In Psalm 9:9 the Hebrew word for oppressed means crushed. David is saying, that in your time of greatest need, you can find comfort in God. You can find comfort when you are anxious, when you are overwhelmed, when you feel depressed, when you are hurt, when you are sick, when you are lonely, when you are afraid... And how do we find this refuge? I find it in praise and worship, in reading the Bible (try Psalms), in praying, in talking to Christian friends or pastors or youth leaders.
David also says that God is a stronghold in times of trouble. In ancient Hebrew, a stronghold was a high place safe from enemies. The image above is of the Masada fortress in Israel. When you are at this stronghold the people below seem like ants. When we're in God's presence, our enemies and troubles seem smaller too. They are still there, but we have a different perspective on them.
Famous Hollywood actor, Denzel Washington, gave this inspirational speech at Dillard University in 2015. There's a lot of good stuff in it so it's worth watching to the end.
Sometimes it's not what we do, but why we do it that's important. 1 Corinthians 4:5 says, He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. Whatever you're doing now, do your best. Don't do it to please yourself, your parents, your friends, your boss... do it to please God.
So if you're studying, be the best student you can be.
If you're working at K-Mart, be the best employee you can be.
If you're unemployed, be the best job-hunter you can be.
If you're a youth group leader, be the best youth group leader you can be.
If you're in hospital recovering from an illness or injury, be the best patient you can be. You get the idea.
In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul was talking about spiritual gifts. Verse 28 says, But he also chose some to work miracles or heal the sick. Then verse 30 says, Not everyone can heal the sick. That doesn't mean that those of us who do not have the gift of healing should not pray for the sick. James 5:15 says WHEN you pray for sick people, not IF you pray for them. The IF in that verse relates to your faith. I believe that sometimes healing comes in the next life, not in this lifetime - but that is just my personal view.
Today is my sister's birthday. Not only is she my biological sister, she is also my sister in Christ and my best friend. This journey called life is not meant to be done alone. You should encourage your Christian sisters and visa versa. 1 Timothy 3:11 says, Women must likewise be worthy of respect, not malicious gossips, but self-controlled, trustworthy in all things. It's human nature for girls and women to judge, criticise and gossip but that is not God's way. Ephesians 4:2 says, When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you. Next time you are tempted to gossip, criticise or judge someone remember to help, not hate with your words.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, encourage each other, and build each other up. Print out this postcard, or make your own, and write some encouraging messages to your friends, parents, pastor, youth leader, teacher, neighbour etc.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.