I am not a Word of Life guy, per se, but I have very good friends within that organization and I grew up with some involvement in WOL clubs, WOL youth events (remember “Operation: Nightmare”?), and even had the distinct opportunity to hear the WOL founder, Jack Wyrtzen preach on several occasions. In my mind, Jack Wyrtzen is one of the legends of youth ministry. Without a doubt, he’s a member of our “hall of fame.” I often tell youth ministry students the accounts from the 1940’s of how Jack filled Yankee Stadium and other venues for what could be considered as the first youth rallies. I’m a fan of Word of Life for their commitment to the Scriptures, for their desire to reach a new generation with the Gospel, and for the development and training of youth workers all around this globe.
Mike and Ric have written and produced an incredible new tool entitled, “Where was God when…?” It’s an 8-part study on the attributes of God and how that truth shapes our understanding of tragedy. This book and DVD answers the hard questions this generation is asking by taking them back to the nature and character of God Himself. I highly recommend this resource to anyone who works with today’s youth. (http://www.wherewasgod.wol.org.)
For their “blog tour” they asked some of their youth ministry friends and bloggers to write a brief and Biblical response to one of the student’s questions from the book. I’m glad to do it!
"Marcus, that’s rough that your Dad left you when you were five. I feel badly about what you’ve gone through and the difficult situation facing your family.
Circumstances like this must drive us to the Word of God. God is our Heavenly Father and will never, never leave us. Take a look at Hebrews 13:5 “…For He Himself had said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” The author of Hebrews is actually quoting God’s own words to Joshua following the death of his mentor and leader, Moses. Moses was not Joshua’s father, yet their relationship was real and very significant. I’m sure Joshua felt loss and abandonment at the death of this close, older friend. The truth of God’s statement resonated deep within Joshua’s own heart. Humanly speaking, people might leave and even disappoint us, but God never will. No matter what Joshua would go through, God would be there. And Marcus, no matter what you go through, God will be with you as well.
Our Heavenly Father is absolutely dependable and faithful. His Word is very, very clear about that. For instance, take a look at 1 Cor. 1:9 “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I want to share with you one of the Psalms that has come to mean a great deal to me. Take a few moments to read Psalm 18:1 – 19. This passage is actually a song of praise that David sang to God after facing one of the most difficult circumstances in his life. You can read about what he went through by reading the story in 2 Sam. 21:15 – 22. Then keep reading. This same song is also published for us in the very next chapter.
Now go back to Psalm 18. When we cry out to God and call to Him for help, He always hears us and will release all of the resources of heaven to help His children. I especially love the last phrase in the last verse in Psalm 18:1 – 19, “He delivered me because He delighted in me.” Marcus, please understand that the word “delighted” here has nothing at all to do with anything we could ever do to merit or deserve this response from God. He doesn’t help us because we deserve it. He releases the very resources of heaven because He wants to. God is your Heavenly Father, Marcus. He will never leave you and He’ll help you and see you through life’s most difficult circumstances because He loves you and is your Heavenly Father!"
You can order this amazing resource at: http://www.wherewasgod.wol.org.