Summary: Message to High School Youth
Hope In the Lord
Psalm 146:5 “Happy are the youth whose hope is in the Lord.”
Hope is faith is action. Hope is what gets you through the night when darkness closes in on you. Hope is the belief that you are not permanently in the dark and boxed in with no way out.
As you graduate and go to the next chapter in your life, I encourage you to hope in the Lord. God has a plan for your life. His plan is to give you hope. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” ‘declares the Lord,’ “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Surrendering to God’s will gives you hope.
You might ask, “How can I know God’s will?” “I have to know His will before I can surrender to it.” God reveals His will to you as you walk with Him in obedience day by day. God does not reveal His will for most people with a giant rainbow flash in the sky with letters in rainbow letters. For most people God reveals His will step by step.
The key to finding God’s will is to surrender your life to serve the Lord. Your tomorrows are wrapped up in complete surrender to the Lord. James 4:13-15, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’”
Sometimes God guides us in ways that at first we’re not too happy about. During my High School years and first two years of college I had a great interest in Chemistry. My goal was to become a Chemistry teacher or research chemist. During the summer between my first and second year of college I began to sense God’s call to full time Christian Service as a minister or missionary. But all during that second year of college I kept putting the call to the back of my mind. I thought of all kinds of reasons why I shouldn’t become a minister of the Gospel.
Finally during that following summer I surrendered to God’s will. I was driving a “Gleaner” Combine cutting wheat. As we traveled cutting wheat in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming and Montana God kept reminding me of His call in a Scripture passage where Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2
I came to the decision that I would rather be in the center of God’s will than to risk doing anything else and being out of God’s will.
I encourage you to surrender to God’s will. Give your future to God. Live one day at a time and daily surrender your life to the Lord. Your have this promise: Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.”
If you are in the will of God, then nothing else matters. If you are in the will of God, then whatever else happens to you does matter to God. And God is your refuge and strength.
God will never direct you into any kind of work that is contrary to the Word of God. Determine to be a student of God’s Word the rest of your life. 2 Timothy 2:15, “Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”
A few years ago a survey was made of Americans and their beliefs about the Bible.
82% of the Americans surveyed believe that the Bible teaches: “God helps those who help themselves.” That saying does not appear any place in the Bible.
38% believe that it doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
44% believe that al people will experience the same outcome after death, regardless of their religious belief and lifestyle. The Apostle John wrote: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I John 5:11-13