I love this passage in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. I love the poetry of the New International Version. Paul said, We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. You don't need me to tell you that life can be hard. There is family conflict, divorce, school stress, friendship problems, mental health concerns, disease, war, violence, crime, abuse... It's easy to get overwhelmed when it practically smacks us in the face every day on the television, on the radio, in conversation... Paul said that they were hard pressed, perplexed and struck down but not crushed, in despair or abandoned. He explains whey in the rest of the chapter. Verse 14 says, We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. We know that God is preparing a better place for us for eternity, that is what sustains us when we are hard pressed, perplexed and struck down. Verse 16-18 says, That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. Praise God that the troubles you are facing right now, won't last forever, so hang in there!
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.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.