An Abandoned Generation

I recently visited my older brother in Portland, OR, and he gave me a copy of the live CD recorded at the Generation Unleashed 2010 conference. One day, after returning to my home in Kansas City, I played the CD before work and listened to the song “Holding On”, by Bryan Bettis. The chorus says:

Holding on
Standing strong upon Your word
Holding on
All your promises are true

I had heard the song before, but something about it struck my heart powerfully that morning. As it played, my heart burned with the desire to hold on to the Lord regardless of what happens in life, to believe he is good no matter what, and I said to him, “I will trust your goodness.”

But then I thought, do I? Do I really trust his goodness? Do I really trust, really believe, that God is good, that he cares for me, and is watching over me and every area of my life?

Do we really trust the goodness of God? We say we do, we say that we surrender our lives and everything within them to the Lord, but do we really? When push comes to shove, on what do we rely? I know for me, I usually take things back.

I surrender my finances to him, but then when rent is due in two days, I stress out and yell my roommates and almost kill myself trying to work overtime to make up the lack.

Is that really trusting him?

I surrender my future wife to him, but when a girl I think I maybe like starts to like someone else, I forget about how I just gave it all into God’s hands and jerk it back into mine and start thinking about how I can I win her back and how if I mess this up I’ll never get married.

Is that really trusting him?

I say I believe that he is wise and good, but when my father dies and leaves my little brothers without someone to teach them how to be men, my mom widowed and alone, my niece and nephew without a grandpa, and my sister without someone to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, I give up and leave the church and resolve to rely only on myself from now on.

Is that really trusting him?

There is a stubbornness that the western Church lacks. There is a spiritual resoluteness that our microwave, things-as-easy-as-possible generation is missing. We lack an uncompromising, unbending, unwavering, steadfast, dogged belief in the goodness of God, and because of this we only partially surrender our lives into his hands.

Really trusting in his goodness means surrendering my reliance on my own strength and letting him take care of it all. Really trusting in his goodness means saying he can lead me to my wife and then actually letting him—even when it looks like it won’t be who I think it will be. Really trusting his goodness means still believing he is good even when my dad dies forty years before I thought he would.

Really trusting him means holding on in the fiercest of gales. Really trusting him means standing on the promises he said in the Bible and refusing to budge.

It’s a ruthless trust, a trust that clings to God, that even at the most extreme—if I die—I will not let go. I will not stop believing that he is good, that he is merciful, that he loves me with all of his heart. “Though you slay me, yet will I trust you.”

As I sang along with the CD that morning, I thought of all the things I have gone through in life, all of the mysteries and things I don’t understand, the things that really, really hurt, and I said, “Jesus, I will still trust you. Satan wants me to quit and say you hate me, but I refuse. I set my heart to love you, to cling to you. And I’ll even go further—I’ll give my life into your hands and not take it back. It’s yours, 100%, no strings attached. Even if things look like they’re getting out of hand, I won’t take back the steering wheel.”

The world needs a generation who violently, unreservedly flings itself into the arms of God. The world needs a generation who tenaciously and resolutely holds on to God and stands on his promises no matter what the circumstances look like.

The world needs a generation that refuses to let go. The world needs a generation that holds on no matter the cost, no matter the ridicule, no matter the situation.

The world needs an abandoned generation.

Haiti is in shambles. A friend recently visited there, and the Haitians are still living in tents. They are still digging through the rubble and finding the dead. The president’s palace is collapsed. Haiti is now designated a 5th world country, one of only two in the world.

And yet the people with whom he talked refused to blame God. “If we blame God,” they said, “we will have no hope.”

Hold on. Don’t let go. Stand your ground.


Purchase Holding On

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2 thoughts on “An Abandoned Generation

  1. Lori

    Wow, Jesse, powerful post. This is just what I needed to read today. I don’t think I could count how many times I say “I trust you Lord!” and then as soon as something “difficult” arises I try to take it all into my own hands and figure it out myself. Never works, and I end up coming back to God more of a mess than I was before, lol. Thank you for this reminder…

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