'Passion 2019' Taught Me There Is Hope For My Generation Yet

'Passion 2019' Taught Me There Is Hope For My Generation Yet

In a hopeless world, thousands of college students have committed to embodying the light of the gospel.

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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.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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If You Want Proof That God Exists, Just Look Around You At The World He Created

None of it is an accident.

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It has always baffled me that people can truly believe the world was created by accident. It's like saying that Leonardo Di Vinci closed his eyes, tipped over a few cans of paint, and miraculously created the Mona Lisa. Nothing that beautiful is an accident. I believe that the truest and rawest testimony to Christianity is the universe itself. A proclamation of its creator.

When I need to be reminded how great our God is, I simply just look around me.

Romans 1:20 says, "For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God."

The Bible is telling us here that everything has a purpose. The world is not this beautiful by accident. Every purple sunset was intricately designed. Each rise and fall of the tide was crafted by the creator.

Look around you.

The Northern lights are not simply a coincidence. It is no accident that people's hands are gifted with such divine talents to create wonders like the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal. There is a reason that your favorite song has such transcendent and heavenly beauty, as it escaped from the lungs that God created and gifted with talent. It is all of him; it is all from and for him.

He doesn't make mistakes.

There is a reason that we yearn for these beautiful things. That we long to glimpse sunsets and travel the world and hear beautiful music and see beautiful people. It is because we are heavenly creations, and seeing these marks of God's wonder bring us closer to him and remind of our true and divine pace in his kingdom. These beautiful things are little marks of God's divinity, and they remind us where we belong.

They are the reason our hearts constantly ache for something more.

And you are a mark of his beauty as well. The fact that of the billions of trillions of atoms that make up the matter that make up the universe were brought together in an intricate and perfect enough way to create a unique human being who could never be copied are replicated. You are a miracle. And your very body and soul are living proof that God exists. Nothing is an accident. Nothing.

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