Core scripture: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Message: I have heard their stories all too many times. Kids that have lost all hope. Kids that are broken. Kids that think there is no way out. I can relate. There was a time I once felt that way too. Satan’s lies start piling up in your mind, and before long you start believing them.
You are worthless. Why do you even try anymore? You will never outlive your past mistakes. Nobody even likes you. There is no way you will be forgiven. What is life? There is no point to it. Why don’t you just end it? You have no hope.
That last word, hope, is all but lost. Vanished into thin air. Jordan felt that way. I have never met Jordan in person, but I have listened to his testimony on YouTube (see link below). Songwriter Matthew West wrote his song “Hello My Name Is” about Jordan’s story. At the peak of his athletic career, Jordan broke his ankle in college. He found his escape in drugs and tried to overdose one night. Thankfully he survived.
His parents enrolled him in Teen Challenge International. It was there that Jordan found out who Jesus really was. He found a fresh hope in God that he never had experienced and changed his life for the better. Jordan went back to school, continued to run track, and became a teacher and a coach. He aspires to be a preacher. Just like his dad.
Sadly, there are so many others who do not get that second chance. This week our school is observing Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. I have to admit, when our classes were required to create posters for it, my initial response was that we do not have time for this. Then I thought about what it might mean to some. Just to let them know that there is something called hope.
I look back at the lies Satan once told me. They are pathetic. God has given me a source of hope that crushes those lies. That hope lifts me up! “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). I may not be able to speak of the source of that hope to my students, but I can tell them to focus on the positive in life. It is out there.
They just have to find it.
I am still getting to know my students, but through their first projects I have seen some hopelessness. Kids who have lost their parents. Kids who have never met dad before. Kids who held dying pets in their arms. One boy wrote on his Bell Work sheet that his family was arguing at home, and he needed prayer. Another girl wrote about her dad’s suicide. My heart yearns for these sweet children to listen to the source of all hope.
And so I pray. I keep record of their prayers in my prayer journal at my desk, and I lift them up in confident prayer that God will take care of them. If I do not write these prayers down, I forget about them. Paul reminds us, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). Once you embrace these thoughts, Satan’s lies seem so minuscule.
Be that hope to others this week. Stay positive. Let others know who Christ is through your actions. Suddenly, as mentioned in the core scripture above, the overflow of hope has no choice but to spill into those around you.
Challenge: This summer I received a small prayer journal for my birthday. I leave it at my desk at school, and I write down prayer needs from students and colleagues. If you have never tried this before, give it a shot! Lift up your school in assertive prayer, knowing that God will work everything for His good.
Video application: Matthew West explains the inspiration behind his song “Hello My Name Is” in the video below. It includes the powerful testimony of Jordan.
Song application: Would you like to know my favorite Matthew West song that speaks truth to overcoming suicidal thoughts? Look no further than “Mended.” The video portrays a young girl being crushed by outside pressures. Instead of ending her life, she ends up praising God.
When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home
When you see nothing but damaged goods
I see something good in the making
I’m not finished yet
When you see wounded, I see mended
CTC update: It has only been a week since I posted about my dream of beginning CTC. I have been praying for it, and if God lays it on your heart that you might want to become involved, the survey link is below. I welcome anyone who is interested!
Prayer: Lord, I pray you will help us all be a source of hope to our students. Let us build strong relationships, and allow them to blossom this school year. May we all believe in your continual love and hope. Amen.
This is a great message, especially since we often get caught up in many of the negatives involved in teaching. Thank you for helping me start the day with HOPE!