Teens—we commonly grapple with questions regarding identity. Who am I? Why am I here? Do I have a purpose? When we know what the correct answer is, it can make things even harder, because we feel like we shouldn’t be struggling with the same questions over and over–but we still do. “Yeah, yeah, God made me, I know. He has a purpose for me.” But what is it? It’s hard to believe that it’s true sometimes.
Think about that first statement for a minute. “God made me.” The God who created the elephants and dark matter, Who spun everything out of nothing, Who holds all things in the palms of His hands—this is the God Who placed you where you are. He knows your past, present, and future. He set you a place in the cosmic dance. He gave you all your hopes, dreams, and questions. He sees all your fears and doubts.
He loves you.
This is the God we serve. Not only did He make man, He also didn’t destroy us. When we rebelled against Him, He sent His Son, fully man and fully God, to redeem us. Even though it could have been simpler for Him to abandon us to ourselves, our God made us and then redeemed us instead. Because of this, your identity, if you are saved, is Christ. We are defined differently from the world because of what Jesus has done for us.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “Man’s chief end [or purpose] is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Glorifying God does not have to be dull or boring. As this quote says, “glorify God” and “enjoy him.” If we glorify God, we are also finding our joy in Him. If we enjoy God, we are glorifying Him. It’s a cycle, and a good one.
If the purpose of man is to glorify God, then you should seek to do that. Therefore, you ought to take time to think about what you can do or change in your life to bring more glory to God. If your friends are trying to get you to do something that you know is against God’s word, then explain to them that you can’t. If you have a choice between doing something that satisfies only temporarily and something that’s going to glorify God, go with the latter. You can find your joy in God by helping your fellow humans, by reading and writing things that are honoring to Him, and watching movies that you’d be okay with Him watching with you. When you take breakfast to a shut-in at your church, when you pursue a righteous cause you’re passionate about, all of that is glorifying to God.
You should certainly not make yourself miserable. By no means! Enjoying God means that you are in fact happy, not in temporary things, but in God, where your joy will last. The things of earth will pass away, but the word of the Lord will remain (Matt. 24:35).
So going back to the question of identity, we can come to this conclusion. The Christian teen, just like any other teen, asks, “Who am I?” God answers through the Bible, “You are my child. I made you. I bought you and redeemed you through the blood of My Son on the cross. You are here to bring Me glory and learn to find your joy in Me, that you may be more complete than ever.”
Snyder, Michael. “Rain.” Public domain, 2015. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/missouri-ravaged-by-historic-flooding-as-disaster-after-disaster-continues-to-hit-america/rain-public-domain.