High Hopes for Livin'

Today our guest blogger, Pastor Draa Mackey, invites you to think about where you are in the present, based on your past, and how to move forward with hope for the future.


The sad reality is that you can’t change the past, but you can use your past experiences to help direct your future decisions.

As I look in the mirror, three lines materialize in my mind.
 What in the world!
How am I twenty-six already? 
How did I get to be this old?!
If you’re a teen, you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking: “If I hear another comment from an adult about life’s brevity, I’m going to hasten their demise!” Did I guess correctly?

The reason I knew what you were thinking is that it seemed that every adult I knew said the exact same thing to me when I was a teenager! And I paid as much attention to it back then as I did to the Timbuktu Times or the Norwegian News Network (i.e. very little).
But! If you give me your attention for a handful of paragraphs, I’ll promise you one thing: in the words that follow, you’ll find hope. And older folks (older than me, that is): Don’t think you can skip this blog because it doesn’t apply to you. This post is meant to be universal, so if you are, will be, or ever have been a teen, or have teens in your life, you’ll find something relatable and applicable in the following thoughts.

1. Your status in high school does not define who you'll be in life.

Whether you’re labeled as the jock, the nerd, the preppy girl, the country girl, the cool car guy, the fitness freak, or the rebel, your label will fade shortly after graduation. Don’t let your status define who you are NOW; because once you lose that status, what will you be? Look, relating it to Scripture, if David solely found his status in being a shepherd, he would have never become a king. If Ruth saw herself as only a Moabite woman, she would have never followed Naomi, married Boaz, and wound up in the lineage of Christ. Don’t let others define who you are. Instead, find your identity in Christ and let Him make you who He wants you to be.

2. Decisions you make now will influence you and others for the rest of your lives, but don't beat yourself up when you make mistakes.

I can think of things I did in high school that I regret and am certainly not proud of, but life goes on. The sad reality is that you can’t change the past, but you can use your past experiences to help direct your future decisions. Think of the Apostle Paul. He lived half of his life persecuting and indirectly killing Christians; yet, during the second half of his life, God used him to directly and indirectly to lead millions to Christ, and pen almost a quarter of the New Testament. Paul mentions his struggle from coping with his past life, but he follows it up by saying, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching toward those things which are before” (Scripture reference). Decisions you make now will affect the rest of your life, but don’t live in the bondage of your mistakes. Use them to guide your future.

3. I know it's hard to believe, but Mom and Dad aren't trying to ruin your life.

Some of you are rolling your eyes (again) and debating whether to finish reading this blog! And, you know what? I feel for you! I remember being in your shoes. There were times I felt like my mom and dad were getting up in my grill about something, even if I hadn’t done anything wrong. I mean, a 10 p.m. curfew on a school night? Our parents’ sole purpose in life must be to ruin our lives!
But, as time went on, I began to realize something: Mom and Dad deserved more credit than I gave them (This stays between you and me, okay?). I’m learning that most parents figure out things as they go along. I don’t care if your mom or dad earned a PhD in child psychology—there are still terrifying unknowns in parenting! Like any true pioneer knows before embarking into the wilderness, mistakes and wrong turns will be made.  

I don’t know the extent of your pain, but I’m learning the extent of God’s promises.

Maybe your parents never admit their mistakes and that’s what bothers you most. Maybe you’ve never heard your dad say the two words, “I’m sorry.”  Maybe you’ve grown up in a broken home, so some of the comments I’ve made ring hollow. I don’t know the extent of your pain, but I’m learning the extent of God’s promises. David reminds us in Psalm 68 that God is the Father to the fatherless. Let that sink into your very soul. Most parents want what’s best for their kids. There may come a day when you look back and say, “Wow, Mom. Wow, Dad. You were right all along!” (For the most part, that is).

4. You are never alone in whatever you're experiencing. You always have Jesus Christ, and He'll always be enough.

I don’t know what you’re personally battling. I can only use my struggles as a reference point. Can I tell you a beautiful truth, though? Jesus understands. He knows and has experienced any difficulty you could ever face. Hebrews 4:15 says,” For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Depression, guilt, relationships, addictions, friends, the meaning of life—whatever you’re battling through, Jesus knows and cares. He wants to help you not only survive through it, but THRIVE through it. Go to Him first, because He’ll understand the most.

5. Don’t be afraid to dream, but always remember one thing: A dream is useless if it’s never made real. Make it happen. Don’t just dream. Do.

The novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling communicated this idea exceptionally when he penned the poem “If.” Check out the two opening lines: “If you can dream and not make dreams your master/ if you can think and not make thoughts your aim…” Cue the goosebumps! Access the entire poem HERE. Don’t simply be content as a dreamer. The world needs dreamers, yes, but what good is a dreamer if he or she never does anything about the dreams?
Hebrews 11:6 doesn’t say that God is a rewarder of them who diligently DREAM about Him. It says that God “is a rewarder of them that diligently SEEK Him.” Be a doer. Yes, dream, but follow through. And above all, keep God as your Number One. If you do that, your dreams and desires will start to align with the magnificent plan He has for you.
My prayer is that one or more of these thoughts have given you hope. If you’ve made it this far without skipping to the end, congrats! Now consider sending this blog to a friend or teen wrestling with some of these issues. You never know what God will use to radically and eternally change someone’s life. Let Him use you as a conduit.
Our mission at Reasons for Hope is to train and equip a new generation to boldly stand on the Word of God. We are here to support you with resources and materials to equip you for your walk with Christ and your boldness in proclaiming His truth. Our hope is Jesus Christ.

We Have an App for That!

Our app is FREE and is designed to encourage you in your walk with Christ and to train and equip you and your family in staying bold in your faith. Just click HERE, and look for the blue asterisk on the black background.

Our Newest Releases!

We also encourage you to purchase our newest ministry book, Did Jesus Commit Suicide? And 27 Other Questions That Teens Have About the Bible (that adults want to know, too) to help you answer questions from a biblical worldview that teens are asking today. Click HERE.
IMPACT curriculum trains and equips young adult believers to stand boldly on the Word of God. It helps them know why they believe what they believe so that, in turn, they can live and share their faith with confidence.

Unit 1: Foundations begins with the basic principles of apologetics, biblical worldview, and critical thinking. This groundwork prepares students to unpack the rich content of the attention-grabbing DeBunked videos while they build relationships with others, actively apply the lesson content, and find true purpose in planting seeds of faith in a world that needs the hope of Christ. Click HERE to see other related products or to order this valuable resource.
Author Bio:
Pastor Draa Mackey has served as the senior pastor at Bayshore Baptist Church in Lincolnville, Maine, since 2018. Draa and his wife, Joanna, have been married for 4 years and have a 3-year-old son, Kirk. They love traveling, hiking, distance running (Draa is an ulta-marathoner!), and serving the Lord. To learn more about the ministry at Bayshore Baptist Church, click HERE.
Posted in
Tagged with ,

No Comments


Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

1 Chronicles 16:8-12 1 Chronicles 22:14 1 Chronicles 29:11 1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 1 Corinthians 15:21 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 1 Corinthians 15:33 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 1 John 2:15-17 1 John 4:10 1 John 4:19 1 Peter 2:24 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 4:12-13 1 Peter 4:12-19 1 Peter 5:10 1 Thessalonians 5:11 1 Timothy 6:10 1 Timothy 6:3-10 100 miles 1Peter 1:17-21 2 Chronicles 9:13-29 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 2 Corinthians 3:17 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Peter 3:9 2 Samuel 23:8-12 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 3:12 2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 4:11 25% are staying 50k 55-mile race Abraham sacrificing Isaac Abraham was very rich. Abuja Acts 11 Acts 13 and 15 Acts 17:11 Acts 1:8 Acts 9 Albert Einstein Alyssa Glander America waited too long. Apostle Peter Barna poll Barnabas Be a Berean Be bold! Be bold Be happy! Be part of the process. Be still and know that I am God Best Evidence God Created Bible Bob Gillespie Brian Miller C.S. Lewis CRT Candace Nordine Carl Kerby Jr. Carl Kerby Choosing for Two Christ in me Christ opened my eyes. Christian witness Chruch Colossians 1:27 Colossians 2:14 Colossians 3:17 Colossians 3:1 Colossians 4:5-6 Columbo Tactic D. Mark Jacobs Jr. Dan Lietha Dave Glander David Tautofi DeBunked 15 DeBunked TV DeBunked Deuteronomy 11:13 Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Did Jesus Commit Suicide? Dr. Andrew Fabich Dr. Francis Schaeffer Dr. Jason Lisle Dr. William Beal Draa Mackey Easter Ecclesiastes 12:13 Ecclesiastes 4:10 Eleazar Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 3:17-18 Ephesians 3:19-21 Ephesians 4:29 Ephesians 5:15-17 Ephesians 6:4 Exodus 17:11 Exodus 17:12 Exodus 33:14 Facing the Giants Frank Figueroa Galatians 2:20 Galatians 5:1 Galatians 5:22-23 Galatians 6:9 Gen Z Genesis 13:1-2 Genesis 1:14-15 Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:29 Genesis 1:31 Genesis 3:10 Genesis 3 Genesis Glendive Montana God created you God is rich in mercy God loves us. God loves you God won the battle God-shaped vacuum God's Word God's character God's joy God's plan God's pursuit God\'s Word God\'s character God\'s joy God\'s plan God\'s pursuit God\\\'s character God\\\'s joy God\\\'s plan God\\\'s pursuit God\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\'s joy God\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan Gods Word is truth Gods Word Gods care Gods character Gods divine plan Gods light Gods love story Gods plan of redemption Gods plan Gods wisdom Good Shepherd Gospel message Grammar matters Groggy Hawaii He is always faithful. Heaven Hebrews 10:19-22 Hebrews 11 Hebrews 12:1-3 Hebrews 12 Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 7:25 Hell His glory Holly Varnum Holy Spirit How can I fight and overcome fear? Hubble Huntsman Center I Peter 3:15 IMPACT Impact Curriculum Is it okay for a Christian to be rich? Is life good? Isaiah 11:1 Isaiah 26:3-4 Isaiah 40:28-31 Isaiah 40:29 Isaiah 40:31 Isaiah 41 Isaiah 43:1 Isaiah 45:9a Isaiah 55:8-9 Isaiah 55:8 Isaiah 64:8 Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 It is well with my soul Jamaica James 1:12 James 1:15 James 1:17 James 1:2 James 4:10 James 4:8 January 2022 Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:13 Jeremiah 33:3 Jesus and me Jesus chose to die. Jesus comforts the broken-hearted. Jesus saw their faith Job 1:3 Job 2:8 John 10:17-18 John 10:27 John 11:25 John 14:6 John 15:13 John 15:16a John 16:33 John 1:12 John 1:35-42 John 3:16-17 John 3:16 John 8:32 John 8:36 John Mark John Ray Joni Eareckson Tada Joni and Friends Joseph A. Kennedy Joshua 1:9 Joshua 22:5 Joshua 24:15 Juan Valdes Justice Kaimuki Bulldogs Kaimuki High School King David King Solomon Know It! Live It! Share It! Lacey Reitz Lamentations 3:22-24 Leviticus 18:24-30 Leviticus 25:23 Liberty Institute Life in layers Life is good because God is good. Life is good Listen to His voice. Listen Loose the Lion Luke 12:12 Luke 18:1 Luke 22:32 Luke 5:1-11 MTD Malachi 3:3 Malachi 3:6 Mark 10:8 Mark 16:15 Mark 1:16-18 Mark 2:3-5 Mark 5:19 Mark 6:31 Martin Luther Master Potter Matthew 10:20 Matthew 10:32 Matthew 11:28-29 Matthew 11:28 Matthew 11:29-30 Matthew 11:29 Matthew 13 Matthew 14:22-33 Matthew 16:24 Matthew 19:16-24 Matthew 19:23-24 Matthew 1:22-23 Matthew 27:75 Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 4:18-20 Matthew 5:13 Matthew 5:16 Matthew 6:19-20 Matthew 6:19 Matthew 6:27 Matthew 6:33 Matthew 9:35 May 15 1987 Memory Lane Mere Christianity Mic'd Up Mic\'d Up Mic\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d Up Michigan State University Miracles Money is their god. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Mosaic NRB National Religious Broadcasters Nigeria Noah's ark Parable of the sower Pastor Baba Paul Varnum Peter Philippians 1:6 Philippians 2:3-4 Philippians 3:12-16 Philippians 3:7-8 Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:8 Plan C Please say Yes! Please say "Yes!" Please say \"Yes!\" Please say \\\"Yes!\\\" Potter Proverbs 12:26 Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 15:4 Proverbs 16:3 Proverbs 18:12 Proverbs 18:24 Proverbs 19:21 Proverbs 1:20 Proverbs 3:5-6 Psalm 100:5 Psalm 103:2-5 Psalm 119:105 Psalm 119:11 Psalm 119:160 Psalm 122:1 Psalm 138:1-2 Psalm 139:14 Psalm 139:17 Psalm 13:6 Psalm 147:4 Psalm 16:11 Psalm 18:1-2 Psalm 19:1 Psalm 1:1 Psalm 1 Psalm 23:1 Psalm 23:2 Psalm 23:4 Psalm 23:6 Psalm 27 Psalm 29:2 Psalm 34:19 Psalm 40:2 Psalm 40:8 Psalm 42 Psalm 68:19 Psalm 69:9a Psalm 8:3 Psalm 8:4 Psalm 92:1-4 Pursued Put God first Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life Reasons for Hope* Reasons for Hope Respond to God's voice Respond to God\'s voice Respond to God\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\'s voice Resurrection RforH Romans 10:14 Romans 10:15 Romans 10:9-10 Romans 10:9 Romans 12:1-2 Romans 12:9-21 Romans 1:16 Romans 3:23 Romans 5:12 Romans 5:17 Romans 6:23 Romans 8:14 Romans 8:26 Romans 8:28 Sanctity of Life Schaftlein Report Scriptures September 11 Shelby Pruitt Spurgeon Stay bold! Stay bold Supreme Court Surprised by Joy Thanksgiving The Bible Project The Right Ingredients The Screwtape Letters There is no truth Think before you post. TikTok Tish Kerby Trust His heart Trusting God Use God's Word correctly. Use God\'s Word correctly. Wade Wacker Wealthy Christians What is a Christian? What is my purpose? Who Made God? Why am I here? Why did Jesus have to die? Wooed Word of God Your grace still amazes me. Your vote matters. a little at a time a process; not an event abortion absolute truth acacia accepting help achieving the impossible angry another child of God struggling answering questions antidote to fear anxious apologetics astronomy astrophysics be not afraid biblical Christianity biblical creationist biblical perspective biblical worldview blindfold boldness bold branch brokenness butterfly caged called to encourage cancellation cease striving certainty challenge character check your attitude children clay coercion come alongside comfort zone comfortable Christian commas save lives compromised confidence confused conjunction created in Gods image critical race theory critical thinking cross curriculum cut the head off the snake debate defend depressed depression design of the eye desperate passion dinosaur dig don't fight alone don't stop don\'t fight alone don\'t stop don\\\'t fight alone don\\\'t stop don\\\\\\\'t stop dont stop doubt encouragement entrusted by God to do good eternal life eternity without God evangelism examine the scriptures eye fair and impartial faith walk family circle family first fear not fearfully and wonderfully made fear feeling lost feeling overwhelmed fig filled with joy and worship flight cancelled football coach forest former athiest freedom of choice fruit galaxies give a defense give thanks glory in His holy name good news of Jesus Christ good news grace gratitude grog having conversations heroes of the faith hope human eye humble ourselves illness impact lives impact your teammates positively impulsive incomprehensible God isolation keep moving keep progressing largest church in the world layers leaf light year speed like Christ live in freedom loss of loved ones love of money love made for another world made in His image marriage memories memorization without application memorizing Scripture missing opportunities more like Christ multiple meanings mystical truth never compromised no complaints no hope no pain no gain no quitting nonconformist not a fetus not ashamed oak objective right and wrong olive one foot in front of the other opened doors opportunity to bring hope overwhelming distance palms part of a team passionate patience patriotism paying it forward persecution persevere perspective physics plans pomegranate positive messages postgame prayer potsherd pottery potter power of the Word praying preposition progress quadriplegic quiet time reach the younger generation reality exists reality reassurance red cardinal redemptive work of Christ refining refocus what church looks like relationship with God relentless forward motion represent Christ resolutions rest right time right words root of all evil root sacrifice salvation see God move seed experiment seek the Lord shine a light silversmith situation slavery social media son of encouragement speak life speak your truth spiritual apathy spiritual harvest stagnant church stand boldly on the Word of God stand up against evil star-gazing starstruck stars step by step stranded stress statistics stress study for yourself suffering sycamore symbol of God's love and reassurance symbol of God\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\\\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of Gods love and reassurance teaching science telescope terebinth thank you thankful the apple of his eye the finish line the lion will defend itself the seeing eye think for yourself thriving in Christ traditions traffic trees trials tribulation troubles truth turn to God ultamarathon ultrarunner unborn child uncage the Lion uncertain uncover the truth unfair universe unpredictable use your gift vine virgin birth visual reminders vote wethering the storm where two worlds collide willow windows to the soul worldview worth fighting for your circle matters youth ministry youth zeal for worship