James 1:12 says, God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him. Faith is believing that Jesus died and rose again so that you can enjoy eternal life in God's family. It is trusting that he is in control, even when everything is going wrong.
It's a bit like flying on a plane. When I get on a plane I trust that the pilot knows what he is doing and that the plane has been maintained properly. I trust that, even though the plane is heavy, it will get into the air, stay there, then land safely at the other end. Faith is also trusting that even when there is turbulence and your juice spills and the luggage compartments drop open, you will get safely to your destination.
Do you find it easy to have faith when everything is going great but struggle the minute things get a bit bumpy? Trust God that he knows what he is doing. So strap yourself in and enjoy the journey.
In Matthew 18 the disciples had just asked Jesus who would be the greatest person in heaven. They were hoping that he would choose one of them but verse 4 says, The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who makes himself humble like this child. This is another example of God's upside down economy. You need to be humble to be great. Little children are humble by nature. They are teachable and completely reliant on others. We should trust in, and rely on God, just like a little child relies on its parents for everything it needs. If you live like a little child with complete trust in God, you will be great in the kingdom of heaven.
This is a great devotional book for teens. It's beautifully presented and would make a great gift too. Emma Mae reminds me of a Disney Princess.
Joy is mentioned 242 times in the New International Version of the Bible. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary *, joy is "the happy state that results from knowing and serving God." It goes on to say, "Joy is the fruit of a right relation with God." It is directly proportional to your relationship with God - a great relationship with God equals great joy.
Romans 15:13 says, I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joy and hop are closely linked - we experience joy because of the hope that we have in Jesus. That is why we can be joyful no matter what our circumstances. Even in the middle of sickness, a family breakdown, loss, or heartbreak, we can experience joy because we know that one day we will enjoy eternity with Jesus without any of those painful things. James 1:2-3 says, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James is saying to be joyful when you experience hard times because they are developing your character!
Do you feel joyful? If not, you might want to invest some time in your relationship with God.
In Matthew 17 the disciples had tried to cast an evil spirit from a demon-possessed boy, but it wouldn't come out. When they asked Jesus why, he told them it was because of their lack of faith. In fact, he got quite frustrated with them and said, You people have no faith. Your lives are all wrong. How long must I stay with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? In verse 20 he explained, You were not able to drive out the demon because your faith is too small. I tell you the truth. If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And the mountain will move. All things will be possible for you (ICB).
So, what is faith? According to Hebrews 11:1, Faith means being sure of the things we hope for. And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. Visualising your goals has become very popular in secular thinking recently. It's a bit like faith except that visualising is believing in your own abilities and faith is believing in God's ability.
Have big faith - the God you serve is the same God who created the universe, parted the sea so that the Israelites could escape the Egyptians, tore down the wall of Jericho, saved Daniel in the lion's den and saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the furnace.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.