Here’s a quick list of things I wish I could say to every young adult!
1. You are of eternal value and significance because God doesn’t make junk. Regardless of who mistreated you, what lies you’ve been told, or how bad your past has been—you have a future and God has good plans for you. Life can be bad, but God’s heart is always good! And only He can turn the bad into good. (Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”)
2. You have an amazing contribution to make to the lives of others. God created you for the purpose of serving Him in the lives of others. This will be your family, your friends, your community, your co-workers, and your future family. People you’ve never met are counting on having your good influence some day. Don’t mess it up! (Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”)
3. You have incredible skills and abilities to develop for God’s glory. Don’t compare yourself to others. Let God help you become who He designed you to be. You have gifts and abilities that you have yet to discover and develop, so don’t lose hope! (1 Timothy 4:14, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee…”)
4. Your only hope for real happiness is a real, private, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It starts at salvation, but that’s just the beginning! Walking with Him, knowing Him, and learning of Him on a daily basis is where life is really at its BEST! (Proverbs 18:24, “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”)
5. Your life is more about your future than your past. I know lots of teens with bad pasts and bad trials because of the terrible decisions of others. But your future doesn’t have to be a response to the bad decisions of others. Don’t get angry and bitter about someone else’s stupidity. Don’t let them mess up your future. Move forward with God and chart a different course for your kids! (Hebrews 12:15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”)
6. You will live by faith, whether you do your will or God’s will—be smart—place faith in the One who is in control. Life is not a sight/faith proposition. It’s a faith/faith proposition. Either you place faith in yourself—blind faith since you are neither in control nor all knowing. Or you place faith in God—intelligent faith since He is all powerful and all knowing! Be smart—go with God! (Romans 1:17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”)
7. You will get through the confusion and frustration you face during your teen years. Don’t freak out when you get confused or when things don’t go as you hoped. Go to God and let Him get you through it. He is the only way to sanity! (Isaiah 45:2, “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight…”)
8. Your only hope for the fulfillment of your deepest dreams is to passionately pursue God. If you chase dreams, you will come up disappointed, even if they get fulfilled. Dreams are the product of the design of God—He knows how to fulfill them. Loving Him is your job! Fulfilling your heart is His job! Don’t get the roles reversed! (Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”)
9. Your pathway to godly success is littered with traps and pitfalls—so follow the Guide. God’s Word is the ultimate guide. When you know God and know His principles, you are safeguarding your steps. Unless you want to step into a lot of pain, stay close to the Guide! (Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”)
10. Your greatest enemy is impatience. Waiting is hard—ok. But look at it differently! You aren’t merely waiting! You are preparing! Don’t rush what God is doing in your life right now. Let Him have His way in His time, and don’t always wish you were three years down the road. Impatience destroys more people than anything else I know! Be willing to wait for God’s best! Illustration: Would you rather have a dollar today or a million next week? The best is worth waiting for! (Hebrews 10:36, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”)
11. Your greatest assignment is preparation. Most big mistakes in young adult lives somehow involve trading preparation for pretend. In other words, rather than really preparing for God’s best in His time, let’s just rush forward and pretend we’re there already. Bad decision. Stick with the preparation of youth! You’ll be WAY ahead of the rest of the planet when life demands the most of you. (Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”)
12. Your greatest asset is godly authorities, advisors, and counselors. God has given every life some good authority—even if some authorities have let you down. Somebody in your life will help you make right choices, avoid wrong, and see clearly through the fog of youth. One of the best decisions you could make is to trust godly authorities. Question them—fine—then listen to the answers they give and follow their advice! Godly authorities have no desire to control you, but they do want to protect you! (Exodus 20:12, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”)
Please—live life God’s way! While everything will try to drag you off track, I promise, you will never regret it! God has a good life in store for you—so go get it by His grace!