Monday, 02 June 2014 16:42

Be Strong and Courageous

Written by  Kim Hendrix
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Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”



Imagine everything in your life changing.  It’s all up to you; you’re venturing into the great unknown--how will you take that next step?


Recently many churches recognized their graduating seniors on Senior Sunday--sending them off to a new great unknown, a new season.  I had the privilege of volunteering in our youth fellowship on this particular day as our middle school students honored our graduating seniors, and as these soon to be graduates shared advice with their younger audience.


It all began with one of our youth leaders telling the seniors to be strong and courageous--saying if he could go back in time and speak to his younger self, he would simply say, “Do not be afraid because God is with you!”  The mic was then turned over to the graduating seniors for anyone to offer advice to those about to enter high school.  Here are some of their words shared with love and sincerity:



“Stay positive, surround yourself with optimistic people!”



“Get in a life group; going through high school alone is hard.
You really need someone to talk to other than your parents, so you don’t worry them all the time.”



“Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  Fear is the tool of the devil to keep you from doing God’s work!”



“I’m thankful for you all as family.  Being homeschooled, church was the highlight of my life.  Love one another as Christ loved; spread love and peace instead of gossip, stay out of that.  You don’t have to be a perfect Christian, just help each other grow.”



“Stay positive. A bad grade now is not as bad you think.  Don’t just get through high school, come here, use this great staff, have fun and feel loved.”



“One of the best things I ever did was get in a life group in ninth grade.  I have good friends at school who made some bad decisions--and I always knew I had you guys here at church keeping me accountable.”



“High school won’t be the best time in your life. Keep on keeping on and things will get better.”



“This youth ministry was the best thing that ever happened to me. 
Walking in here made me feel like a rock star because of all the love you shared.  I’ll miss you all like crazy.”



“I struggled in middle school and early high school with a sense of self--not being myself. 
Then I realized I’m made perfectly by God.  Put God first, join a life group!”



“Surround yourself with people who lead you back to Christ.  Stay positive!
These are among the best years of your life so have fun, love God, the end!”



The prevailing thoughts shared by these young people--get involved in a life group, stay positive, love and be loved.  Many churches offer “life groups,” a handful of students who begin meeting together in eighth grade and stay together through their senior year of high school.  It’s obvious these tight knit groups become a strong foundation for our youth.


The advice shared in this article was from graduating high school seniors to up and coming high school students.  Take a close look and I’m sure you’ll find the advice is really timeless.  We all need a life group--friends who hold us accountable through all seasons of life, help us stay positive and share the love of Christ.  We all need to be reminded to step out of our comfort zones and we all need help turning back to Christ at various times in our lives.


As I write this article, I’m nearing the end of a week long visit with my Dad who suffered a stroke recently.  He’s certainly in a new season; everything has changed and more than ever he needs to be surrounded by positive people who can keep him focused on the love and strength of Christ.  My Dad is making great progress and he’s a walking example of staying strong and courageous even when circumstances want to pull you in another direction.  He has loved Jesus Christ his entire life and now he’s feeling with great certainty that his Savior is with him wherever he goes.


Just like Joshua being told it’s his turn to not only step into the great unknown, but lead others there, our young people can stand on the promises of God.  Later in life, when hurdles come their way, they’ll have a strong foundation and prayerfully a group of Godly friends and family to carry them through. 


Are you ready to take that next step?



Almighty God,

We come to you with praise and thanksgiving for all that’s ahead and for the strength and courage you pour into us everyday.  You know in our flesh circumstances can swallow us up, but you also promise when our eyes are on you, nothing is bigger than your grace, strength and love.  We pray you shower our young people with guidance and protection as they head into a new season and we thank you for always delivering just what we need.  We pray this in the mighty name of your son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.




Last modified on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 16:45
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