Editorial: Teenager talks about her faith in God
The writer is the 14-year-old daughter of Church of God members Richard and Shirley Nickels. Mandie receives E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mandie Nickels
GILLETTE, Wyo.--"I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go," God promises us in Genesis 28:15. If I did not know that, I probably would not be able to go on in life. The world throws us many hard balls without any warnings, but I find it reassuring that God will always help us through it.
I am 14 years old and live in a world of hate and temptation. Remarkably, I manage to walk away from temptation every day because of the strength and love I receive from my heavenly Father.
Every day starts out with some form of temptation. The second I walk through the doors of my school, I walk into a society blind toward the Word of God. It is a society filled with hate, as well as drugs, sex and many other harsh things.
Having to say no to these temptations is a common thing to me. I have not been able to play any sports, because the games are mostly on the Sabbath. But I don't look at it as a punishment, because, while my classmates are playing basketball, I am learning and studying the true Word of God.
"What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 10:12).
This verse means a lot to me because, while I'm saying no and obeying the Lord, I am making Him happy--doing just what He wants me to do. I don't want to live any life without Him. Life is hard enough, so I couldn't imagine living this life without God's protection, guidance and love.
Growing up as a teenager is hard but an equally wonderful experience. With the Word of God, I can walk on a clear path with His hand in mine.
Faith is really the key to survival: faith in yourself to simply pursue your duty to the best of your ability and at last return home with honor; faith in your fellowman; and faith in your country and its national purpose and cause.
The most important faith you can possibly have is faith in God. He is the foundation for everything in life. Our lives, whether we are teenagers or adults, are a constant journey.
We have to learn and grow at every juncture as we make our way in life: sometimes tripping, but always moving toward the ultimate purpose: to become like God in character and pursuit of life.
© The Journal: News of the Churches of God