Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Miles McPherson's recent book, Do Something: Make Your Life Count(Baker Books, 2009).

All around you in this broken world, people are suffering. So many unmet needs exist that it can all seem overwhelming. But it's not naïve to think that you can make a significant and lasting difference for the better. As a Christian, God calls you to do so, by representing Jesus in the world. God doesn't intend for you to shrink back from the needs around you; He wants to use your life to help others. In fact, God has uniquely created you to meet certain needs and is hoping you'll accept your mission.

So don't hesitate to take action to answer God's call to make the world a better place. Here's how:

Acknowledge your own brokenness.  Just as Jesus identified with people's brokenness by subjecting Himself to the struggles and temptations of this world before dying on the Cross to save them, you must identify with your own brokenness before you can do something to help other people. Humbly admit your weaknesses, failures, and mistakes to God, and ask Him to heal you so He can work through you to heal others.

Trust that God has prepared you well.  God has created you to do great work in the world, and He has a plan to help you do it. Ask God to help you recognize the abilities He has given you and notice the opportunities to help others that He brings to you. Keep in mind that God will give you the faith to overcome your fearful feelings if you trust Him, and that He wants to use you powerfully in spite of your weaknesses. Read the Bible often, and let its words soak into your soul and strengthen you to follow where God leads you. Apply biblical principles to your life, using their wisdom to help you make decisions each day.  Remember that God Himself is with you all the time as the Holy Spirit; ask Him to make you more aware of His constant presence with you and know that you can rely on Him to help you do whatever work God wants you to do. Communicate regularly with God through prayer - talking with Him honestly about your thoughts and feelings, and listening carefully to what He has to say to you. Thank God for the many ways He has prepared you to do great work in the world, and commit yourself to doing your best for Him.

Fulfill God's purposes for your life.  The foundation of everything you do should be to love God and the people He has made. Decide to express your love in the way God asks you to - by bringing every part of your life into obedience to His purposes for you. Ask God to give you a heart transplant, replacing your selfish heart with a new heart that wants to fulfill His desires rather than your own. Pray for the ability to see people as God sees them and love them according to their real needs. Be willing to reach out to people who seem unlovable to you, such as those with persistent problems or personalities that irritate you. Ask God to teach you the lessons He wants you to learn from people who are less fortunate than you are. Also, ask God to bring someone into your life who you can mentor in the faith. Keep in mind that the key to what God asks you to do in any situation is to be present with hurting people who need love, and to share their burdens in the ways He asks you to help.

Learn from the pain you experience.  Trust God to use the pain you go through to teach you valuable lessons and help you grow closer to Him. Realize that pain can keep you from making the wrong decisions and motivate you to make the right ones. Don't try to escape from pain, but don't let it define you, either. Instead, walk through the pain with God and use what you learn to encourage other people who are in pain. Be willing to go through whatever pain is necessary to help someone in need as God leads - stepping out of your comfort zones and making the sacrifices God calls you to make.