It is easy to look around at our world today and say “What a mess! Has there ever been a time more evil than this? Where is God in this world?”
As a young person, I hear these thoughts in the comments of many older people who, I know, are worn out from the fight. They have withstood trials of their own, they have seen their fair share of injustice and they worry about the world that their children and grandchildren will be left to deal with when they’re gone. Like every generation, they compare ours to theirs and “things just aren’t like they used to be”.
I understand a mourning for the good that people don’t enjoy anymore. But we must not – whether we are young or old – let this get us down. These comments and lamentations come from a place of legitimate concern but we must be careful they don’t drive us into a state of fear or despair. It can have a profoundly detrimental impact on those of us who are young and know it’s all ahead of us. Christ doesn’t ask us to go where He hasn’t already gone before us. Like every hero in our favourite fairytales, standing up for the truth puts a target on our back and demands sacrifice.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”. (Matthew 5: 11)
We are God’s children and there is plenty to be grateful for. I say this with all the passion and hopeful youth of a 22-year-old. But I don’t say it with ignorance of the evil in this world.
The reason I call out these comments is because… this is nothing new. Every generation has faced their stuggles. This is Earth, not Utopia. This is a Creation that was made good by God, run by a race that fallen and we are soldiers in a spiritual warfare.
This is nothing new.
If you are older, you have the wisdom that comes from fighting the good fight and you are needed to share your own hope for the next generation, not unproductive criticism.
If you are young – we have a lot before us. But we must embrace the passion and excitement and eagerness that comes as a blessing from our youth. If you can’t recall a time in the last week where you did something in an effort to create God’s kingdom on earth, now is the time to resolve that you will.
If the 22-year-olds in this world aren’t prepared to step up to the challenge, who will? Our time is now.
Let’s educate ourselves where knowledge gaps remain. Let’s say yes to the opportunities to get out of our comfort zones and sow seeds in others. Let’s use whatever skills and talents we have for the greater good. Let’s be accountable for our downfalls and resolve to be better.
I say this as word of encouragement because I think we need it. Because there is a lot of evil showing its ugly face out there but there are a lot of victories worth celebrating. Even God doesn’t make us wait til we are tired and worn out to experience His goodness. He blesses us all the way along. We are heroes and heroines of our own story and God is our Father, our source of strength, our true love, our reason to keep going when we are backed into a corner.
When God is for us, who can be against us?