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In His Hands

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Thankyou for joining me here on stage, and I want to present to you a couple of familiar texts. These texts will serve as the context of our discussion on fear and Anxiety as young adults.
Lets read read a couple familiar passages that can inform our discussion this morning.
Jeremiah 29:11–12 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Before we dig into these verses, I don’t want to presume knowledge on yours or the congregation as to who these verses were addressing. Obviously we can claim these promises in our own lives.
However at the time of Jeremiah’s writing of this chapter. He was writing to God’s people during a time where he was pleading King Jehoiakim and other kings of his day to repent become or remain faithful to the God of Heaven. His pleas are a warning and reminder to the people of God’s steadfast mercy throughout the generations before and where their unfaithfulness had led them prior. There is a signal of a coming captivity if things continued as they were.
regardless, found in this warning, is the promise God had not and would not abandon them, no matter what was to come.
Jeremiah would write about God’s people before and during the fall of Judah to Babylon in 586 BC
Similarly,
The book of Isaiah gives similar warnings and reminders of Jeremiah. It’s first 39 chapters appear to precede Jeremiah’s day, but chapters 40-66 address the period of exile of God’s people after Judah fell to Babylon. This amount of time covered highly suggests multiple authors of prophetic work in the book of Isaiah. Regardless, the verse we just read, verse 10 of Isaiah 41 is speaking to a people in Exile in a largely prophetic and poetic language.
This beginning time of exile are the days Daniel, and Shadrach, meshac, and Abednego lived through.
So basically these verses are speaking in a context of danger coming, and in the midst of a current trauma.
I don’t know how you guys feel but when I read of the traumas and difficulties you read God’s people went through in the Old Testament, but it sometimes gives me a little perspective in some of the challenges we have today…that said. We’ve grown up in and are currently living in times where traumatic events continue to happen and often.
I think most of us were kids during the 9/11. I was not quite 11 years old.... yes that fact is going to make some of you watching feel a little older. Since that time, we’ve seen wars and rumors of wars, we’ve seen the destruction of Hurricanes and natural disasters get worse and worse. We’ve seen the markets fluctuate somewhat dramatically, with a staggering rise of inflation, not to mention gas prices, and student loans. We’ve been the Guieni pigs of the effect social media has had on society, both positive and negative. We’ve watched civil and racial injustice play out and attempts at social reform....not to mention, we’ve been experiencing a new normal as it relates to effects of the COVID 19.
I was listening to music on spotify the other day and when it was time for commercials, all four were advertising “relief” of some sorts. If you need debt relief call here? Call and ask about tuition free college, Call and ask about our new anxiety medication.
God tells us, in Isaiah “Fear not, for I am with you”
My first question for this panel is,
what do you think causes the typical young adult (young adults age 18-35) to fear or have anxiety? examples: Financial worries, managing expectations of others, issues in society etc.
How can fear affect our faith or trust in God, when we are witnessing or experiencing traumatic events such as some of those which we mentioned? ex: we might be tempted to believe we are alone in our trials and that God has abandoned us.
Aside from traumatic events and hardships, what are some examples of things that can distract Christian young adults from maintaining their faith in God? example: when things are going well, we can neglect turning to God at all. Or we may be desensitized to whats going on in the world because it happens so frequently.
Jeremiah tells his people before a coming dark age of captivity, that God has plans for their future and one to prosper them. He also says when we call upon Him He hears us. When we experience trouble, why do we doubt his presence? ex: we haven’t been feeling his presence in our lives
I would imagine most of us haven’t gotten answers to our prayers atleast not immediately? How do trust He’s out there working on our behalf?
Sharac, Mishac, Abednego Daniel 4
It’s fairly natural for us to have mountains and valleys as it relates to our personal faith, as a young adult, what has helped impact your faith most positively? example: scripture, podcasts, mentors, professional help etc.
What advice would you have to Young adults, youth, and even your elders about how to keep your faith strong in the times we are living in?
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