Change the World without Changing Your Schedule

The world asks “Why does God allow suffering?

A better question is “Why do we?

Give us 45 seconds, and we’ll show you what we mean.

Fewer than 30% of people in the world have a saving faith in Jesus Christ, so more than 100,000 people die every day eternally separated from God.1

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42% of the world — 3.2 billion people — live where there aren’t enough Christians to reach them with the Gospel.2 Two-thirds of them have never heard the Gospel even once.3

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At least 1.5 billion people do not have a full Bible in their language — over 20% of the world.

2,000 languages don’t even have a Bible translation started.4

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In America, 38 million people live below the poverty line5 and 20% of American kids go to school hungry.6

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Around the world, 823 million people are chronically hungry7 — almost 1 out of every 9 people — and 10% of the world lives in extreme poverty, existing on less than $1.90 a day.8

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17,000 children die every 24 hours, most of them from causes that are entirely preventable — 6.2 million children every year9. If you slept 8 hours last night, over 5,600 children died while you slept and most of those deaths were preventable.

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At any given time, 40.3 million people are being held in modern slavery.10 Over 10 million of them are children.

4.8 million of those slaves are in forced sexual exploitation. 1 million of them children as young as 3 or 4 years old.11

In the U.S. alone, 200,000 children are trafficked for sex every year12 — many as young as just 11 or 12 years old.13

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What do all of these problems have in common?

With enough funding, we could eradicate most of them and greatly reduce the rest. We know how to fix most of the world’s suffering; we just don’t have the funding to do it.

But it’s not because we don’t have the money.

An annual income of $45,500 puts you in the top 1% of earners worldwide.14 Almost half of Americans make that much.15

Just $14,500 — the U.S. minimum wage — puts you in the top 10%.16 Seventy five percent of Americans make that much.17

Three out of four Americans make more than 90% of the world.

Half of Americans make more than 99% of the world.

It’s staggering. Most of us don’t feel like it, but we are some of the very richest people in the world.

Where do you rank?

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Together, American churchgoers alone make over $6 trillion a year. Just 8% of that income18 would eradicate a staggering amount of suffering.

Eight percent!

If God has abundantly equipped us to address the majority of the world’s suffering, what do you think his expectation is?

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To make sure there isn’t any doubt, Jesus makes it abundantly clear in Luke 12:42-48. He tells a parable about a servant entrusted with caring for the other servants while he is away. When the master returns and finds that the servant hasn’t fulfilled his responsibilities, he cuts him into pieces and assigns him a place with the unbelievers.

Jesus sums up the parable in verse 48:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be required.
From the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be expected.

As a people who have been given much, God requires much of us.

As someone who has been entrusted with much, God expects much of you.

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Why do I allow suffering that I can do something about?

That’s the question we each have to answer, because this isn’t a group project. God has entrusted you with much, and he expects much from you. What are you going to do?

If you’ve tried to answer that before, you know how hard it is. With virtually countless ways to be responsible with what you’ve been given, how do you figure out what to do (especially if you don’t have much to start with)?

What if the answer was easy?