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Youth Sermon: Where Is God When You Don’t Get What You Want?

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Here’s a free customizable youth sermon you can use with your group. This youth ministry sermon is part of a powerful campaign for the I Still Believe movie (released in March 2020).

I Still Believe, from the creators of faith-based I Can Only Imagine, is a love story for the ages. It’s the real-life account of chart-topping Christian musician Jeremy Camp. I Still Believe is a powerful reminder that amid all life’s storms, we can find true hope only in Christ.

Youth Sermon Introduction & Connection

How do you respond when you don’t get what you want? Actually, take that a step further. Think about a specific situation when you didn’t get what you wanted. (Ask some kids to share.)

It doesn’t feel good when you don’t get what you want, does it? Sometimes it’s not so bad. For example, maybe your family doesn’t go to the restaurant you want. Or you aren’t able to watch the movie you want. However, other times it’s really bad. It’s like, Lock yourself in the bedroom. Bring me all the ice cream and tissues and pizza. And NO I’m not coming out for dinner or breakfast or friends or Uncle Charlie or… I think you get the point.

Let me ask another question:

Youth Sermon Key Concept

Remember that later tonight (or tomorrow, etc.), we’ll be watching the movie I Still Believe.

But first, let’s look at a passage from the Gospel of John. It will help us deal with our question. Is God still good if he doesn’t give you what you want?

To begin, open your Bible to John 11. We’ll look at the story of Lazarus together…

Youth Ministry Sermon: Main Teaching/Body

 John 11:1-7

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

When Jesus receives word from Mary and Martha that Lazarus is sick, Jesus is about a day’s journey away. If you look at John 10:40, you’ll see that he was, “across the Jordan at the place where John had been baptizing in the early days.” Jesus wasn’t just out taking selfies and sampling the finest organic olive oils. He was ministering to people. John 10:42 says, “And in that place many believed in Jesus.” In the middle of this powerful time of ministry, the bad news arrives. His friend Lazarus is sick.

Why the Delay, Jesus?

Lazarus wasn’t just someone Jesus kind of knew or had met here or there. The note from Mary and Martha said, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” In fact, our passage adds, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” Jesus not only knew this family very well but had a special, intimate relationship with them. Think of someone who’s not necessarily a family member but is close to you like family. You love them. Now imagine you’ve just heard they’re very sick.

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Matthew Redder has served for 20+ years in both bi-vocational and full time local church leadership. In his current role with SermonCentral Matt helps equip pastors and churches from all around the world with engaging sermon content. Matt currently lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, kids, and their yellow Labrador. You can connect with Matt on Twitter.