God's grace is a bit like me and my grumpy cat. He looks cute as a button but he bites and scratches, he uses my favourite chair as a scratching post, he wakes me up at four a.m. because he is hungry, he leaves dead mice under my seat.... Recently he got diabetes so I had to learn to give him insulin injections twice a day (ugh!), buy him special food, cook chicken breast for him and take him to the vet once a week. It cost me a lot in both time and money. Even though he didn't deserve it, I looked after him. Because despite all those things I mention before, I love him. We don't deserve God's grace either, but he loves us just the same. And he sent Jesus to die for us so that we could be part of his family.
Fervr.net is one of my favourite websites for teens and young adults. Here are some recently added articles and videos:
In the Lord's Prayer in the books of Matthew and Luke, Jesus tells us to pray, Give us the food we need for each day. This refers to our basic needs, not just food. It teaches us to ask God to supply everything that we need to survive - food, water and shelter. Most of us have more than enough of these things. I believe that we should be praying for those whose daily needs are not being met. And more than that, we should be doing something to help meet their needs - donating to charity, buying a homeless person a meal...
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.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.