Today I wanted to write about something that has been on my heart lately. Random perhaps, but I’d love some feedback on my thoughts.
The last little while we’ve had the same children’s CD playing in our car, and when Caleb and I drive places I usually sing with it to him, and he starts talking or singing back. I love it. I love music and I love that he is planting words of life in his heart from such an early age.
There is however one song that drives me crazy on this CD! I do not mean any disrespect to the person who wrote it, but I feel like it is sending such a damaging message to kids as they grow up.
Over and over again in the bible it talks about people’s hearts being broken. Jesus would see someone who was hurting and he’d weep with compassion. Jesus also experienced anger towards people who were not honouring his father, leading him to flip over tables and drive merchants out of the temple!
Psalms is filled with the heart cries of a man who goes through many victories, defeats, triumphs and struggles. He cries out to God desiring his help. There are times when David did not seem “happy”. Life gets very challenging.
Right now, my heart is heavy with some issues in the world. My heart is heavy for friends who are facing personal challenges, my heart is heavy for ministries that I long to see succeed, my heart is heavy with the burden of children being enslaved in our modern-day world.
So if we aren’t automatically happy all the times as Christians, then what is difference about us? Even in all of these trials we have something called hope. Let’s look at this incredibly moving passage of scripture.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5)
Choosing to rejoice when trials come our way is a much healthier message to teach our children (and new Christians) then telling them we will just be happy all the time because of Jesus. We can choose joy because we have a hope that will not disappoint us.
Even in my heaviness of heart at times, I do not have to live under sadness. Instead I know that I have hope, I can believe for people’s circumstances to be changed, I can pray for God’s provision, I can see miracles happen, and I can be obedient to walk in what he asks me to do in helping the people he has laid on my heart.
Throughout my few years of youth ministry, I have sat down with so many teens who are fighting against the demon of depression. They grew up in a Christian home and were taught these cliche Sunday School messages of constant happiness with Jesus. They then start to feel the pressures of life and they don’t know how to handle it. They turn towards things likes friends, drugs, sex, partying, cutting and alcohol because in their mind Jesus has failed to bring them “eternal happiness”.
I feel our Christian culture today has started to become very aware of needing to prepare couples for marriage and for the realities of marriage because of the divorce rate. We are becoming very good at equipping new couples with resources to fight the enemy who wants to destroy their relationship. We need to transfer this concept over to our kids. In general, I think we have done a disservice to young people when we don’t prepare them for reality and don’t give them tools to fight the enemy who is battling for their very soul.
Some tools that are powerful are found in 1 Thessalonians 5:12 – 22
- Honour the leadership God has placed in your life
- Strive to live peacefully
- Be diligent
- Encourage one another
- Be patient
- Don’t pay back evil for evil, but do good
- Be joyful always
- Pray without ceasing
- Be thankful
- Welcome the Holy Spirit to work in your life
- Test prophecies, seek discernment
- Avoid every kind of evil
These are practical things that we need to do in order to live victorious Christian lives. Each point on this list can show that life is not easy. It is not alway simple to live peacefully with one another. I am not always happy to be patient. But the Lord can give you strength to do these things.
When I have realistic expectations on what the life challenges are out there, I won’t be side swiped when I am not constantly feeling happiness.
I hope that as we better equip kids for the challenges life will bring, and help them build solid foundations, we will see fewer lives being lost to the power of deception and discouragement.
Every life matters to God!
If you didn’t read yesterday’s post I encourage you to do so. If you are then moved to be involved I invite you to check out my fundraising campaign Hearts for the Hurting and see how you can get involved in fighting for children who are caught in sex trafficking and modern-day slavery.
Thank you for all your love and support!