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What makes you feel safe and secure? Is it the comfort of having a boyfriend or a girlfriend? The nice car in the driveway? The grades on your report card? Everyone is looking for something stable in our changing world. But a lot of people are placing their security in a lot of insecure places. This week, we challenge you to think about one simple question: Where's my security? If you're honest, the answer may surprise you. "Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes" (Psalm 112:6-8).
1 Uneasiness in an Uncertain World
Justin feels insecure. You might not know it to look at him. But sometimes at night, when he's trying to fall asleep, he worries about what might happen in a world where terrorism, school shootings, racial tension, and AIDS seem out of control. He knows too many kids whose parents are out of work, or whose families are falling apart, to think it can't happen to him.
look it up - Everyone can relate (at one time or another) to the insecurity King David expressed in Psalm 55:
"My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, 'Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest-I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm."
"Confuse the wicked, O Lord, confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets" (Psalm 55:4-11).
think it through - David wished he were a dove, able to fly out into the peaceful countryside. Have you ever felt like that? Where is the most peaceful place you've ever been? When have you felt the most secure?
What world (or personal) problems cause you to feel the most insecure?
work it out - Our goal this week is simple: to see what God says about finding security in a very insecure world. We need his help. So pray this way:
"Father, please speak to me. Give me open ears and a willing heart. As I read your Word and spend time with you, slowly change my values. Help me begin to see things as you see them. And give me the deep confidence that comes from trusting you completely. Amen."
(Now go back and carefully reread the verse on the previous page.)
nail it down - Read a great description of the times in which we live-2 Timothy 3:1-5.
2 Don 't Put Your Trust in People!
In August Jessica started dating Michael. Good-looking, funny, and athletic, Michael was everything Jessica ever dreamed of in a guy. The problem is that, without realizing it, Jessica built her whole world around Michael. For two months her whole self-worth was based on how he treated her. Compliments made her feel terrific. Criticism made her feel like scum. This yo-yo lifestyle of security/insecurity hit rock bottom last night. Michael suddenly ended the relationship. Jessica is pretty much devastated-and feeling more insecure than ever.
look it up - The Bible sternly warns us not to depend on other people to provide the security we crave.
"Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?" (Isaiah 2:22).
"This is what the Lord says: 'Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD'" (Jeremiah 17:5).
think it through - Do you base your security on how others treat you? What's the danger in that kind of approach to life?
In a world of sinful people, is it realistic to expect to find anyone who will never let you down?
work it out - Take this quiz.
___ ___ 1. It would destroy me if my friends suddenly deserted me.
___ ___ 2. I just can't stand it when I'm not going with someone.
___ ___ 3. What the kids at school think of me matters more than anything else.
___ ___ 4. I hate to be alone.
___ ___ 5. I am not happy unless I am together with my family and/or friends.
___ ___ 6. If someone close to me died or if my parents divorced, I don't think I'd want to live.
A "true" answer to any or all of those questions indicates that you may be depending on people for your security. Discuss the verses, the quiz, and the other ideas on this page with some mature Christian friends-and then pray for each other.
nail it down - Read Isaiah 31:1.
pray about it -
3 Stop Counting (On) Your Money!
Kenny's mom is out of work and she's worried about the family's lack of medical insurance. After hearing on the radio about some guy who won the lottery-$2.5 million a year for the next 20 years-Kenny lies back on the couch and starts fantasizing. "Imagine having $50 million! You could get any house you wanted, a hot car, nice clothes. You wouldn't even need insurance-you could hire your own personal doctor. Must be nice not to have a worry in the world."
look it up - A lot of people think money is capable of solving all their problems. Wrong! Money can never bring security! Take it from these two very wealthy men:
Job-"If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, 'You are my security,' if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained ... then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high" (Job 31:24-25, 28).
Solomon-"The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall" (Proverbs 18:11).
think it through - Are you counting on money to see you through life? Is having a certain lifestyle-and the money it will take to pay for it-the most important thing to you about your future?
Can you think of any ways that wealth is not as secure as it seems? How might it disappear quickly?
work it out - Fight the urge to look for security in money. Ron Blue, in his book Master Your Money, gives three rules that will help you put money in the proper perspective:
1. God owns it all.
2. Money is never an end in itself, but is merely a resource used to accomplish other goals and obligations.
3. Spend less than you earn and do it for a long time, and you will be financially successful.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? God's principle is faithfulness, not greed. If you're greedy, you'll eventually get burned (even if it takes a couple of generations). But if you're faithful, God will bless you, your children, and your grandchildren (Proverbs 13:22).
nail it down - Read Psalm 52:1-7 and 1 Timothy 6:17.
4 Seeking Out the Source of Security
Tammy comes home from school in tears. During sixth hour she found out her "friends" have been spreading a very vicious rumor about her. Talk about embarrassed! "I'll never be able to show my face there ever again," she sobs. Mr. Krauss puts his arms around his daughter, pulls her close, and gives her a long hug. "Sometimes people are cruel. They say stupid things, things that really hurt, and then they walk away. I know it doesn't change your situation, but I love you and I'll always be here for you." "Thanks, Dad," Tammy says as she wipes away her tears.
look it up - Isn't it great to have an earthly dad who cares? Isn't it even greater to have a heavenly Father who cares perfectly and all the time?
"I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken" (Psalm 16:8).
"For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken" (Psalm 21:7).
"So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'" (Hebrews 13:6).
Do you see the common thread that runs through these passages? It's this: The source of ultimate security is the Lord our God!
think it through - It's okay to go to friends and/or family members with your problems. But remember this: People will eventually let you down. They have bad days and problems of their own. If your trust is in them alone, you'll definitely be disappointed.
Look first to the Lord. With him as your security, you won't fall apart when your world does.
work it out - People look for security in all kinds of places-romantic relationships, a high grade point average, a close family, a good job, a promising future, a special talent or natural ability, a group of friends, a certain routine, good looks, and material possessions.
List the potential problems that face people who make one of the above the basis for their security. If you sense that you are trusting in one of those things more than you are the Lord, ask God to show you how to change.
nail it down - Read Psalm 55:22
pray about it -
5 Installing Your Own Security System
Matt just knew he was going to make first string on the football team. He made sure his parents, girlfriend, and other classmates knew it too. Imagine Matt's surprise (and embarrassment) when he didn't start. (He only played about ten plays in the first two games!) Ashley has felt panicky and uptight for three weeks now. She and her boyfriend got carried away and had sex one night when his parents were gone and they had the house to themselves. She's terribly afraid she might be pregnant.
look it up - Our actions often determine whether we are secure or insecure. We find security when we
obey Christ-"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock" (Matthew 7:24-25);
live wisely-"He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe" (Proverbs 28:26).
But we experience insecurity when we
are proud-"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" (1 Corinthians 10:12);
are disobedient to God- (Matthew 7:26-27).
think it through - What could Matt and Ashley have done to prevent the insecurity they now feel?
work it out - Install your own security system.
1. Obey God's Word. The commands that seem so negative-no sex, no partying, no profanity, no cheating-are actually positive. Following them builds security!
2. Hang around people who want to live for God. Rebellious, insecure people want to drag you down. Misery loves company, right?
3. Seek to know Jesus Christ. He loves and accepts you totally and completely. He'll never reject you. You can count on him!
nail it down - Read how pride brought destruction (and ultimate insecurity) to Edom-Obadiah 3-4. On Saturday, read Psalm 46. On Sunday, read more about the ultimate source of security and help-Psalm 40.
Excerpted from YouthWalk Copyright © 2003 by Walk Thru the Bible. Excerpted by permission.
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