Pause

The world can be a scary place, and in our anxiety we sometimes turn towards things that hold no real safety.

We serve a God in whom we find our true solace. Take some time now to turn to God, and put your fears aside.

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Listen

He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.

Psalm 111:4-10

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Think

So what has God done for you lately?

As I write, I’m trying to imagine the typical churchgoing youth who might read this. Your commitment to Christ is a regular part of your life; your faith is probably supported by a youth group, a congregation, a minister or two. Like the author of today's psalm, you can give thanks as a part of a “people” who worship together and who share life together.

But the truth is, I don’t know you, and none of us is ever exactly typical. Your life may be truly awful for any number of reasons. Maybe your faith is not much comfort right now.

Even if your life is hard, it is your life, and a gift, even if the gift feels like barbed wire sometimes. And the psalmist’s advice is good: The fear of the Lord — not fear like cringing, afraid of being hit, but respect, submission, even devotion — is where true wisdom begins. God is there, and wants to know you. Praise God!

Richard Vinson

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Pray

O God, you are amazing! Thank you for being there for me. Amen.

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Go

You are going out now into a dangerous world.
But walk on with confidence,
Knowing that your God is with you,
More powerful than any evil influence,
More trustworthy than any pretender.

Richard Vinson

Richard Vinson teaches religion at Salem College and New Testament for Union Presbyterian Seminary (Charlotte campus). He is a native of Alabama. He and his wife, Diane Lipsett, between them have five sons, one daughter-in-law, a 5-year-old grandson, a dog, and two cats.

Hold Me in Your Hand, Lord, Teach Me How to Live

Ken Medema

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