As a youth minister Part of my “job” is to have an answer to give when a teenager comes to me with a problem. I’m usually okay with that but one day a few years ago I found myself in a conversation with a very distraught teenage boy and when he asked for advice, I said, “I don’t know what to tell you.” I still remember that moment of total helplessness.

I met Anthony in a juvenile detention center where I was leading a Bible study with a room full of teenage guys. During the Bible study Anthony began to get emotional and eventually his emotions got the best of him. He left, went to his cell and sat on his bed and began to cry. We could hear him crying while we were downstairs in a common area finishing our study. Our study quickly ended and I asked a security guard if I could talk to Anthony and she encouraged me to go up to his room to see if he would want to talk.

Sitting on the edge of his bed, I asked Anthony to tell me what was wrong and if I could help. After several minutes he calmed down enough to talk. He went on to tell me that he has no one and Christmas is coming soon and he feels all alone and scared. He told me how he lost his parents at age two, his 21-year-old sister is addicted to drugs and can’t help him and his grandparents passed away. He looked me in the eye with tears flowing and said, “Don’t you see… I don’t have anyone.” And I said, “I don’t know what to tell you.” Then we both began to shed tears.

Immediately, God reminded me… I am with Anthony. So I said, “Anthony! Wait a minute! You are not alone. Remember a few weeks ago when you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Well He is with you. As a matter of fact, God is with you and you are not alone… you are not fatherless… God is with you now and he will be with you for the rest of your life! This is great news.”

Anthony began to smile as I said we need to pray! The more I prayed for God’s peace and presence in his life the more happy he became. As soon as I said “amen” Anthony looked at me with a huge smile and said, “I feel so much better now, I know God is with me and I know I am not alone.” I heard from from Anthony a few weeks later through a friend. He said, “Tell Ken God is good… He placed me in a great home and I’m doing great now!”

Guess what? If you know Christ as your Savior, He’s with you always. Psalm 139 is a great chapter to read today. There are four key truths God is teaching us in Psalm 139.

  1. God Knows You – Psalm 139: 1 – O Lord thou has searched me and known me. He knows when you sit down and rise up… He knows everything about you.
  1. God Is with You – Psalm 139:3-12 – God is behind you and in front of you, has His hand on you, and always covers you with His presence.
  1. God Made You – Psalm 139:13-18 – He covered you in the womb, He saw you when you were an “unformed substance” and He fashioned all of you.
  1. God Leads You – Psalm 139:23-24 – Allow Him to search your heart, and reveal any wickedness and know that He promises to “lead you into the way everlasting.”

Ken Turner

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