You might look at these 50 Native American and First Nations young people from 30 different tribes and you may not see anything miraculous until you hear their stories. Like the young man who buried 14 friends and loved ones and got lost in a haze of drugs and suicidal thinking. The young woman raped by a trusted loved one and sexually abused by others. The young woman who felt reduced to nothing by a father who said, “You’re a worthless mistake.” She was crushed by her mother’s suicide, and her father offered her a rope and said, “Why don’t you just go out and do what your mother did.”
But it’s a bus full of these very kinds of young people who I’ve seen God use to do what virtually no one has been able to do; to bring hundreds of Native young people to choose Jesus Christ. And over the years I’ve seen them lead thousands to Christ and probably make missions history. When they pour out their stories, virtually everybody listens. And these are young people who, for the most part, listen to no one. But they’ll listen to these young men and women.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Turning Hopeless to Hope.”
See, these weren’t hopeless stories. We call them Hope Stories! Because of a Savior named Jesus, who has done what He promised He would do for broken people. It’s in our word for today from the Word of God in Isaiah 61:1-3, and it may have your name on it today. He tells us, “(I will) bind up the brokenhearted, comfort all those who mourn, provide for those who grieve, bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”
So, that “worthless” girl, who was told by a hateful father, “you need a man to take care of you.” Well, I’ve heard her proclaim, “My Dad was right. I do need a man to take care of me, and I found one. His name is Jesus Christ, and He loved me enough to die for me.” And it is her pain that gives her credentials – or the “crud-entials,” I call it, to be an unarguable proof of the power of a living Jesus.
But that’s not unique to devastated but rescued Native young people. Why, it’s the experience of any broken person who brings the whole stinking mess of their life; all the pieces, the sinning they’ve done, all the sinning done against them and lays it all at the feet of Jesus.
Because the Bible says that “He was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering, pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:3, 5). Oh, He knows grief!
He knows pain! He knows the price of sin on a level no human has ever experienced. And because of that, He has for 2,000 years invited hurting, broken sinners like me, and maybe like you, to find in Him the healing, the forgiveness, the love, and the heaven that only He can give.
And often it is our brokenness and it is our pain that makes us realize that no one on earth can fix us. And it causes us for the first time in our life, to reach out for a nail-pierced hand that belongs to Jesus, His arms open wide to receive you into His love this very day.
I would encourage you where you are now to bring all the pieces, all the sin, all the pain, all the brokenness and lay it at His feet. And grab Him with both hands and say, “Jesus, I’m Yours, because nobody loves me like You do.” I’d love to help you know for sure that you’ve begun your relationship with Him. I’ve tried to do that at our website, and I’d encourage you to check it out today. It’s ANewStory.com. Maybe it’s where your new story will begin.
See, it’s Jesus and Jesus alone who can make the worst things that ever happened to you a door to hope for a lot of other broken people. I know. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.