This post is the fifteenth (and final) in a series on God’s Story, the Foundation for FH’s Work in Relief and Development. Follow the series, starting with the first post.
Pastor Aguek sat on the floor of his tent with his wife and four children, considering what to do. His youngest child was sick, lying on the floor. They had taken her to the health center earlier in the day, but the center had no medicine to give her. Now another child was ill. Should they take him to the health center too? What was the point?
The family felt displaced and destitute. They had been able to support themselves in their home country of South Sudan. Aguek pastored a church and farmed his land. But when war broke out in their native village, they made the decision to flee to Uganda. Now, in a humble tent in a refugee camp, Aguek weighed his options.
Aguek had received food rations for a month when they had arrived in Uganda. Now, two months later, the rations were exhausted. Aguek could not find work, and they begged daily for food from neighbors. Where would their next meal come from?
Times Are Hard
Food for the Hungry (FH) believes that God offers real hope for people living in poverty. In this series, we have seen that God is at work reconciling all things to himself, which includes reversing the effects of poverty. The spiritual, physical, social and mental relationships that broke in the Fall are reconciled by God through Jesus Christ. To be sure, we see God moving day by day, and we see His promises being fulfilled as FH graduates communities out of poverty and into abundant life.
Still, poverty abounds in our world. At any given moment, there are 65.6 million refugees like Aguek. Worldwide, 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty–that’s one out of every six human beings on earth.
How do we come to terms with the reality that so much pain and suffering still occur? We keep the end in mind.
The End Is a Beginning
The Bible teaches us that through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, God will one day restore everything to perfection. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. God’s Kingdom will be fully displayed and His will be perfectly done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
To begin with, on that day there will be no poverty. Revelation 21:3-4 says, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’”
Moreover, the Bible tells us that even our bodies will be transformed and will not get sick and die. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
Can you imagine this transformation of heaven and earth? Unquestionably, any suffering we have experienced will end! People that we knew in this life who suffered from illness or broken families will be perfectly complete. Indeed, we will meet Pastor Aguek and his family, and millions of others who struggled in extreme poverty, and their struggles will be a distant memory.
No More Relief and Development Work
In God’s forever Kingdom, FH will be out of business. There will be no need for relief and development work, because of these wonderful truths.
- All four relationships–spiritual, physical, social and mental–will be reconciled perfectly and eternally.
- Redemption will be complete! Indeed, God will complete in full the redemption that He started through Jesus on Earth. (Mark 14:62; Rev 11:15)
- Additionally, poverty will cease, along with hunger, wars, sickness, and violence.
- God will make all things new. Creation will work according to God’s original design. (Revelations 21:5)
- Above all, God will rule and reign! Everyone will see and know His glory. (Habakkuk 2:14)
There will be no sadness, and no tears, ever again.
Between Earth and Heaven
Until God’s Kingdom is restored in the new heaven and new earth, we live in an in-between time. Meanwhile, God has given us His work of reconciliation to do.
Certainly, we can be encouraged by the knowledge that everything that we have done on this Earth prior to the Restoration and according to God’s Kingdom values is not in vain, and will, in fact, have especially positive repercussions throughout eternity.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
For now, we labor on behalf of Pastor Aguek, his family, and everyone whom we can reach with the hope that God brings. And like Pastor Aguek, we know that sickness and hunger will never have the final say.
We hope you have enjoyed the God’s Story series. Now that you have discovered the Foundation for FH’s Work in Relief and Development, how will you respond?
- Sponsor a child, cultivating a 1:1 relationship with a child living in poverty, and allowing them to thrive
- Send a church partnership link to your pastor
- Volunteer at our office in Phoenix, Arizona, or at an FH-sponsored concert
- Share this series on social media, so your friends can learn too!
Follow the God’s Story series:
The Story That Matters Most
How Clean Water Reveals the Kingdom of God
Transformation Is Better Than Development
“How” Is More Important Than “What”
History is About Reconciliation
God’s Character Matters
You Look Like Your Father
Peace and the Natural World
The Fall Changed Everything
Jesus at the Center
A Plan for Your Life
Learn to Serve Like Jesus
The Church is the Fullness of Christ
How to Persevere When Life is Hard