Connecting with Teens

Hope this email finds you well! It goes without saying that the past week, well actually the past several weeks, have been anything but ordinary or usual. There are so many words we can use to describe our experience; but when we reflect on the past few weeks it is undeniably stressful and a bit scary. It seems as though I get a new notification every few minutes on my phone and it becomes challenging to step away from the news headlines. If you are a parent you can either read through this lesson with your teen or share it with them. Either way, I would encourage you to connect with your teen to reflect on our lesson together. If you do not have a teen in YOM, please feel free to follow along with us and share in our lesson.

We live by faith, not in fear.

We live in a time where there is no shortage of information, and that is an incredible gift! Especially in times of disaster, it’s wonderful to be able to communicate quickly, take action swiftly, and connect globally on current events. But when we consume too much information—particularly in isolation—it can leave us feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and alone.

In a world where there’s a new headline every hour, it can be easy to start living in fear. But as followers of Jesus, we are called to live by faith—not to live in fear.

Paul reminds us of this in 2 Timothy:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

The fear we often feel isn’t from God. When we start feeling afraid, it’s the perfect time to pray. This doesn’t mean we won’t ever feel fear. In fact, fear can often motivate us to do the right thing, to avoid danger, or to make wise choices. But we can’t allow feelings of fear to overcome our faith in God.

How can we do that when we’re bombarded by notifications about the next big tragedy?

Here’s what Jesus said:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

John 14:27 NLT

Jesus doesn’t say to not be afraid because we’ll always get the outcome we ask for. Instead, He promises peace because we have access to His presence. Jesus says that peace is a gift. That means that Jesus freely offers us peace every moment of every day. Our job is to accept it. To receive it. To continually go to God and ask for His peace in the middle of life’s problems.

So what can Christians do in the face of unknown disasters? We can remember that we live by faith. We don’t live in fear.

Pray: God, I find myself so worried about _______. I don’t know what is going to happen, but I know that You are not surprised, and You are working all things together for good. God, help me trust You more fully today. Increase my faith today, Lord. I ask You for Your peace. Thank You for freely giving us peace of mind no matter what happens around us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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