Helen Winzell

Trust instead of worry

Day Three on TeenStreet (TS) offered separate meetings for girls and boys in the Main Hall. The theme of the day was BREATHE. Rachel explained to the girls: “Breathing means inhaling and exhaling. Every breath is a gift from God and a reminder for God’s provision for us. We want to breathe deep and trust God. We want to breathe out our worries and concerns and replace that with trust.”

She gave the example of Mary, Jesus’ mother. As Mary was told that she was going to give birth to the son of God, she chose to trust God instead of worrying, since she knew that God had done great things before.

 “We are carrying something really heavy, but God invites us to come to the throne and trade it to something lighter,” Rachel said. “As we continue to lift up our needs to Him and see how He provides, our trust in God grows…

“God is so worthy to be trusted. He wants us to bring our worries to Him. We can try to carry our own lives, but God says, ‘I love you. Trust me. I want to carry those things for you.’”

Knowing, representing and trusting God

In the boys’ meeting, the teaching focussed on what it is to be a man of God, referring to Daniel in the Old testament and John the Baptist in the New testament – men who knew God, wanted to represent Him and trusted Him.

Being a man of God is to say, just like John the Baptist (John 3:30), that God must become greater and you must become less, Ronald explained. He continued, “The moon looks the biggest when it’s on the horizon. That’s because we can compare it to trees and houses. In the same way, we understand how big the Father is when we compare ourselves with Him.”

“To be a man of God is giving God His rightful place and trusting that that is His place. It’s also trusting the fact that it’s OK if you feel smaller next to Him because God is protecting you and guiding you to be the man of God you were destined to be. In comparing yourself with God, He gets His rightful place. Next time you see the moon coming over the horizon,” Rich continued, “remember that God has His rightful place and that He is that big.”

So what does it look like to make God big? Rich explained that the boys need to trust Him with things in their lives. “Take ONE thing that you need to trust God with. Think about it. That THOUGHT becomes an ACTION. When you start to trust God, it becomes a HABIT, something you start to do automatically. The habit turns into CHARACTER, which turns into your DESTINY.”

The challenge of trusting God

During NET groups and the Big Adventure Bible study, teens could discuss what makes it difficult to trust God. Johanna (17) and Jossan (16) from Sweden, both at TS for the third time, suggested that everything from insecurity and confusion to family, friends and school can hinder them from knowing God.

Being around other believers helps. TS is especially encouraging, they noted: “Everyone surrounding you has the same belief; they understand what you’re going through; they’re your same age; and you become friends with everyone in your NET group and have people you connect to.”

Bram (17), who’s at TS for the third time, and Christiaan (15), here for the second time, both from the Netherlands, said that disappointment and unclear answers make it difficult to trust God. “Believing in God is a hard thing to do because it feels so far away… It’s hard to find my belief back at TS right now,” Bram shared.

However, they agreed that talking honestly with their NET group was a way to help each other trust God more. If other teens have encountered similar disappointments, they can share what they did in that situation. “Maybe I can learn what I need, or I can ask them, ‘What did you do when that happened?’,” Bram said.

Emily (14) from Italy, at TS for the first time, said “not having a real person you can touch” was a tricky part of trusting God. For Kristin (14) from Germany, at TS for the second time, it was waiting for God’s answers.

Both girls said that spending time with friends talking about Jesus—among themselves and also to strangers—was one way they helped each other trust God more.

TS, of course, brings thousands of young Jesus followers together. “Here are so many people,” Kristin said. “…I know I’m not alone.”

“Every [Bible] study that we do, it’s helping me to make my relationship with Jesus stronger,” Emily said.