The world can sometimes appear to be a dark place, especially for the modern college student. There are loans that keep piling up. There are assignments that never seem to end. There are careers that seem to have no potential. There are constant arguments about world issues we will never agree on. And there is little attention given to the One who gave us this world in the first place.
It can be depressing as one fails to see how these struggles will ever play out. Thankfully, this past week at the 2019 Passion Conference, God reminded me (and thousands of others) of the hope we have in a future with Him. More importantly, He called us to step up and work towards a better tomorrow.
Passion - Bigger Than I Thought (Lyric Video/Live) ft. Sean Curran www.youtube.com
As I stood in an arena of 20,000 students (with 20,000 others in other venues around the southeast and even more connected through online streaming,) it was quickly put into perspective how surrounded I am by faithful followers of God. Although I may have at times felt as if I am alone in my pursuit of fully understanding my Savior, I knew this was not true. And after "Passion 2019," I now know this is far from true. There are others just like me who wish to worship, learn, and live with as much passion (pun intended) for the Lord as possible.
So why did we all sacrifice these last few days of our semester breaks? We did it because God loves us through all the imperfections, selfish acts, and every mistake we will ever make. He deserves this time and so much more. We are so often made to feel unwanted or unloved through situations out of our control, but our Heavenly Father wants us more than we could ever fully comprehend. He will never let us down or leave us, and never fails to follow us through the rocky journeys we take on our ways from the hills to the valleys and back again. Can you now see why this massive group of Christian college students is so eager to praise Him? We are far from ignorant of the great things God has done and continues to do for us.
"Before God can send you anywhere you need to know that God sees you right where you are."
- Louie Giglio
Even when we fail God time after time again (sometimes within less than an hour,) He still wants a relationship with us. When we make mistakes, He wants us to talk to Him about them and give Him control in bettering the situation. God already knows everything, so there is no point in hiding our downfalls from Him. It is in these vulnerable moments when God's presence can strengthen us most. As stated in Luke 5:31, Jesus did not come to hang out with the perfect; he came to heal the sinners who needed a helping hand. We will mess up, and it may be bad, but God wants to help you. He wants you to run to Him for safety.
"We spend so much energy trying to hide the very place that grace wants to break through."
- Matt Chandler
I am an imperfect being who can do absolutely nothing compared to the great things God has already done. How am I going to help? I have no clue, but those before me did not either. The great men and women of the Bible did not have a detailed timeline of how their lives would pan out; they had sheer faith and trust in a God who keeps His promises. We will all be surprised by what incredible things God does in and through us, but He won't be. After all, He is God. There is no to-do list we can follow to ensure we are fulfilling our calling. All we can do is trust in Him and set our sights on achieving the Lord's plan, standing out as a light of the gospel in a darkening world.
"If we stop trying to amaze each other and start trying to amaze God, God would do amazing things in and through our lives."
- Christine Caine
As amazing as the conference was, it is now over, and the college students in attendance are currently packing their bags for the start of a new semester. Sure, the speakers were great and the worship was powerful, but how does it affect us now that we are back on campus?
Friends, the journey is just beginning. Our spiritual armor is freshly polished and we are ready for battle. Good thing, because where we are going, we need all the help we can get. College campuses can bring out the best and worst in us. We face loneliness, frustration, doubt, and so much more. Our faith is shaken and we have trouble standing strong. Your faith may shake, but with a firm foundation, it will never break. So ask your questions, have your doubts, and address your concerns with God. He wants you to talk to Him.
"The God of Heaven does not despise your investigation because He knows at the bottom of your questions He is God."
- Louie Giglio
God is not threatened by your curiosity, but He wants you to find answers in Him alone, something I feel many (even those outside of a college campus) struggle with.
So, say what you want.
"There is no hope for kids your age."
"Your generation doesn't know God."
"Things will only get worse with time."
Maybe we are hopeless and incapable of shining our light into the dark world. But one thing is for sure: my generation is stepping up, and if we go down, it will not be without a fight.