Teen Depression


Photography by Cecelia Becker

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

At a time where life ought to be exciting for a teenager, it surprises me when I read about the rate of teen suicides. Why are there so many? Teenagers struggle with so many things these days. Sin is ever before them – young people desiring to be treated like adults and they dive into adult sins at such an early age. Television, talk radio, music, and the Internet are filled with horrible things – things that I was not exposed to as a teenager.

Sinful things are ever before the eyes of teenagers and it’s robbing you of your innocence. Do you really think a teenager would be depressed if she didn’t read/see the horrible things around her? Yes, I got depressed as a teenager but I was not saved and didn’t have the Lord to turn to like a saved teen girl.

Prayer for me was saying the rosary – there was no personal relationship with Jesus Christ at all. I didn’t know that I could have such a close relationship with the One who could be end up being my very best friend! In fact, I could have turned to Him and told Him all about my troubles and He would have given me peace. I was trying to live my life by my own strength – and that strength, teen girl, was very small indeed.

Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Prayer is telling God all about your needs, your sorrows, and your troubles.  God then talks to you and provides comforts through His Word. It is then that you realize that it is God’s strength that helps you through depression. Your eyes are taken off of you and placed on Him, where they belong.

Are you depressed right now, teen girl? READ, READ, READ your Bible. Dig into the Book of Psalms and see how David dealt with his depression. Psalm 51 shows David’s heart and his tears were very real. Yet through it all, he knew what he needed – and it’s exactly what you need as well. :)

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

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Opportunities


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Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Most worldly teenagers are self-absorbed and could care less about the needs of their family or those around them. “Doing for others” is a learned trait – it doesn’t come naturally to any human being. Parents need to start teaching this to their children at an early age.

For the saved teen who has been taught to do good to others, it presents wonderful opportunities to be a blessing to others. Teen girl, just take a look around you and see how you can be a blessing to your parents. Do you have younger brothers and sisters? Babysit for your parents (for free, of course) and offer to do so – don’t just wait until you are asked. Surprise them with a night just the two of them and babysit your siblings. Do you see your younger brother or sister struggling with math? Help them without being asked to.

There are so many blessings that come from helping others. Look around at your church! Nursery workers are always looking for teen girls to help out. There are Senior Saints who would love a visit and have someone sit with them. Ask your Youth Pastor if he knows of someone that could use a helping hand.

The gratifying feeling that comes with being helpful is priceless! No wonder it is one of the spiritual fruit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28. :)

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Being Obnoxious



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Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

How said it is to hear a teen girl speak harshly to her parents! I hear it over and over at the grocery store and, sadly, even at church! The sad thing is the parents have not taught her properly! But there comes a point that a born-again teen girl needs to take responsibility for her own actions – whether her parents have taught her right or not!

Today’s Bible verse is a very convicting verse to all Christians, not just teen girls. :-) Where do you measure as it relates to obedience, teen girl? Let’s look at the different points in today’s verse:

  • Speak no evil of no man – do you speak badly about your parents when you’re upset with them to your friends?
  • don’t be a brawler – do you argue and argue with your parents because you don’t like their response?
  • be gentle – do you fight back with your parents? Do you lash out with unkind words?
  • show meekness to all man – do you accept what your parents tell you with meekness and let them have the rule over you instead of trying to get your way?

See what I mean? The verse packs a punch and has a lot to teach us, huh? :) This makes good spiritual food to the one who wants to grow in the Lord!

 

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Your Youth


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1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

If you are one of those teen girls whose walk with the Lord is the most important thing in your life, then let me commend you! :-) You are a rarity, no doubt.

There is a teen girl in my church whose spiritual walk is better than many of the Christian women I know. She’s quite an example for the Lord and His work in her life. Her fervency for the things of God is evident in everything she does. She’s a musician, a singer, and works with the children in our church. Now that she has gone to college, her presence is sorely missed! This teen girl will more than likely meet the man that God has picked for her because she is waiting on Him.

Is this your story, teen girl? I pray it is! Look at today’s verse – does your testimony provide an example to your friends in every area of your life? What is your “word life” like when you’re with them? Do your friends witness your love for the Lord? Do they see the Holy Spirit at work in your life? What are you like when “off-colored comments” are made in your presence? Do you remain pure in heart and in deed?

The Apostle Paul encouraged young Timothy in these areas. Paul was training Timothy and giving him good counsel. It’s hard to be taken seriously when you’re a young person and I’m sure Timothy was no exception.

You can be a testimony to your friends by being consistent in your walk. They will be the first ones to notice when you fail – be careful! A dear friend of mine told me that someone she knows absolutely does not want to have anything to do with Christianity because he saw “supposed Christians” fall away from God into horrible sin. This man now does not want to hear the Gospel because of the horrible testimony of a few.

Don’t be like one of those who are responsible for this man’s hatred of Christianity. Hold fast to your walk with the Lord and stand strong, teen girl! :)

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The Right Way to Walk


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Psalms 119:101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

How does a teen girl stay away from trouble? It’s all around you, isn’t it? You go to school and you see it! Teenagers are so anxious to become adults, they expose themselves to things that they aren’t mentally mature enough to handle. Because of it, they succumb to sin!

How do you handle the world’s evilness? Do you read the Bible daily and think about what you read? Do you turn and run as Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife tried to have her way with him? Joseph didn’t stick around – he ran. Do you run from evil with such fervor, teen girl? Or do you stick around a bit to see what might happen? Joseph didn’t stick around. He knew what could happen and he prevented it.

Today’s Psalm is good advice for everyone to follow. When you hang around sin long enough, the desire for it grows stronger. Don’t fall into its trap, teen girl. Obey God’s word and stay away. Follow Joseph’s example and run!

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Conscience


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Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

God has placed His Holy Spirit within us at the time we are born again. Each one of us, young and old alike, have as much of the Holy Spirit as we are going to get. What differentiates the young in Christ to the spiritually mature is how much we all the Holy Spirit to change us! This is where the fruit of the Spirit comes in. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, the fruit begin to be displayed. ‘

For example, you know that love is one of the fruits, right? If you constantly hate certain people in your class at school, you are not allowing the Holy Spirit to mold you. The fruit of love will not develop because you are practicing just the opposite when you hate other students. However, if you start praying for the salvation of those that you hate and start being nice to them, you will find yourself yielding to the Holy Spirit and that hate will disappear and turn into the fruit of love.

Now back to today’s topic. :-)  The born again teen girl has a conscience – it’s that still small voice of God speaking to you in your heart. You know when you’re doing wrong. It’s what you do with that information that’s important. Do you yield to the Holy Spirit or do you give in to the devil who is the one actually tempting you? Give in to the Holy Spirit instead and allow Him to mold you into the image of Jesus Christ.

I love the hymn below – it’s such a wonderful application to today’s devotional. :-)

Yield Not to Temptation
by Ho­ra­tio R. Pal­mer

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Refrain

Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s Name hold in reverence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Refrain

To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown;
Through faith we shall conquer, though often cast down;
He Who is our Savior our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Refrain

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Losing Your Father


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2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Are you one of those many teen girls today whose father has passed away? If you are, my heart cries out for you! I was able to enjoy my father until I was in my 30’s. I miss him terribly still!! I can’t imagine what my teen years would have been like without my Dad. I wasn’t saved as a teenager so I didn’t have the Lord or His precious Word to lean on during those difficult years.

But you are, teen girl, or you wouldn’t be reading these devotionals. :) The Bible tells us that your Heavenly Father will be your Father and that you are His daughter! Isn’t that great? You are a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We all are, actually. But the sooner you can wrap your head around that, the happier you will be. Joy will be in your heart and you will be able to turn to your Heavenly Father whenever you need Him.

The Bible says that God is very close to those who have a broken heart. One’s heart can’t get more broken than when you lose your Daddy. :'(

Psalms 34:18 – The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

But because your father was saved, you can look forward to the day when you will see him again in Heaven, amen? :) He will be there waiting to welcome you there! What a wonderful day that will be. In the meantime, teen girl, think of the good days you had with your father and heal your broken heart. Don’t try to forget … but remember him and share the wonderful moments you two had together with your family and your friends. Remember, your siblings and mother are missing him as well.

Revelation 21:4 – And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Remember, God takes all things and works it for His ultimate good. He has allowed you to experience this sorrow so you can be a help to someone else. Look around you and you will find another teen girl who is about to lose her father to cancer or has recently lost her father in an accident. Be there for her and encourage her in the Word of God! Be there to hug her and have healing words to share with her. Ask her what it was about her father that she loved the most? Get her to talk about him so she can go through the mourning process. As a result, you will be helping yourself to heal. :)

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