Category Archives: Teen Corner

Serving God – Even When It’s Hard by Arianna Fox

Serve God

“Serve the Lord!”

As a Christian, you most likely hear that phrase all the time, or at least a phrase similar to it. “You gotta serve the Lord!” “You need to have a servant’s heart!” “Praise the Lord forever, even when you don’t feel like it!

You might be wondering what “serving the Lord” even entails. How do I serve Him? You might be thinking. Or you might be thinking you know exactly what to do to serve the Lord, but you might not feel like it – or maybe you’re going through a hard time.

I get it. But no matter what, serving, praising and thanking God continually is essential.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says (in KJV), “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” The NIV says the same thing: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

One part of Verse 18 that I thought was intriguing was that it said, “In everything, give thanks”/“Give thanks in all circumstances.” I used to sometimes wonder, “What if you break your arm, or a tornado hits your house, or you become poor? Why would you thank God for bad things?

Well, my parents and I were talking once, and we were talking about that Scripture. My parents brought up the fact that it says “In everything, give thanks.” Not for everything. In everything. Even if one broke their arm, they could still thank God that they’re healing and recovering rapidly. Even if a tornado hit one’s house, they could still thank God that they and their family survived and is alright. If one became poor, they could thank God for everything else going right in their life. You can still thank God in everything.

There’s an old song my family and I love to listen to called Sacrifice of Praise. One of the lyrics says, “We bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.” One day, my parents and I were talking about that song, and I was wondering why it was called a “sacrifice” in the song. According to the dictionary, the word “sacrifice” either means sacrificing an animal to a god or deity, or to surrender or give up something that you love or want to keep. The word “sacrifice” can also be used as a word for sacrificing time to do something you don’t want to do. How in the world is praise a sacrifice? Praising God is awesome, right?

Yes, praying to and praising Jesus is definitely awesome. But when my parents and I were talking, my parents brought up a good point – the word “sacrifice” is referred to as a sacrifice in the song because sometimes it feels like a sacrifice, feels like a burden, when you’re going through hard times or times in life when you don’t feel like praising God. Or, perhaps, you feel there is nothing to praise God for. Praise is sometimes a sacrifice because sometimes, the times when you least feel like praising God, those are the times when you most need to.

“During difficult times,” writes Matrid Harper in her blog post Serving the Lord in Difficult Times, “we must be steadfast in service and praises to our God and be thankful for the strength to persevere.” She continues to write, “We cannot serve the Lord to please this world for this world can never provide us with the peace that passes all understanding. We instead serve our Lord to please Him alone and that clearly re-affirms why we are called His children. Our bodies are temples of God and that’s why we should all be very careful how we live our lives and always strive to please our Heavenly Father. We need to practice self-control.”

There are many different ways that we can serve the Lord – praise, worship (which are two separate things [but that’s a whole another topic]), doing what God calls us to do or lays on our heart to say, etc. But the most important thing to know is that it will be hard. Some days, it will be extremely easy – and other days, it might seem impossible. It might be difficult to praise the Lord on a day when you feel like there’s nothing to praise Him for. But do it anyway. Praise Him, magnify Him, glorify Him, even when it isn’t easy – even when it seems impossible; even when bad things are happening in your life. And as long as you keep doing what He wants you to do, you will succeed.

– Arianna Fox, 12-Year-Old Girlpreneur, Author and Motivational Speaker

www.ariannafox.com

www.bigideaskc.com

afox@ariannafox.com

afox@bigideaskc.com

(302) 399-7851

@afoxauthor on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (Arianna Fox on LinkedIn and YouTube)

Passion To Purpose

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple

“The climb might be tough and challenging, but the view is worth it. There is a purpose for that pain; you just can’t always see it right away.” – Victoria Arlen, ESPN Television Personality, Actress, Speaker, Model and Former Paralympian Swimmer

Passion. Such a strong word with such a powerful meaning. You hear it all the time, from articles to videos to TED Talks. “Find your passion!” “Find your purpose!” And while it can sometimes seem like an overused cliché, it is true that purpose and passion are extremely important.

But they are not the same thing.

According to Dictionary.com, the definition for passion is: “An intense desire or enthusiasm for something.” And the definition for purpose is: “The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.”

The truth is, we all have a passion. We all have things we love to do, and things we have an intense and strong desire to do. But not all of us have found our purpose.

Our purpose is why we are here on this earth. Our purpose is why God created us, and what we are supposed to do with our passions and our talents. Everyone has their passions, their hobbies, their talents – but a purpose is how we can use that passion and those talents forever.

Jack Canfield – an author, motivational speaker, corporate trainer and entrepreneur – put it best. “Of course it takes work to develop your talents,” Canfield writes in his blog article, Life Purpose: 10 Tips to Learn How to Find Your Passion. “Even the most gifted musician still has to practice – but it should feel natural, like rowing downstream rather than upstream.”

Scott Dinsmore, who was the founder of Live Your Legend, put finding your unique strengths perfectly in his TEDx Talk, How to Find Work You Love. “And so, the first step of our compass is finding what our unique strengths are. What are the things that we wake up loving to do, no matter what, whether we’re paid or not paid – the things that people thank us for?”

This Venn Diagram shows it perfectly:

If your passion is something you love doing, is one of your strengths, is what the world needs and what you get paid for – it could be your purpose.

But hold up!

Pursue the passion(s) that energizes you – that makes you squeal in excitement and jump for joy at an opportunity; not in ways that take away energy and are bothers to you all the time. As Tchiki Davis, a consultant, writer and expert on well-being technology, wrote in her blog article, Five Steps to Finding Your Life Purpose, “…you can burn out your life purpose if you pursue it in the wrong ways – ways that deplete rather than energize you. It is not enough to know the problem you want to solve – you have to think carefully about the way you want to solve it.”

In addition, we all too often let other people define what our passion and our purpose is, and we let other people tell us what we should be doing, instead of finding it out for ourselves or God telling us what our calling is.

As Scott Dinsmore continued in his TEDx Talk, he brought up a great point. “…I would ask one simple question,” Dinsmore said. “It was, ‘Why are you doing the work that you’re doing?’ And so often, their answer would be, ‘Well, because somebody told me I’m supposed to.’ And I realized that so many people around us are climbing their way up this ladder that someone tells them to climb, and it ends up being leaned up against the wrong wall – or no wall at all.”

Your passion and your purpose is divinely given by God, so don’t let anyone else try to steer you into a path that is not truly your destined path. And speaking of the path to your purpose, Amy Morin, an international bestselling author, lecturer at Northeastern University in Boston, MA and a psychotherapist, states it wonderfully in her blog article, 7 Tips for Finding Your Purpose in Life. “Finding your purpose isn’t something that can be done in a few days, weeks or month[s]. It can be a lifelong journey, and it can only be done one step at a time.” Morin went on to write, “…you can change course – sometimes, that road to finding your purpose has a few curves, forks and stop lights.”

Off of that last statement from Amy about curves, forks and stop lights, I will conclude by saying it’s vital to know that even if you have a “purpose-filled,” “passion-filled” career, dream job, etc., there will always be stumbles in the path. And just because it’s your purpose doesn’t mean it won’t be hard. You will need to work hard to succeed, even if it’s your passion and your purpose. Yes, there will be times when you wonder why you even tried traveling this path. Yes, there will be times when you wish things were easier. Yes, there will be times when it seems like it’s just too hard – but always remember why you started. Remember that passion and that energy and that excitement that you received when you first started to travel down this road. Remember that, and work hard – and you will succeed.

You Rock, Dream Big and You Got This!

– Arianna Fox, 12-Year-Old Girlpreneur, Author and Inspirational Speaker
www.ariannafox.com
www.bigideaskc.com
afox@ariannafox.com
(302) 399-7851
@afoxauthor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (Arianna Fox on LinkedIn)

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