Many incarcerated teens are worried. Jake loves the Lord, but Jake was worried. I told him that worry is sin. Why? Because it shows we are not trusting God. Trusting God is what the Christian life is all about.
I directed him to Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
“What that means, Jake, is that God wants us to be THANKFUL, even for our difficulties. When we are thankful it shows we are trusting Him.
“When we are obedient and thank God, then we receive God’s peace that passes understanding. That peace is like a very special gift to us. It is that very peace that will guard (protect) our minds so we don’t become depressed, nervous, worried or fearful. That peace also guards (protects) our hearts so we don’t begin to love that which is not good for us.
“It isn’t easy to give thanks for being locked up. You can be honest with God. Tell Him, ‘I don’t like being here! But I also want to obey You. I want to show You that I WILL trust You. So, I will say Thank You, even for this.’”
Jake did just that. He prayed aloud, “God, thank you for letting me get busted. I don’t like it here, but I want to thank You anyway because I believe You had a good reason, and I’m going to trust You.”
You might say Jake was transformed before my eyes! The peace was real and it was followed by joy—he was actually happy when we said goodnight.
- Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19b-20
- Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
[This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/ and http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity