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My teenage daughter has a picture on her wall about Jeremiah 29:11,which says
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope
I read too regularly about young people who feel they have no hope in this life – so much so that they take their own life. The other day I learnt on BBC News that dark, gloomy messages glorifying self-harm and suicide are easily available on Instagram and once a person has clicked on one it creates an algorithm so the person is bombarded with more of the same messages.
How about we bombard our friends and those on our social media feeds with the powerful Word of God?
You have a hope and a future. Jesus died on the cross and took all His sin upon Himself so you could have a hope and a future – in this life and in Eternity.
You are significant. If you were the only person on the Earth God would still have sent His Son, Jesus, to die for you.
You are created in the image of God and are dearly loved.
No amount of heartache, financial difficulty, loss of friendships, abusive relationships etc. can destroy you if you listen to the One who created you, who has a purpose for you and a plan only you can fulfill.
Jesus experienced rejection – He understands. But He wants to comfort you and help you.
Please, please don’t deprive the world of your presence, your life, your contribution.
You are worth more than that.
In Church two weeks ago and today I felt that God said He was shattering the stony heart. I felt that some people’s hearts are so hard – because of previous hurts, disappointments etc. that there was a layer of concrete around their heart. But God has started chipping away and He is going to shatter it and replace it with a heart of flesh
Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Maybe you only have some residual hardness or to the other extreme maybe your heart feels like concrete right now – Jesus wants to transform your heart so it is soft and pliable and responsive to Him.
He will never let you down like people may do. Let Him do that work in your life – you will not regret it.
The other day I was involved in a school fire drill. The whole school assembled in the yard in lines – over 1000 students. They were grouped into forms of about thirty. The teachers took registers of their forms and accounted for each person in their form. The senior members of staff communicated on walkie talkies – they asked each Head of House to account for each members of their house. We all stood for about 10 minutes while they enquired about each individual and each person with authority gave the answer, “all present and correct”
They enquired about each visitor to the school by name; the boy in isolation and the girl on crutches studying in the library. When they couldn’t locate one boy they asked repeatedly until he was found.
It reminded me of how God cares passionately about each individual. Even if ninety nine people are gathered and in God’s Kingdom He will seek out the one who has gone astray until He finds them.
LUKE 15:4-8 talks about the Shepherd going after one lost sheep.
God sees the one who is hurting;the one who is running away and the one who has had such a traumatic life, who desperately needs a Saviour and His heart is yearning for them. His Kingdom is not complete until they have come into it.
Jesus is calling repeatedly for the lost, the broken, the depressed, the suicidal and the bitter and He is relentlessly pursuing them until they are “present and correct” in His Kingdom.