news — the gospel — tells us that we aren’t striving to accomplish these things in our own power. We live on this side of the Resurrection. We have the power of a risen, living, and loving Lord Almighty who is strong to save.
And He has called us and is calling us to care for the poor, to meet their needs spiritually and physically. Because He cares for them. And because really bad things are ahead (I read that in Revelation too) for those who don’t know Him. And we need to care about that. We need to love a lost and dying and suffering world, and we need to offer salvation and healing and things to ease suffering so that we can introduce them to the One who makes all things new.
I have prayed and am continuing to pray that God will reveal to me what specific things He wants me “to do about it.” He’s already told us pretty simply: Love God and love others. It’s time to get busy doing just that.