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What lesson as a teen should I learn to lean on God for even when I’m down?
To be able to ‘lean on God’ we need first of all to know him. Not just to know ‘of’ him but to know his character, his plan and purpose and what he requires of us. In short we need to have a ‘working relationship’ with him.
The only source of knowledge about God and his purpose that we have is what is written in the Old and New Testament scriptures which we have in the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Bible tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Faith is simply a belief in what the Bible tells us about God.
Romans 10:17... faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Bible tells us that this life is temporary and we all die because we sin.
Ezekiel 18:4... The soul who sins shall die. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death...
When we die we return to dust: no part of us continues with a conscious existence.
Ecclesiastes 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing...
God provided Jesus Christ to save us from our situation. Jesus was born with our nature, lived a sinless life and willingly laid it down to save us from death. Salvation from death will be by resurrection from the dead to eternal life when Christ returns. The gospel that Jesus preached explains what God requires of us if we want eternal life when Christ returns.
God requires us to:
1. Believe the gospel.
2. Repent of our old way of life.
3. Be baptised by immersion in water.
4. Live a new life by the commandments of Christ.
The commandments of Christ are:
1. To love God.
2. To love our fellow man (including our enemies) better than ourselves.
Once we have believed and obeyed the gospel we become children of God, part of his flock and the scriptures become the source of comfort and hope for us. By baptism into Christ we have entered in by the door of the sheep.
Psalm 23:1-6 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
Psalm 9 becomes true for us.
Psalm 9:9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. 10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 42 becomes true for us.
Psalm 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
Proverbs 3 becomes true for us.
Proverbs 3:1-12 My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; 2 For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, 4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Hebrews 12 becomes true for us.
Hebrews 12:5-11 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
James 1 becomes true for us.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Romans 8 becomes true for us.
Romans 8:28-39 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Corinthians 1 becomes true for us.
2 Corinthians 1:3,4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:4 may help when we are ‘down’ because it reminds us that our focus should be on the needs of others rather than ourselves; helping others is a self-help therapy.
A life in Christ requires active fellowship. Each part of the body of Christ has a task to fulfil in the edification of the body. It is recorded of the early baptised believers:
Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
There are of course many other scriptures that I could refer you to, but it is better for you to read the whole of the Bible using a daily reading planner to find scripture gems for yourself.
Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
The comfort comes not just in applying passages to ourselves but also in seeing how God has dealt with men of faith in the past. Further by considering the joy that God has promised through the prophets for the future.
Jesus emphasises that we should set our hope on the kingdom to come and not be 'anxious' about this life.
Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.