The God of Breakthrough

Posted on by Tacoma YFC

YFC Camp has a tagline – “Where Everything Changes”

In all honesty, I used to think it was a cheesy slogan. But after a half decade of spending time with young people in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, something changed in me and I needed that slogan. My wide-eyed idealism faded and was replaced by, sad to say… unbelief, cynicism, even anger. Stories that once shook me to the core – stories of young people abandoned, of teens rejected by their family, of crushing injustice – now resulted in a shrug of the shoulders.

“That’s kinda just the way it is…”

Without fully realizing it at the time, I had changed, and not for the better. Something was colder, harder, more unbelieving, and less hopeful. I was not a stranger to youth ministry. I knew it was hard. But something about working with kids in tough communities was different, and it was hard for me to put my finger on.

The timing of breakthroughs and victories is less predictable, more hard fought, and more extreme. It required a far greater grit and perseverance that I had known before then. It was like the entire world was shouting in my ear… “THERE IS NO HOPE FOR THESE KIDS. IT’S TOO HARD. GIVE UP.”

And with no simple solutions or easy victories on the horizon, it was easy to let that voice, the voice of despair, to slowly invade my heart.

I needed a breakthrough. But more importantly, the young people on the Hilltop that God loved, the ones who everyone else had already given up on, they needed a breakthrough.

I like to imagine that King David was familiar with this sentiment. After decades of conflict with the Philistines, there were few victories to look back upon. A constant harassment, the Philistines had oppressed God’s people for generations, and their reach was ever growing to subjugate Israel.

And in one moment, one battle, a single day…. There’s a breakthrough.

So David came to Baal-perazim, and defeated them there; and he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters.” Therefore he named that place Baal-perazim (which means The LORD of Breakthrough). - 2 Samuel 5:20

In revealing a new name for himself, The LORD of Breakthrough, God revealed something to David about His nature. God is a being of sudden breakthrough - A God of quick victory, A God who wins the day when all seems lost. And in our darkest hours, when we have nothing left to offer, when we are convinced of impending failure, HE is the answer and the breakthrough we need.

My moment to meet the God of Sudden Breakthrough occurred at YFC Camp – Where Everything Changes. In a moment. In an afternoon. In the middle of Nowhere, OR. It all changes.

Kids who were once hard and cynical, with innumerable barriers to receiving love or being honest about their hearts, are at once laid bare before God’s unchanging love.

At YFC Camp I’ve seen:

  • Hundreds of young people shout “Yes” to the sky as they respond to a message of good news.
  • Some of the hardest most guarded and distant young men I’ve ever met, open their hearts and weep as they share about the stories of their lives.
  • Young women who’ve been abused and mistreated their entire life, crying in an impromptu worship session.
  • Kids who were once recruited into gangs, now serving meals and washing dishes to serve others.
  • And leaders like myself, prideful and self-reliant, awestruck by God’s power to do the impossible.

And the great news is, Jesus’ overpowering love is not just for the young people we’re called to serve. Jesus’ love is for me. He changes me. Hardness and cynicism melt like wax as we see his miraculous love break down barriers.

As I witness young people saying “yes” to him – young people who, like countless Biblical counterparts, externally appear to be so FAR away from Jesus – I’m reminded of the miraculous power of God to flip the script.

In one moment, everything changes, God reveals how He's been working and preparing out hearts– a sudden breakthrough. YFC Camp – Where everything changes.

Jesus our King – The Lord of Sudden Breakthrough 

By Myron Bernard, Ministry Director

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