You have hope and a future

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

backlit beach christian dawn

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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.

 

Be kind

Too many times I have watched grieving parents talking on TV about how their beloved children had been the targets of cyber bullying and had decided to commit suicide. This is heartbreaking. So today I want to remind all of you out there (and myself) to be kind.

In Proverbs 12:25 it says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up”

Proverbs 11:16-17 says, “A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.”

1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient, love is kind.”

Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

The definition of kindness in the Oxford Living Dictionary is “The quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.” It can also be used as a noun to mean “a kind act”.

Synonyms for kindness are ” affection, consideration, cordiality, courtesy, decency, forbearance, gentleness, good will, goodness, grace, graciousness, heart, helpfulness, humanity, indulgence, mildness, sweetness, sympathy, tenderness, thoughtfulness, tolerance, understanding, unselfishness.”

Antonyms for “kindness” are ” cruelty, harshness, meanness.” (all from Thesaurus.com)

Words are vitally important. They have the power to kill or to bring life. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Words can really hurt someone, conversely they can encourage someone too.

When I speak about words, I am also speaking about the written word on social media. I watched a clip today from the “This Morning” programme where a grieving mother was saying that her daughter had been bombarded with cruel messages , even in the middle of the night. It seemed there was no let up and no way to escape this cruelty. The last message recorded on her phone was, “Why don’t you hang yourself.”. The next day this teenager committed suicide.

Dear friends and readers, can I just urge you today to be kind to others. It doesn’t cost anything to have a kind word to say about someone. If you know of someone who is a victim of cruelty, stand with them and encourage them. If you see someone being excluded try and include them in your group. Be careful what you are writing about others on social media. Would you say that to their face? If you couldn’t, maybe it’s not something you should be writing at all. The Bible says you will give account of every word that you speak.

There is no profit at all in being mean to another human being – it hurts them and it dirties your own soul.

Be kind always.

You are loved

John 3:16 says,  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”

God loves you

If you were the only person in the world God would still have sent Jesus to die for your sins,  so you could be made right with God.

You are important and precious in God’s sight.  You are loved.  Jesus promised to never leave you and never forsake you,  so you are never alone either.

God says, “Your Maker is your husband”  in Isaiah 54, and He says with everlasting kindness He will have mercy on you.

The Lord is your refuge and your fortress. When the troubles of the world get too much,  run to God for help.

Cast all your cares on God,  for He cares for you.  He is never too busy to listen to you.

“As the heavens are high above the earth,  so great is His mercy to those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:11) God is rich in mercy towards us,  His creation.

You can rest in God’s loving arms right now because you are treasured, valued and secure.