Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Faith Blog ... Young Life

I've been reading some Christian Testimonies of men and women in their late twenties, early thirties who I have recently met.  It's been a privilege just to read them and maybe I'll see if I can print one or two here some day.

Their stories include growing up in really rancorous divorced homes, the loss of parents, the loss of siblings, confusion in college when faced with immorality and abuse of alcohol, both of which some of these people didn't shy away from even as they struggled with their Christian faith.  I could go on and on but suffice it to say it was only becoming very faithful Christians (through Young Life and other venues) that their lives improved, that they were able to avoid future immorality, that they were able to find jobs in healthy atmospheres, able to find spouses who have make them so happy ...but mostly, they have found, after really troubling formative years, REAL PEACE.      I cried as I read the difficult stories of these wonderful young people I'm telling you about...I had had no idea they'd had really difficult earlier years.  All I see today is the results of their faith, how much better their lives are.   Two of the testimonies I read had me wondering "Who could have written THIS one?" because they was so full of angst and horrible troubles and I know the sweet, lovely writers (once I was told who'd written each of them!) and those people are so fantastic, so good, so happily married, so Godly, I'd never ever have imagined they'd had such a difficult background!  And it was all turning to Jesus which changed these lives, having people come alongside them and helping them on their journey to God.

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God."   Romans 5 1:2

People have scoured every nook and cranny of the globe in search of peace.  But every new road eventually leads to the dead end of dissatsifaction.  The only true and lasting peace comes from Jesus Christ. (from Wisdom for Women)  ........Just ask my young friends and everyone around them.

I wish stories and results like this for you, your children, your "YES!" to put God  into YOUR platform!

What a better world we would have.........(by the way, I had no intention of this becoming a YOUNG LIFE promotion, but I've always heard such good things about it and it kind of wrote itself into this post "for some reason"  Maybe that reason is your child??? Pray on that!)  I also feel compelled to add here that I asked a 32 year old teacher/social worker recently if she saw much improvement in the lives of really troubled kids through therapy.  She said she had, but that the secular therapy didn't last long, that the Christian therapy and coming to God was the therapy she'd seen last and last.

Well, have a great Sunday.  This post took on a life of its own and 'wrote itself'.  It must be to touch  particularly one of you reading this who has a troubled young family member or friend in the hopes that you act on that.  Or is it you?  Please pray about it.

For all my readers, I wish His true and unwavering peace today and always.


Jack Whyte said...

It is true that respectable young people face staggering tribulation, and you often wonder about the worst of society —if they might have been decent were it not for having crap for parents, seedy neighborhood environments, or even brain damage from their mother’s use of debilitating drugs. We have always had “dregs” in society; barbarians who prefer living in filth and among brutish louts. How else can we explain the heathen of earlier times? What kind of person enjoys wreaking carnage on his own kind?

I also believe that for some people, adversity can build character. It is possible to overcome the circumstances of parental negligence and living in squalor. I know that children exposed to horrible parents can become wonderful, loving parents themselves —but like you, I also believe that this is not likely to happen without the miracle of Jesus Christ, whose sacrifices for us should be our daily celebration.

FreeThinke said...

Just as we need to feel hunger before we can enjoy the benefits of eating a good meal, we need to experience challenges -- even threats -- in order to find and develop strength of character within ourselves.

A world without pain and anxiety would be world incapable of experiencing joy and satisfaction.

Forcing us to face unwanted challenges against our will may very well be one of the ways God chooses to bring us closer to Him.

When everything is easy and comfortable, we often start to feel it's because "we" are especially deserving, and have created the situation we enjoy entirely on our own. We become smug, self-righteous and condescending -- all of which are qualities profoundly ungodly.

Young people need to learn for themselves not so much that "Sin is bad" so much as that Sin HURTS and DESTROYS. Sin brings us to DESPAIR.

Only the Love of God (Truth) is capable of lifting us out of such abysmal conditions.

Wasn't it Shakespeare who said, "Sweet are the uses of adversity?"

He was right, of course, but in order to make that work we must make the effort to give up blaming others -- LET GO of "bitterness, anger, wrath, evil-speaking, malice," cynicism and denial, and simply start being KIND to ONE ANOTHER, tender-hearted and forgiving -- even to those who continue to abuse us.

The honest, determined effort to express love and understanding has tremendous power to heal and uplift, but we must cultivate capacity for PATIENCE.

Thanks for this lovely post, Z. Even though ideas on theology may differ among various denominations and understanding varies greatly among individuals, we need always to support sincere efforts to practice our faith however imperfectly.

~ FreeThinke

sue hanes said...

Z - In the past I have often wondered - when hearing the stories of those committed to Christ - how they could maintain their faith under such circumstances. But they do. And it can only be done through true faith and sincere belief. And it's something that a person has to find out for himself.

You have a great Sunday too - Z.

Elmers Brother said...

My BIL was a missionary with Young Life in Bolivia and is now preparing to go to Cyprus.

85% of people who become Christians due so before the age of 18. THAT'S how important it is to reach young people.

Elmers Brother said...


Silverfiddle said...

Young people today face temptations those of us older than them never encountered.

I really think its harder for a teen to be a Christian today than it was when I was growing up.

mitch irons said...

It is true that only JESUS can change our lives, lucky are those youth who knew and accepted Him as their personal savior in their youth age. I believe that we are here to prove that we won't be under this worlds rule BUT be under Gods RULE.

Calvalry Oakville

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

Thanks for the beautiful post, Z.

When I read you words, "And it was all turning to Jesus which changed these lives" I thought that many people would not understand unless they just turned things over to Jesus. It is almost like the Nike slogan, "Just do it!"

It is amazing what can happen in your life when you turn to Jesus.

Z said...

thanks, Bob. I am not sure I'd ever QUITE realized this as fully as I did Friday morning as I read those testimonies. I was so touched and wish more people could have read them. I looked particularly at the two young women whose pieces I read , wondering "WHO WROTE THIS ONE?", completely stunned that they'd gone through what they had (with such hurt and betrayal from parents, wrong choices in their lives, coming to the bring of despondency) and come out so well I literally didn't recognize them in their pieces. I had NO idea. And I felt a fraud because my life, while it's become more difficult lately, didn't include parental divorce and rancor, or the death of a sibling, etc etc...

I may try to get them and publish one or two here.