With all my silver hair and Arthritis, getting comfortable, is not an easy thing to do.
(1) I try to imagine a shipwreck survivor bobbing in a prison of water, cold, dark, with no communicator devices with him. There certainly is no hope of any air rescue search planes flying overhead, or any other rescue procedures likely to be happening. Thoughts come to the survivor's mind, “Why am I here? What have I done wrong? Doesn't God in Heaven love me? What will become of me?” The words of a Bible verse prompt the command within him, “Get Comfortable!”
(2) The group of travelers circle closely to the warm fire. It comforts and leads the mind to wander on events of the day and one's future. One man adds more sticks to the fire. Suddenly, without warning, a poisonous snake jumps up and sinks its deadly fangs into the man. Others watch in utter unbelief, suggesting this is God's punishment for something the man has done to offend God. The man pulls the poisonous snake off his arm and casts it into the fire. All those who watch the terrible event, expect the man to die a wretched horrible death of poison. But words come to the heart of the man, “Get Comfortable!” Scripture states, the man was not harmed in any way, and his campfire witnesses began thinking of the man as a god.
(3) The trip is a short one; one-way straight down. In the most secrecy, the men carefully lower the basket down the wall, knowing they are saving the man in the basket from certain murder. Praying along every few inches, the thoughts of the basket traveler may be thinking of another basket traveler, still a baby. The baby floating in a basket in the bulrushes, hundreds of years earlier, was an event stranger than fiction; but at the same time, another example of God's protection and provision to those that trust Him.
But probably even more amazing is the same man experienced all three events above, and a whole lot more. Now if that wasn't enough, in one of his many letters of love and leadership to several struggling churches, this man includes a powerful recipe. This recipe for joyful victorious life in Jesus Christ is expressed in his letter to the church at Rome. The man, the Apostle Paul, details this wonderful recipe in chapter 15 and verse 4, as follows:
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
In a precious way, God's word is referred to, twice in this verse. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,” tells us the purpose of scripture – “for our learning.” The second reference to God's word is “comfort of the scriptures.” If we are truly learning and FEEDING on God's word, and not just reading it according to someone's schedule, we'll gain real comfort from the scriptures. This DAILY process is so important, God has even given us a 'live-in' teacher; the Holy Spirit.
Among other things, the word 'patience' reminds us that God has created us into a time world. He is not bound by time, but we are. Learning and comfort depend upon time and our CONTINUALLY looking to God with a loving “Watcha want me to do now, God?” on our lips.
“Hope” here in Romans 15:4 carries far more weight than our present day meaning of the word. The meaning God inspired, in the scripture, should read “might have assurance.”
The Bible is filled with so many promises that also apply to teens, you'll want to dig out those diamonds yourself; make them yours.
A favorite one of mine that reaches from my heart of tears to teenagers is in Psalm 126:6
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
This is the end of the Teenage Jesus Blog, but should be a new beginning for you and your harvesting of the teenage souls that God has placed in your field of service.