Recently we’ve been going through a series with the students in our youth group about stress.  You may not remember the stress of middle and high school, or you may not know the stress that this current generation feels, but it is real and it is having an impact on them.  Honestly, the reasons for stress haven’t changed much over the years.  They may be self-inflicted or come from other sources, but they can still get a person to the point of anxiety and worry.

The struggle lies in where we find our worth, our identity and our contentment.  Teens are often searching for an identity that sets them apart.  I recently heard of a survey that showed teens have a desire to be famous.  Perhaps that is why they are so in to social media, since that can give them instant gratification in knowing that someone is interested in their post, tweet, youtube video or snapchat.  The danger arises when there isn’t enough instant feedback to give them what they feel they need.  Then they begin to worry that they have little or no worth.  But let’s be honest.  We are no different than they are.  Adults are just as self-centered and struggle with needing the same things as teens.  We all want to be known and valued.  When we seek to be known more for what we do, or what we have, or who we’re with, or who we are more than Whose we are, then things get out of balance.

So let’s focus on the One who gave us His Word to light our path and give our lives balance.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat?  What will we drink?  What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Matthew 6:31-34

“I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.”  John 14:27

God is good, all the time! And all the time, God is good!

In Christ’s Love,

Rob     Romans 12

P.S.  THANKS SO MUCH!  Denise and I appreciate your gifts, cards, and words of encouragement.  You continue to bless us with your support and generosity and we are humbled by your outpouring of love!