Today: Sunday, December 08, 2019

The faith of a teenager    (5/25/2008 )

As a teenager, you're constantly bombarded with advice, opinions and decisions to be made, and it can often be difficult to maintain a strong faith whilst standing strong against the constant peer pressures of everyday life.

One of my greatest struggles is remembering God throughout the week and not confining him to Sundays! Over the years, I have learnt that the best way to be a witness to God amongst your friends is not by flooding them with Bible verses, but by showing your faith through your actions and how you treat yourself and others.

As a teenage Christian, I am still making my mind up on how I feel about diverse issues which remain topics of debate in today's Church. I believe it's important to talk and pray with other Christians, including my family, friends and members of my church, who all heavily influence me as my own faith develops.

My relationship with God is a very personal one; he knows me better than anyone else, and I can confide my deepest feelings in him, knowing he will love me no matter what I do, what I say or how I feel. Throughout my life, I have prayed and worshipped God at both the hardest times and the most exciting. In front of God, I can be myself—I don't have to pretend to be strong when I feel like crying and I don't have to be embarrassed when I make mistakes.

When you come to me, you don't have to act tough or pretend that nothing scares you. Let down your guard. I won't make fun of you or think less of you for sharing your fears and feelings of vulnerability. I'm your refuge. You're always safe with me.
- what we learn from Nahum [OT] chapter 1, verse 7

Life as a Christian is a constant journey of learning. No one is perfect and we must always learn from our mistakes, maturing in our relationship with God. I have a loving God who forgives when I mess up and I can't ask for anything more.

No sin is bigger than my ability to forgive. No matter how far you fall or how spectacularly you blow it, I'll never leave you. In fact, I'll be there to catch you and restore you when you fall.
- what we learn from 2 Kings [OT] chapter 13, verse 23

I have many hopes and aspirations for my life and I place my future in God's hands, believing that he will lead me in the direction he wants me to go and knowing that I can do everything with the help of God who gives me the strength I need.

Pray: Lord, help me to have a strong faith. To know, as David does, that you love me unconditionally - that I never need to feel embarrassed in front of you, or to pretend to be strong. Amen.

Think about: If, as we have heard, "No matter how far you fall or how spectacularly you blow it, I'll never leave you. In fact, I'll be there to catch you and restore you when you fall", then what are the millstones around your neck that God's dying (and literally died) to take away from you - but which you're still hanging onto because of guilt, or unwillingness to hand control over to God?

Challenge: God can forgive us anything. Yet so often we refuse to forgive other people who have hurt or slighted us. Are we saying, therefore, that we are more righteous than God? That others need to work harder to earn our forgiveness? Think what God has done for you, that you might be forgiven everything - even the things you don't even realise you've done. Now choose one person you've never been able to forgive, and ask for God's help as you begin the journey of forgiving them.

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