Editor’s note: 5-Minute Devotions for Teens by Laura Smith is a brand-new devo written for your kids and grandkids to help them take care of their mental and spiritual health. As Laura says in the introduction, her prayer is for teens to “feel the sweet, deep love of Jesus for you. That you’ll know He is for you, that He wants only good for you, that He’ll fight for you, and that He’ll never leave your side.” Enjoy this excerpt and share with a teenage friend.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” — John 8:12
You will have dark days. Days when a friend breaks your trust and your feelings are hurt, and you have no idea what to say. Days when depression feels heavy, like it’s weighing you down. Days when everything seems to be going wrong.
But there is good news.
- Jesus is light.
He’s brighter and lovelier than anything you can imagine and more powerful than any dark thing you’re facing. Jesus promises that if you follow Him, you’ll have the light of life. That might mean Jesus will give you the right words to speak to your friend or a safe place to go when things feel overwhelming. Or maybe He’ll provide a surprise that cuts through your darkness like a fluffy kitten jumping on your lap or your mom making your favorite meal or a snow day. Sometimes Jesus lights up a way out of an unhealthy situation and toward a healthy one. Jesus offers you better and brighter and wants you to live in His wonderful light.
Walk into a dark room and turn on the light. Notice the difference it makes. Ask Jesus to light up your life, to add brightness to anywhere that’s dark.
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. — Romans 13:12
“Every morning when you wake up, new baby nerve cells have been born while you were sleeping that are there at your disposal to be used in tearing down toxic thoughts and rebuilding healthy thoughts,” says neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf.1
Isn’t that so cool? Every day is a new opportunity to put aside dark thoughts, negative thoughts, hurtful thoughts, and to replace them with healthy, positive thoughts.
How do you do it? You can start by reading a list of five wonderful, true things about you and your life each morning. Maybe that could be “I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.” Maybe it’s a skill you’re good at or a certain way you know you’ve been blessed. “Math comes easily to me.” Or “God has given me a safe home.” Do this before you turn on social media. Before you talk to someone who brings you down. Before you let negative self-talk tell you something bad about yourself. This shuts down dark thoughts and arms your thought life with light.
Create the list you’ll read each morning. Write out five awesome truths about yourself and/or your life — your gifts or talents, someone who cares about you, some positive circumstances you’ve been blessed with. I’ll get you started:
* God loves you endlessly, no matter what.
- Caroline Leaf, Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health (Baker Books, 2013), 24.
Excerpted with permission from 5-Minute Devotions for Teens by Laura L. Smith, copyright Laura L. Smith.
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Every day is a brand new opportunity to listen to the Lord, put on His joy, put aside thoughts that weigh you down and replace them with healthy, positive thoughts. Remember, you are always always loved! ~ Devotionals Daily