Radicalis had its first monthly meeting on Thursday! Hundreds of 18-25 year olds from the SoCal area came to check out the first meeting, and I have no doubt that number will grow in the months to come.
Pastor Rick Warren started off the monthlies in the book of James, where he will be teaching from at all of the monthly events. In his very father-like fashion, he sat in a big chair while he gave his message, which always, for Radicalis, leads back to being part of a movement that will make changes in this world. Such a big message, but felt so personal.
If there is one thing that I will remember from Rick’s message it will be that God builds our character in two ways – the Word of God, which is the easy way; and the circumstances in life, which is the hard way. There is no choice in the matter about God using the hard way. Life happens, and problems are unavoidable. It’s our reaction to these problems that makes the difference.
Life has brought its fair share of problems for me. For the better part of two years my life has consisted of trying to work full time so I can support myself while also trying to finish school and start my “real life.” There are times I just want to lay down and not do anything for a whole day because I am too stressed to even think. There are times when I ask God, why? Why did He put me in this position - working full time and going to school? How could He possibly love me watch me go through this pain?
Rick’s message answered a lot of my questions. For whatever future reason, God wants to use this season of my life to build my character. I may not see the benefit now, but this waiting period to start what I view my “real life” will be an integral part of God shaping me to become who I need to be for the future. In the meantime, my focus should be to make the most of whatever situation God has me in now to do His will.
There are times when I want to give up. But through all the suffering of this life, God has a bigger plan that I cannot see yet. Pastor Rick shared that he went through a year of depression early in his years of ministry, that he now looks back on as a time that really shaped him. Now, he is one of the most influential people in the entire world.
Radicalis is a movement of 18-25 year olds that want to change the world. Many college students, including myself, want to get started now changing the world, but feel we are caught up in work, school, or whatever else that may be seemingly in the way. However, God has big plans for all of us even now, because His timing is perfect.
Pastor Brad Baker followed Pastor Rick’s message with a challenge to start changing the world now by influencing one person at a time. Say hello to someone unexpected at school, buy coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks, serve in ministries at your local church that are already reaching the the least and the lost. No matter what your circumstances and season in life, God wants to use you. Tests and trials of life will lead us to the big plans He has for us, the plans that will change the world. In all these trials, be joyful, because you know God is shaping you do big things. James 1:2-3
Johnny is a student at Cal State Fullerton who enjoys meeting friends for coffee, pretending to be a film critic and spending time with his amazing girlfriend. -firstname.lastname@example.org