- What we believe
- Spiritual Help
- How we serve
- Christian Aid & Relief
- Adult Discipleship
- Campus Ministry
- Christian Giving
- Congregational Counseling
- Lutheran Schools
- Military Services
- Ministerial Education
- Multi-Language Publications
- Special Ministries
- Women's Ministry
- Youth and Family Ministries
- Northwestern Publishing House
- WELS Administration
- News & Events
- Streams media
- About WELS
Living as a teen in troubled times
Living as a teen in troubled times
So, what’s the trouble in your life? Maybe you just got dumped or your best friend isn’t talking to you or you’re being bullied. Maybe your family is going through a rough patch, or you’re anxious about the next chapter in your life.
What about peer pressure – yep, it’s there constantly trying to get you to act against your faith. How are you feeling – are you anxious, stressed, depressed? How’s your faith doing? In a world filled with messages directed right at you that are contrary to God’s Word, do you ever feel yourself slipping away?
These are the day to day troubles teens may be experiencing. You only have to look at the news to hear about all the sad and horrible things going on around the world, or just down the street, or maybe even next door.
Now that you’ve had time to think about the trouble in your life and in the world, are you in a good mood? What if I said you should be? Really?! Yes, really. Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In this verse, Jesus first reassures us that we have peace in him. Christ’s love, forgiveness, death, and resurrection mean that we are God’s child and as God’s child, we know “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).
Jesus goes on in John 16:33 to say that “In this world you will have trouble.” In fact, he guarantees it. God doesn’t promise the Christian a charmed and perfect life. In fact, like Jesus says in this verse, the Christian is told they will experience trouble, hardship, and persecution. When your life isn’t perfect, it means that your life is just like Jesus said it would be.
But there’s more! Jesus doesn’t just leave us on our own in this troubled life. He says, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” Christ has overcome this troubled world and what’s even more awesome, is that we are one with Christ through his resurrection. That means we too can overcome hardships through God’s power.
Consider Romans 8: 35, 37, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Christians know that there will be trouble in this life. Christians also know that all hope and peace and joy is found through Christ. How do you find that peace in Jesus? Get into the Bible regularly, worship regularly, turn to Christian friends and mentors who can support you with God’s Word, and pray. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
By Rev. Joel Gaertner, Faith, Fond du Lac, Wis.
Part one in a www.wels.net exclusive four-part series for teens
Lord Jesus, free my heart from worry. Give me a childlike trust in you. Keep watch over me today, so nothing will harm my body or soul. I ask this because I know that you fulfill all your promises. Amen.
Do you like what you read? Check out more stories written by teens in Forward in Christ magazine's teen column.
Did you know you can take Today's Devotion and loads of other WELS.net content with you everywhere you go? WELS offers a mobile applicaton for both the iOS and Android cell phone platforms.
Looking for more stories and resources that relate to your life situation? WELS has developed materials for some of life's biggest challenges and changes including going to college, death of a loved one, financial problems, divorce, parenting, fear, aging, and more.