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Thoughts for Teens

Thoughts for Teens is a set of devotionals written by Aidan's daughter, Mary.  These devotionals are designed to encourage and challenge other teens as well as non-teens to a closer walk with the Lord.  We hope you are blessed as you read Mary's Thoughts for Teens.  

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Do You Have a "But" Problem?

 "Surely I would have despaired UNLESS I had believed to see the Goodness of the LORD"-Psalm 27. The Psalmist shows us some wonderful truths. The first thing he shows us the reality of his own situation- that ultimately he would left to himself be heading to despair.  

  "Surely I would have despaired UNLESS I had believed to see the Goodness of the LORD"-Psalm 27. The Psalmist shows us some wonderful truths. The first thing he shows us the reality of his own situation- that ultimately he would left to himself be heading to despair. Secondly he shows us what kept him from there. It was to THINK...THINK...THINK... on the GOODNESS OF THE LORD! 

Here is the reality we ALL THINK.... WE choose what we THINK on.. Circumstances, people can TEMPT us to Despair but they cannot MAKE us Despair unless we choose TO THINK...THINK...THINK... as though GOD does not exist, care, and is not Good !

The Battle for our thoughts is very real at times it seems we can be bombarded with thoughts and as Ephesians 6 speaks of "fiery darts" and "days of evil"- some days are worse than others it seems with various "THOUGHTS" flying at us. God says to "TAKE EVERY THOUGHT...CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST..." Phil 4:8 says "THINK...ON TRUTH...THINGS THAT ARE PURE...LOVELY.... LET YOUR MIND DWELL ON these things."

So, a THOUGHT comes to your mind, that Is  not true of God, or who you are "In Christ"  that if not taken captive and you dwell on it can lead to despair. the question arises "WHY?"- Why did you or I CHOOSE TO THINK on this thought, entertain it, coddle it, embrace it rather than CHOOSING TO THINK ON THE TRUTH OF GOD'S GOODNESS... GOD PROMISES to WORK ALL THINGS together for Good- Romans 8:28....THINK ON TRUTH- JESUS IS THE TRUTH- John 14:6; His Word is Truth- John 17:17; and we are to TRAIN OUR MINDS TO THINK..THINK...THINK... on Truth in the situation. What is the Truth about Jesus- what is TRUE about His Word- What is the TRUTH regarding who I am "In Christ" that I am to think on in the situation. NEVER, EVER allow yourself to entertain thought apart from through the lens of Scripture concerning Him, His promises, His ability and yours "In Christ."
David knew it was inevitable he would despair if he looked at his situation apart from the LORD...He looked to the LORD AND CHOSE to THINK ON HIS GOODNESS and what happened? It saved him from despair. Often our despair is a THINKING PROBLEM- we choose NOT to think on GOD- His TRUTH- HIS GOODNESS...and we THINK on the circumstance apart from God in the equation! {See John 6:6 for this }

There once was a preacher who was at a conference and he along with another speaker were sharing the speaking. The other speaker spoke of how, goats often butted heads together... and how often we are like them. He had been speaking on "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want...." and how we often begin the sentence with "The LORD is my Shepherd.... BUT.... and finish with the problem- not the LORD! ''The other speaker was worried- his wife was sick in another place, and he too was saying "The LORD IS MY SHEPHERD- ....BUT my wife is sick etc..." He realized he had the "BUT" in the wrong place! He was ending with the problem rather than the LORD, "My wife is sick BUT the LORD is my Shepherd!"- This does not in any way mean he was to ignore his wife's ailment- the point is we too often get the "BUT" in the wrong place! We begin with the LORD and end with the problem when we say, yes I know that 'BUT'..." Its time to get your "But" in the right place as David and THINK.... THINK... THINK.... and end your thoughts not with the problem but with the LORD, HIS PROMISES, SOVEREIGNTY,GOODNESS AND PRESENCE...

Do you find yourself affirming truth and then Placing a "BUT"- at the end of the sentence? Do you have a "BUT " problem- placing the "BUT" in the wrong place? If so, despair can only be yours in abundance- it is as David says- Inevitable. "BUT"- David and Paul both show us- begin with the problem end with the LORD- THERE IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS - "A BUT GOD...." CHANGE YOUR THINKING....! Place your "BUT" in the right place....THINK , ON HIS TRUTH...."surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."-Psalm 23...this is what it means to RENEW YOUR MIND-{Rom 12:2}

GOD IS YOUR HOPE and He wants to Fill with HOPE-, Joy and Peace and indeed ABOUNDING IN HOPE --{Rom 15:13} The confident Assurance He imparts... and it begins with- Not Denying your difficulties , but rather placing your "BUT" in the right place and saying "yes, I have this difficulty, BUT the LORD is my Shepherd I shall not want..." Now you are beginning to place your "BUT" in the right place! It takes time, THOUGHT, TRAINING to RENEW your Mind and to begin to THINK the way God would have you and as you do, you are expressing LOVE to GOD. The first commandments says we are to Love God with all of our MIND!"

We can CHOOSE to THINK on things that ultimately will lead us to despair or we can Choose to THINK on God. Sometimes we say I tried it "BUT" it did not work when in reality we failed to PERSEVERE in our Thinking {See Romans 15:4 on perseverance}- "These things are written that through perseverance and encouragement of the Scriptures we have HOPE"- Rom 15:4. Keep persevering, Keep THINKING on TRUTH... GOD will be faithful to you for He cannot deny Himself!-Romans 15:5

Can you THINK of How GOOD God has been to you, NAME THEM.... THINK on Verses of HIS GOODNESS- Memorize them, Meditate upon them, Sing songs concerning them... and as you do, He will wok a new habit into your THINKING... and you will not be free from problems BUT you will find you are more and more putting the "BUT" in the right place and ALWAYS ending with THE LORD! Listen to yourself today and see who do you end with and if you need to repent and begin a New MIND SET- HAVING THE "BUT" IN THE RIGHT PLACE!

praying for you

Verse of the Day

"Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." - Colossians 4:5-6


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Reconciliation Ministries Inc.
PO Box 4052
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Aidan McKenzie

Aidan was born in Ireland. He is a former professional football [soccer] player in the English football League and the American Soccer League. 

Upon graduation from Bible school in 1985 he began his ministry...