Week of: November 8, 2020
Editor's note: For our devotions for the month of November, three high school students will share their experiences during the pandemic and reflect on what they still find to be hopeful and grateful for in these challenging times. These devotions will not reflect the traditional Lectionary scriptures for each week, but we pray that they bring you hope and gratitude as we enter into a season of Thanksgiving.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28, NIV)
2020. This year was supposed to be an awesome junior year of high school. I was supposed to have a bunch of challenging classes, hang out with my friends, get my license, participate in extracurriculars, and more. Well, things didn't exactly turn out as expected.
2020 completely defied expectations. It’s easy to complain and view this year as a major disappointment, but this passage in Romans tells us that God has a plan and is working things out for the good of those who love him.
This year, everyone's struggling with many disappointments, challenges, and questions. Instead of responding with complaining, as Christians, we are called to look for God at work and be thankful. It's really hard to be grateful sometimes, but the Bible also tells us to give thanks in all circumstances. I need to ask myself often: How is God working this for my good? "This" can be a lot of different things, from social distancing to remote learning! Once I ask that question, it's easier for me to rejoice in my situation. Sometimes, we don't know the answer. But, we know that God has promised he is working, and when he makes a promise, he never breaks it. Whenever we don't know, all we need to do is ask.
We need to be careful because this verse doesn't mean that everything is good or that God works all things for the good we think we deserve. We need to understand that as Christians, God has given us a promise that even though things may be rough here on earth, there will be good. We can stand firmly on that promise. So when you start to question the rough patches in life, I challenge you, instead of complaining, choose gratefulness, and ask, "How is God working 'this' for my good?"
Dear God, thank you for working things for my good. Forgive me for the times when I complain and for when I ignore the work you are doing in the situations that surround me every day. Please teach me to look for how you are working in this world, and help me to choose thankfulness. Amen.
High school junior