By Jennifer Heeren, Crosswalk.com
Nearly every teenager at one point feels like they’re stuck in their tension, questions, and doubts. But there’s no need to despair because they’re in good company. All of God’s people have felt the same way at times throughout their journey on earth. Even those recorded in the Bible whom God used to fulfill his purposes. God brought them through all their problems. And He can bring you through yours too.
1. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1)
The Lord came to Jeremiah and told him that before he was born, God had set him apart to be a prophet to the nations. It probably seemed like a huge task to Jeremiah, because he immediately thought that he was too young.
The Lord rebuked him. Too young isn’t a qualifier not to be used by God. He shouldn’t be afraid of people’s reactions because God Himself will be with him and will protect him. God gave him the strength to go forward in his calling.
And God will give you the strength to go forward in your calling as well. Keep looking to Him. You’re not too young to work mightily for God. And to add to that: You’re also not too __________. Fill in the blank with any adjective that you sometimes apply to yourself: old, young, fat, shy, dumb, lazy, etc. God can use you despite any insecurity that you have. You are purposefully and wonderfully made. His grace will cover your insecurities.
2. David (1 Samuel 16)
David was the youngest of all his brothers. His own father overlooked him when the prophet Samuel came to look for candidates to be the next leader of the country. All of David’s brothers were presented before Samuel. God said no to all of them, so Samuel asked if there were any more sons. The father reluctantly said that the only one left was the youngest. Samuel asked to see him. When David was brought in, the Lord impressed on Samuel that he was indeed the one.
God had told Samuel not to judge by appearance or height. The Lord doesn’t see people like we tend to see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
When you compare yourself with other people, you may not feel on par with them. You will usually see where you don’t measure up. But always remember this truth, that God doesn’t see the way we see. We see features and physiques that are nice looking. God sees the real beauty of character and potential.
You are not unimportant in God’s eyes. He will seek you out and work with you just as you are.
3. Joshua (Joshua 1)
Joshua had always learned from Moses and may have felt insecure when God wanted him to take the reins of leading the Israelites. He may have felt that he was not able to fill the giant shoes of Moses. He may have wanted to shrink back and say no.
But God came to him and said that He would be with him just as He had been with Moses. Joshua would lead the remainder of the Israelites into the promised land without Moses there to help. God’s assurance helped Joshua go into the promised land, something that Moses wasn’t allowed to do.
People of the past may seem like giants in the faith that we can never live up to, but God is with all generations. Meditate on God’s Word, be strong and courageous, and God will use you too.
God will not fail you or abandon you. You don’t have to be exactly like the person that went before you. You only have to be the person God created you to be.
4. Hannah (1 Samuel 1)
Hannah and Peninnah were both wives to Elkanah. Hannah was taunted by Peninnah because Peninnah had children and Hannah had none. Year after year, Peninnah bullied Hannah. Hannah grew to be very depressed.
But Hannah didn’t stay in her depression. She took all her sad feelings to God in prayer. She took her tears to God and poured out her heart to Him. God showed compassion on her and in a short time, He gave her a son.
God’s rescue was her revenge against her enemy. She let the Lord judge her enemy’s wrong actions.
In a bullying situation, pray for help, but also seek help from people when necessary. You should remove yourself from the situation as best you can, and let God handle the rest.
You can rise above anyone that bullies you. Pray for their heart to change. You will reap what you sow and so will they.
5. Mary (Luke 1)
As a teenager, Mary was given an impossible task by God. At least it would seem impossible to a young girl. She had to tell her fiancé that she was pregnant, hoping that he wouldn’t leave her. But God helped her by sending an angel to speak to Joseph, so he learned the truth and stayed with Mary. Then she also had to deal with the townspeople around her thinking that she was immoral.
Ultimately, Mary knew that God was with her and that was enough. He would get her through the impossible situations. So, she was willing to serve Him.
Mary praised the Lord even when she didn’t understand. She stored up everything that happened in the next thirty-four years and knew that God was up to something wonderful. Even though she didn’t know the how’s and why’s.
Easy tasks don’t have real lasting value. Things that seem hard, even impossible, can be done one step at a time with God helping you.
6. Joseph (Genesis 37-50)
Then there was Joseph. He had a dream, and that dream was given to him by God. But he didn’t know what it all meant. He bragged to his brothers about this dream which made his brothers envious and angry. They sold him into slavery, and he was taken far away from his family. Their anger and actions weren’t Joseph’s fault, but he had to deal with the consequences.
Then he was in slavery, but he found favor with Potiphar. God helped Joseph succeed despite the circumstances that got him there. He went from a slave to an executive assistant.
But then, Potiphar’s wife took a liking to him. Joseph did the right thing and resisted her advances. However, this incensed the woman, so she lied and said that it was Joseph who came on to her. Potiphar was angry because he thought Joseph betrayed his trust and threw him into prison.
God again seemed to soften Joseph’s hard time. The warden realized Joseph’s abilities and let him oversee the other prisoners.
Later, with God’s help, Joseph interpreted the dreams of two ex-servants of Pharaoh. One was a dream of future prosperity and that servant said that he would remember Joseph if he made it out of prison. Alas, he did get out but soon forgot Joseph who remained in prison. Finally, Pharaoh himself had a dream that no one around him could interpret. That servant finally remembered Joseph and Joseph was brought out to try and interpret Pharaoh’s dream. He did so correctly, and Joseph was made a ruler of Egypt. While he was a ruler in Egypt, he was reconciled to his family when they came asking for food during the famine.
God Himself kept promoting Joseph throughout the ups and downs of his life. Joseph only needed to stay faithful and be obedient. Joseph also learned that what his brothers did out of anger was used by God for something very good.
God is in control over everything that happens in your life. Your current situation isn’t your ultimate journey. It’s only a part of it. You may not understand every point along the way but with God guiding you, you can trust that the end of the journey will be wonderful. He will do more things than you can imagine.
Read the testimonies of these people regularly. And share your own testimonies as God comes through mightily for you. You will have many of these stories as you move forward in your walk of faith.
Here’s a call to remain faithful from the book of Jude (Jude 17-23):
There will sometimes be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people create divisions among you. They follow their own natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
Since you do have the Spirit of God, build up others in the faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, you will remain safe in God’s love.
Also, show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Show mercy to others by telling them of God’s great love but don’t get caught up in the sin that contaminates their lives.
The most important thing to remember in life is that God is with you, and He is a wonderful source of help. His cross will cover your sin and His resurrection will continue to give you hope. Keep looking to Him.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Ben White
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on Amazon. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at her website and/or on Facebook.