Wednesday's Word: PROMISE, Gen X, Gen Z, Hope for the Future, Hope for the Next Generation

Wednesday's Word: PROMISE

“I don’t know about this younger generation,” the woman complained as she shook her head, disappointment, discouragement, and disconnection painted on her face.

Her statement was unfortunately not one I was hearing for the first time. After thirty years in youth ministry, her words seemed to be the sentiment shared by many, not only when referring to our youth, but in young adults, as well.

“They aren’t in church.” 

“They are always on their phones.”

“They don’t know how to work hard.”

“They don’t have a moral compass.”

Again, “I don’t know about this younger generation.”

Ma’am, would you please allow me to share something with you…I do know about this younger generation. And I’d be happy to lift your spirits by sharing a few things about my experience with them. Because what I see, is a generation full of PROMISE. 

I had arrived home from work with my husband, and we sat down with our cups of tea and coffee, as we waited to be “invaded”. My mind quickly raced across the checklist I had created in my head. Fridge…full of food. Snacks…in the cabinet. Beds…made for those who would stay the night. Table…extra leaves added. Pond…waiting for the swimmers. Fire pit…read for bonfire to be made. 

And we waited.

Soon, a car made its way into the driveway. Followed by another. And another. In a matter of minutes, about thirty young people, twenty-somethings, gathered in our yard, making their way into our home. My heart swelled; I knew God had brought them here, not just for them to experience an evening together, but also, as a reminder for my husband and I of the PROMISE the future holds.

This group had just finished a week of counseling at a local Christian camp. They were exhausted, functioning on only a few hours of sleep each night this week, and pouring everything they had into the jr and sr high students appointed to them. And yet they were also energized. Energized because of the PROMISES God showed them throughout the week.

They arrived at our home to enjoy a few last hours together before they headed back to their “normal lives”. Saying good-bye to such a powerful week is a challenge, and this group was holding onto the week and putting off the good-byes for as long as possible. 

Here’s what I noticed in the hours following their arrival:

They love Jesus fiercely.

They took a week of vacation time to volunteer at camp. 

They have a heart to share Jesus with those around them.

They are open to learning from other generations, as well as from one another.

They pray with confidence and boldness.

They see miracles happen because of their prayers.

They offer and dive in to help where needed.

They praise God and worship passionately.

They hold each other accountable.

My list could go on and on, but instead, I want to share a couple specific examples of what we experienced while they were in our home.

As we sat around the bonfire, they shared about miracles that happened at camp, physical and spiritual. They spoke of these things with amazement and excitement. And more importantly, with expectation. They actually expected and anticipated answers to their prayers. That shows me PROMISE for our future.

When conversation continued and someone shared a need, a fear, anxiety, the conversation turned to prayer. Soon the anxious were surrounded by their peers, as hands laid on them, and prayers ensued, sounding like a chorus of angels falling at the feet of Jesus. Again, fully expecting an answer, holding onto PROMISE.

After my husband and I went to bed, they could be heard praising God and worshiping. And as they awoke the next morning, they made their way to the kitchen, stomachs hungry for the food we were serving, but spirits starving for more. For more of what our Heavenly Father was dishing up. For three hours, we sat, prayed, listened, discussed…life-changing conversations. Topics that will have an impact on our futures. The type of conversations that hold PROMISE for the future.

By the time the last couple young adults left our home, I was exhausted…and also energized. My husband and I, as well as my parents who live next door, knew we had been given a gift through the presence of this group. We were filled with PROMISE. With hope. With great anticipation of our future generation. 

As we move forward, I have hopes and prayers for us, the “older generation”. Those of us who have seen the years of our twenties and thirties pass by. 

My hope and prayer is that we do not discount this “younger generation”. Let us not mistake their need and desire for a different type of worship, as a lack of Christian commitment. Their needs and desires for worship may be different, but they are far from disconnected. They yearn for more. They seek authentic. They seek answers. They seek faith in action. They seek change. They seek to “get out of the pews” and “get into the mud and mire” of people’s lives. They seek Jesus. That mindset holds PROMISE.

My hope and prayer is that we remember they are living in a world much different than the one in which we lived. I’m not here to argue the “but our generation lived through_____fill in the blank.” I am here to ask; can we agree that they are navigating a variety of daily issues that we did not need to navigate? The world is different, and failing to acknowledge that fact, is to ignore the challenges this generation faces. From my point of view, they are doing a heck of a job at making their way through this ever-changing landscape we call life. 

My hope and prayer is that we would join with them, encouraging them, as they move forward. Let us change our posture from shaking our heads in disappointment to a posture of prayer, asking God not only how we may help them develop to their full potential, but also asking Him what we may learn from them. If we open our hearts and minds, they have much to teach us. They are truly a passionate generation, who hold great PROMISE for the future. And I for one, am excited to see how God continues to use them. 

Press on mighty warriors. This is your time. I praise God that I have a window seat to your lives. I love you deeply and pray God’s protection and direction over each of you. As you make your way in the world, I pray you hold tightly to these words from I Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Written by Misty Cramer ©2022 Misty Cramer is an author and speaker, who, with her husband Todd of 38 years, has had the honor of raising five sons ranging in age from 22 to 37. Todd and Misty have been serving in youth ministry for over thirty years, and are thankful each day for the many lessons they continue to learn from their own “children”, as well as the many “children” who have ministered to them over the years.  

If you would like to receive “Wednesday’s Word”, as well as other encouragement, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

#wednesdaysword #imagine320 #laughter #joy #laugh #happy #happiness #truth #encouragement #family #memories #sisters #bible #scripture  #devo #devotions #wonder #awe #inspiration #awestruck #god #psalm #challenges #difficulties #psalms #psalm #hardship #pain #endurance #jesus   #yestogod #appreciation #thanks #thankful #appreciate #gratitude #rest #relax #grandparents #gen z #gen x #generations #hopeforthenextgeneration #hopeforthefuture 


Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Go to top