Before you start reading, I have to make a disclaimer (one that anyone who’s been around me for more than three minutes knows to be true): I am a fallen, imperfect human who doesn’t always get it right.
I know God’s commands and how to follow them, but that doesn’t mean that I always do without fail.
I mess up, and I make mistakes aplenty.
That being said, take what I’m about to say as truth – but know that this also serves as a reminder to me. You and I are in this together. This is just as much for me as it is for my fellow generation.
These are five things that I have observed that we as young people struggle with, and, though we know the answers and the truth, we need to be reminded of them sometimes.
1. You are loved.
If you are a child of God, you are cherished and loved beyond all words.
I’m not just saying that – it’s true.
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).
What kind of earthly love do you know that would do that for you? He loves you enough to die for you, to give you life. He loved you long before you ever loved Him.
Sometimes, we struggle with feeling like no one loves us, or even could love us. Sometimes we believe the lies we feed ourselves without ever realizing them as lies – no one loves us, no one cares about us.
It’s not true.
The God who made the universe loves you more than life itself. He loves you unconditionally. Nothing you ever do will change the burning love He has for you.
“See what love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
2. You were created in His image.
Believe me, I know. That “mirror, mirror on the wall” says some nasty stuff to us sometimes.
And if you’re anything like me, you’ve fallen for it a time or two. We sometimes look at ourselves and see how short we are of what the world says we should look like.
My friend, please embrace this with me. When God began to form you, He didn’t say to Himself, “Let’s see, let’s make this one as ugly as possible!”
He looks at you and not only sees you as His child that He adores, but also as the one who looks exactly like He wanted you to.
He doesn’t see anything wrong with your appearance.
To say that there’s something wrong with the way you look is saying, “Wow, God, way to make a mistake there.”
And God does not make mistakes.
3. You are not alone.
Whatever you tell yourself, you are not alone.
Why would the Lord give His only Son for you, make such a huge sacrifice for you, to just leave you alone? He has promised to be with you wherever you go, to be with you always, to never leave your side.
Now, you may be alone in this world regarding human companionship. We often associate loneliness with lack of friends.
Sometimes, we may have no one in our lives to share our hearts with, to lean on, to encourage and build up. But your God is always there for you, always with you.
And your family was given to you by God to be your companions. This is one of the many reasons why you should invest in a relationship with your family – they will always be there, when others will only be there for you for a time.
So whatever you’ve told yourself, ignore it. Throw it out. You’re not alone.
4. You were created with a purpose.
The ruler of the universe, Maker of heaven and earth, did not just create you to sit on the sidelines and do nothing.
You were created with a purpose, with a reason.
He has a specific job He wants to accomplish through you. You may not know what it is, but He has made you to bring glory to His name, and He has everything planned out.
All He asks is that you follow His plan, abide by His will.
You aren’t here for no reason – He has created you in His image, sacrificed His Son for you, is always there for you; why would He make you without a plan and purpose?
He wants to use you for His glory.
5. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Believe me, I know. The teenage years are incredibly scary.
These are the years that determine who we are, what God wants to accomplish through us, when we figure out what the future holds before us, and when we should be claiming faith as our own.
It’s not a time of our life to be taken for granted or used to “live it up.”
There are days when life seems overwhelming, when we want to yell, “Stop!” and take a deep breath. We battle real problems, real struggles.
But there is hope. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.
You won’t struggle forever. You will survive these years; it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes, there are moments when we feel shrouded in a cloud of confusion, dark and mysterious, as to different aspects of life.
That’s okay. Because there is a Light. There is a Guide.
He hasn’t left us in this darkness alone, to fight our battles on our own. He is the hope that comes with each new day.
You have the strength to face tomorrow, because He is your light.
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