Category Archives: Pain

What I want Teens to know

As a pastor I hear many stories from teenagers who struggle in different situations that they find themselves in.  Sometimes it is because of their own choices.  Other times they are in situations because of someone elses choice.  Parents, when you have kids there is more to life than thinking of yourself.  Sometimes it just works out that teens are placed in a hard situation.  Sometimes, it could be God who placed teens in a bad situation.  Just being honest. 

Here are some things I want to tell you that I wish I would have known.  I grew up in a hard situation too; and like you I did not understand why.  I was terribly angry, bitter, and hateful, toward people. 

You may find yourself being the class clown; but you know that it is not really you.  Sometimes you wonder, when nobody else is around, why you have to continue to be the person you show yourself to be.  The answer, you need to know someone pays attention to you.  What I want you to know is that God does because He has dreams for you even when others who are supposed to be important in your life don’t. 

You may find yourself alone.  You might think that nobody cares if you live or die.  Don’t fall for that!  More people do than you think, and again, God really does.  What looks like to you a situation that will never change, God knows it will.  You see the now in your life, but God sees the later (future). 

You may find yourself feeling the need to be sexually active because that is when you feel at peace and connected (I mean what seems like a good relationship because someone is listening) with someone.  Stop, because you feel worse and become angrier and more hurt.  You need to know that the other person is likely just using you which, at this point, is the last thing you need.

You may find yourself at odds with teachers and authorities who are in your life.  The problem is that they don’t realize, sometimes, how hard your life is right now.  They are trying to live their lives too.  You need to focus on the good that they give to you instead of the bad you receive.  Now consider, if you were in their place, you might bring the discipline too.  If you fight against those in authority over you, you will lose.  Don’t confuse giving respect, that is deserved, with getting pushed around some more. 

You might only have a relationship with one parent, maybe not even one, but I want you to know that this is not what God wanted for you.  Sometimes parents make mistakes, and they get caught in a cycle that keeps them from being able to change.  You might not know how hard they had it when they were in your shoes.  But God can make things happen for you, if you live for Him now.  What I mean is that if you live for Him now, He will have a better life for you later. 

I want you to know that all of the hard times that you face now will make you a strong person later.  And if you rely on God now, you will be a strong Christian later. 

I want you to know that you don’t have to choose to be uncaring.  It is okay, in fact, it is good to care even while it seems that nobody does for you.  This is character building because when things are good, it is easy to pretend to care for others. 

I want you to know your life that seem so bad now will get better.  I want you to know that I am frustrated for your sake and that I am mad with you.  But, I want you to have hope with me for your life later.  You are going to be great to your kids.  But you will have to choose it.  You have to ability to break the chain that has bound your family. 

I want you to know that not do I care for you, but God cares more than you know.  You can ask me things and you really need to ask Him things.  Read your Bible.  He is not angry with you and is not making your life hard because He doesn’t care.  He cares.  He can help you now.  Read your Bible and you will see this.

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Filed under Discouragement, Faith, God, Pain, Parenting, Reality, Youth ministry

Filling God’s Heart with pain

As a pastor, especially when I was a youth pastor, there are times when you pour good into people continually.  Sometimes, you pour the good things of God into people and believe that you have diverted them from making wrong choices.  It doesn’t always work.

God knows this feeling of frustration that Christians have when we spend time with others teaching about spiritual matters.  There is pain that we feel.  But God felt that pain a long time ago before we existed. 

In Genesis, the creation story starts out with God pouring good into His creation.  Everything is good for a while.  It is good for God, good for Adam, good for Eve, good for animals, good for the earth, and so on.  Then sin entered the world.  When sin entered the world, it steamrolled out of control; for humans, because of God’s free-will.

In a few short chapters, this is what we find in Genesis 6:5-6,  “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” 

This means that we can hurt God.  When I was lost, I sinned greatly.  A lot of that sin was, according to my will, designed to hurt God.  I don’t know how I knew that since I did not know anything about Scripture.  Yet, inside I knew that I was hurting God.  

How does sin hurt God?  Because it destroys human lives.  It really is that simple.  Since God loves us so much, by sending His Son to die for our sins, we are able to fill God’s Heart with pain.  How profound.  I can hurt God.  Sin doesn’t destroy God.  It only hurts Him.  Sin destroys us. 

When I sinned against God, I thought I was damaging Him.  Yet, I was damaging myself. 

Pastors and Christians, this is the good news.  If your heart becomes filled with pain because someone you have spent time with trying to encourage them to live for the Lord sins, then you have found that you have a Godly love in your heart.  On the other hand, if you are not hurt by the sin of others, then you may not have  the heart of God in you.     

If you do not know Christ, and you are mad at God, then you need to understand that the sin you commit not only hurts God, but it destroys you.  What you need to know is that God loves you with a love that you cannot understand; a love that you may be looking for. 

Finally, after God flooded the earth, in Genesis 9, everything should have been good again but sin stepped off of the ark.  In that chapter, we start out with blessing again, but end up with cursing.  Thank you Lord for Jesus.  Because now, instead of us filling God’s Heart with pain, He has given us an opportunity to fill our hearts with Him.  This is how we keep from destroying ourselves and from hurting God. 

Therefore, accept Christ as your Lord and Savior.  The choice is yours.

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, God, Holiness, Pain