Whether you are a young man or a young woman, God can use you for His glory. The Scriptures have different examples of young people God used to fulfil His purpose and plan.
As we read through the pages of Scripture we find a young man with the name of Joseph who was used by God to save his family from starvation even though he was sold into slavery by his brothers. There is the example of Daniel and his friends who refused to conform to the Gentile customs and idol worship. They were also captives in a foreign land under a foreign king and a false religious system. David was a teenager when he defeated Goliath. Samuel was a boy of 12 years old when God called him to become a prophet. Jeremiah the prophet, was in his youth when he was called by God to speak on His behalf. Scripture has enough examples for us to know for certain that God uses young people.
There is an example in the Old Testament of a young person whom God used, and this young person sets an example for us to follow. This young person is a young girl. Her name is not mentioned in the Bible. We read about her in 2 Kings 5:1–3: “Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favour, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valour, but he was a leper. 2 Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
She was in a land that was not her home. She was there against her will. She loved the people which God placed around her and she was willing to share what she knew about the Lord with them. When she learned that her master Naaman had leprosy, she willingly told him about God’s prophet; Elisha, and how God worked through this man. Naaman went to Elisha because he trusted what this young girl said. This young girl was trustworthy even though she was young and a slave.
We only know enough about this young girl to conclude that she loved the Lord and she loved the people of God. She loved the people she was called to serve. She was a slave, but she understood that God was in control of her life. She understood that God had a purpose for her life and she was fulfilling her purpose while being a slave in a foreign land living with people she did not even know. This little girl, is an example of someone who understood that circumstances did not control her life – she was in the hands of the God of Israel.
In the Western world there is unfortunately an attitude which is spreading like a cancer. It seems as if young people are embracing an attitude of entitlement. There are people who are struggling for certain rights. Some are fighting for freedom from modern “slavery” and there are people who oppose oppression by majority groups. Whatever the “struggle” is, there is one thing we can learn from this little girl. She had a Godly perspective on life.
She was a slave in a foreign land, she had no rights, she had no “hope” in this life, but she knew God and she knew what God was able to accomplish through her no matter what her circumstances were. She was a youngster of incredible character. She didn’t live for herself and her “rights”, no, her focus was away from herself. I believe this unnamed girl is an example for all who struggle with the injustices of this world. We can all learn from her how to look at life from a different perspective.
There is an example we see in Scripture of a young man whom God used. This time it is from the New Testament. This young man is Timothy and we read about his childhood in Paul’s second letter to him. In 2 Timothy 3:14 -15 we read: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Timothy learned the Scriptures of the Old Testament when he was a boy. There was a time as a young boy when the Word of God touched his heart. He believed what he was reading, and God was no longer only a God that he was reading about in the pages of Scripture; God became real to him. God was no longer a far-off God, God was near, real, alive, precious and personal. We read about Timothy’s childhood faith in 2 Timothy 1:5 “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
Unlike the youth of the old Testament who walked in obedience to God and their elders… Timothy had something else; Timothy had faith. He had faith that was given to him by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:8,9). As Timothy studied the Scriptures, while he was a young boy, the Holy Spirit gave him the gift of faith to enabled him to believe what he was reading. Timothy’s study of the Scriptures was used by the Holy Spirit to work saving faith in him. This saving faith was given as a gift to enable Timothy to believe in Christ Jesus alone unto salvation.
You see; when we come to faith in Christ we desire to be obedient to Christ in all things, so we can bring glory to His name. When we come to faith in Christ we start doing what God called us to do. When we come to faith in Christ it is natural for us to seek and desire to do the will of God. Timothy is a good example of a young boy who studied the Scriptures. God saved him, and we see how Timothy was used by God in the early church. Timothy was obedient because saving faith will always result in obeying God’s will. Each person, saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone, will have the desire to be obedient to the One who saved them.
The Bible has enough examples of young people who served God. Not one single young person who reads the Bible can say they do not have examples of young people who served the Lord.
May I ask you some questions: “Do you believe on Jesus Christ alone to save you? Do you believe that Jesus paid the penalty for your sin? Do you believe Jesus is the only way, the full truth and the only giver of eternal life?”
If you answered yes to these questions, then I would like to ask you one more question: “Are you willing to be used by God as He used young people throughout history?”
I pray that you will not have an excuse like Jeremiah, but rather that you will become like him after the Lord touched his lips. I pray that you will be like Samuel who acted in immediate obedience. I pray that you will be like the young girl who shared what she knew about God with others. I also pray that you will be like Timothy who study the Scriptures and by the grace of God received the gift of faith and went out and obeyed Christ even though he was young.
The title of this essay is: “Does God use young people?” – I believe the answer is as clear as daylight. Yes! Yes! Yes! May God use you as He used so many other young people throughout history.
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