Full Control

Author: Parker Ryan — Host: Emily TenterPosted on: December 9, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Full Control

When I was about twelve years old, I started struggling with germaphobia. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a major perfectionist, and I stressed and worried about a lot of unnecessary things. Then I began to wash my hands so much that they were constantly cracked and bleeding. I worried about getting sick or something bad happening, and I tried to use my own power to keep those things from happening. I was constantly stressed and sad. Eventually my mom sent me to a counselor, which really helped. I also realized a big part of my problem was that I was trying to control my life by myself. As I tried to control my life, I was constantly anxious, and I was becoming sick. I realized I couldn’t do life on my own. When I was overwhelmed with anxiety, God’s love for me didn’t change. He had compassion on me. He got my attention and drew me to Himself. I realized that, even though I trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I wasn’t trusting Him to take care of me. I wasn’t entrusting full control of my life to Him. And I wanted that to change. As Christians, we have a choice: Will we acknowledge our loving God’s full control of our lives? If we choose to rely on Him and follow His leading, we get to see God work in our lives for His good purposes. Through my experience with anxiety, I came to trust God more, and I started to give Him full control of my life. I realized there are some things I cannot control, but God can. And I can pray about these things, knowing that God is big enough to take care of them all. • Parker Ryan • While making a choice to trust in God and give Him control won’t magically take away anxiety, it is a step in the right direction. It’s also helpful to know that God is with us, even when we experience anxiety, and He doesn’t condemn us (Romans 8:1). Whenever we feel stressed or worried about something, we can pray about these things. We can lean on Jesus, the One who hurts with us and understands our anxiety fully because He experienced it Himself (Luke 22:39-44). And we can seek help from friends, family, and professionals who can remind us of His great love for us. Ultimately, we can look forward to the day Jesus will return and fully heal all brokenness, including anxiety. • If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress or worry, you’re not alone. If you need someone to talk to, you can set up an appointment for a one-time complimentary phone consultation with a Christian counselor through the Focus on the Family Counseling Service. In the United States, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) to set up an appointment. In Canada, book your appointment by calling 1-800-661-9800 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) and ask to speak with the care associate. • Worry, fear, and mental illness are common because God’s good creation has been broken by sin. But Jesus took all this sin on Himself when He went to the cross—because He loves us. Through His resurrection, He is making everything new and well. When Jesus returns, He will put an end to all mental illness. How could looking forward to this restoration give you hope? • If we’ve put our trust in Jesus, His Holy Spirit lives in us, and He provides comfort and healing as we seek Him. (And one of the ways He does this is through community with fellow Christians.) Can you think of a time you experienced God’s comfort or healing in some way? • Jesus experienced anxiety personally, not just so He could empathize with us, but also so He could save us from anxiety. Sometimes He calms our anxiety in the moment, and when He returns, He will banish anxiety forever. Whenever you feel afraid or anxious, you can turn to Jesus. No matter what, He loves you. He is holding you. And nothing can separate you from Him (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:38-39). In moments of anxiety, how could it help to remember that Jesus will never leave you? • It can be helpful to know that feelings of stress or anxiety aren’t necessarily bad. These feelings act like messengers, letting us know when something is wrong that might need to change. When we pay attention to these feelings, the Holy Spirit can help us identify broken areas that need Jesus’s healing. How can paying attention to what makes us stressed help us grow closer to God? • When it’s hard to discern what you can control and what you can’t, who is a trusted Christian you can talk to? • How can you show God’s compassion to others when they are feeling stressed or worried? Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)


Read Verses:

Matthew 6:25-Matthew 6:34; Romans 8:26-Romans 8:39; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6-Philippians 4:7