YOM News: Blessed is the One Who Perseveres
Although it has only been a few weeks since we last met for YOM, it feels like it has been so much longer. One of the things I have missed most about meeting with our teens has been the opportunity to share a lesson with them and support them through their spiritual growth. If you are a parent you can either read through this lesson with your teen or share it with them. If you do not have a teen in YOM, please feel free to follow along with us and share our lesson.
As Christians, how do we respond in the face of a crisis?
When a crisis happens in our world, it’s easy to question our faith, and it’s hard to replace the panic we face with the peace we’re promised as Jesus-followers.
So, what can we do as Christians in response to natural disasters, pandemics, or any other scary unknowns we face?
Our response in the wake of danger or uncertainty isn’t to ignore what is going on, but to work to draw people to God’s peace.
We’re also reminded in Scripture that we don’t live like those who have no hope. Because we know what Jesus did for us, we can be confident knowing that He is always with us. So, when disaster strikes, we are not shaken because we know that we are not forsaken.
You might have questions about how a good God could allow such terrible things to happen in this world. And it’s okay to ask that question. God doesn’t evade our questions; He invites us to Him.
The truth is, Jesus never promised any of us a pain-free life. Instead, Jesus promised us that this world will bring trouble. It will bring some uncertainty. But we can still have hope because it’s not our final destination. Here’s what Jesus said about that:
“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.” John 16:33 NIV
Jesus is the only place where we can find a peace that doesn’t change regardless of what problems we face. And because of what Jesus has done for us, we can be encouraged because we know how the story ends. One day, God will make all wrongs right.
So when today looks shaky, remember that in Christ, we have an unshakable hope that doesn’t change based on our present circumstances.
I ask that you reflect on this and think about what practical things we can do to share the love of Jesus when tragedy strikes. Although we are limited in where we can go and how we can interact with others right now, how can we still share Jesus’ love? How can we give peace and comfort to people today?
Here is a prayer you can share with your family or say by yourself: God, I come to You today fearful about _____. God, I know that You are not surprised by anything that is happening, so I ask You to replace my fear with faith. Help me feel Your peace and Your presence in tangible, unexpected ways today so that I can share the hope I have in You with others. Thank You for never leaving me and for promising to always be with me.
I’d also like to share a few verses that are helping me in this uncertain time”
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Romans 12:1-2 NLT
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT
In other YOM news, we will be sharing some other ways for our group to stay connected this coming week. Whether through email lessons, sharing verses and prayers with our teens, photos on Instagram, or using technology to meet remotely, we want to keep our youth connected.
Please reach out via email, text or phone call if I can support your family in any way, or if you just want to say "Hi" and catch up. I miss seeing you all these past few weeks! Stay well and stay healthy!