I received this question from Craig via email. This question is in reference to this past weekend’s sermon which you can watch here.
This weekend Adam mentioned that “give us this day our daily bread” was in part an invitation to place our trust in God. He made reference to one of the scriptures that discusses the birds and how they are taken care of and they don’t worry, etc. He then gave his response to a question he frequently gets about how can he put his trust in God when so many people die of hunger every day. His response was that God works through people and that it is a distribution problem, not a supply problem. I agree with this, but what that means then is that you not only have to put your faith in God to provide, you also have to put some faith in fellow man. Given the brokenness of mankind, this is not very comforting. I know that if I personally was in need of say food, I would be worrying because I have to rely most likely on others, not God per say directly (since he works though others), for assistance. So I guess my question is, how do you reconcile putting your trust in God with the fact that he works through others who have a bad history of not doing the right thing, sometimes resulting in the actual death of people?
Craig, I think that you raise an excellent critique. It can be a bit scary sometimes to trust God’s work to sinful people. There have certainly been many examples throughout history of God’s people doing more harm than good – moving further away from God’s kingdom coming on earth rather than closer to that reality.
That being said, I believe and trust that God is at work through people throughout the world. I think an amazing witness to the power of the gospel is that the church has endured despite our worst and best efforts. My hope is that God is at work through even people like me. I believe that each person has the opportunity for redemption and a new life in Jesus Christ. We may not be able to live in a right way, but through God’s power we are able to move toward life as a deeply committed Christian.
What do you think?