Youth in Crisis
61% of aged out foster youth are homeless.
50% of aged out foster youth end up homeless or incarcerated
75% of young women in foster care are pregnant by age 21, compared to 33% in the general population
Acts 16:9-10 (KJV) – 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
Crisis requires a compelling response, both led and powered by The Holy Spirit.
Pray and obey… The harvest is plenteous, but labors are few.
Matthew 9:35-38 (ESV) – 35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Jesus recognized he needed more people to help those in crisis.
Nehemiah, the biblical pattern to address communities in crisis.
Nehemiah 1:3-4 (ESV) – 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” 4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
God’s call to action begins with fasting and praying for clarity.
Nehemiah 1:5-6 (ESV) – 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.
If you don’t identify with people in crisis, your heart is not in a place God can use yet.
Nehemiah 1:11 (ESV) – 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Now I was cupbearer to the king.
Once you are aware of the crisis, doing nothing is not an option.
God is already at work in you. To deny the fire of God’s passion in you, is to deny God from doing good among the oppressed!
Philippians 2:13 (ESV) – 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
What is God working on inside you?
God is building His desires and passion in you to address a crisis.
Ask yourself: What am I passionate about? What breaks my heart or gets me angry?
Like Jesus, we are anointed to do good to those oppressed and in crisis.
Acts 10:38 (ESV) – 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Matthew 5:14-16 ESV) – 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Our light only shines when we do good works.
So, stop running from dark places.
You don’t have to try to be something, when you’re already it!
Just do good in dark places and God will show up.
Receive Jesus, the light of the world.
Receive The Holy Spirit, the power behind our light.
Seek God this week for clarity of your passion.
© Bishop Ed Smith, 2022