Lionhearts Lead Chapel
Boston Trinity Academy Lionhearts, a group of both male and female students, meet together weekly to build community through conversation, food, and fellowship. This week, four students shared insights from their own personal growth as a result of being part of the group.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. –Philippians 4:11-13
Sarah told Chapel attendees that this year, God has been telling her to be content. "We're all striving toward contentment in one way or another," she said. Sarah went on to explain that contentment can be a tricky word; it isn't sitting idly waiting for "someday," or saying "if only." Relying on "things" for contentment will leave us feeling empty, she continued. "God is reminding us that 'Your contentment is in Me.' Contentment is more than our circumstances." She closed by asking, "What are you putting the weight of contentment on?"
Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. –Joshua 1:6-9
"What does it mean to conduct yourself with courage?" Will asked. Joshua's circumstance required courage; Will asked what circumstances of theirs required it. "Exams? College? Any period of real uncertainty," he said. "Where do we get courage? It is the power of God through the Holy Spirit. Christ, who conquered death, specializes in the impossible; He can give you courage." Will finished his exhortation with a quote from Winston Churchill: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. –John 14:26-27
Gabriella shared that her younger brother changed her life and turned her to Jesus. He was diagnosed with autism and her family was told he would probably never speak. She grappled with her feelings about autism and her fear of what other people thought. Even though she was upset with God, she prayed and prayed that her brother would learn to speak. After about a year of speech therapy, he began to talk, "sometimes too much!" she said. She now recognizes her brother as a gift sent from God to teach her love and kindness. "God answers prayers on His time and not mine," she said.
Kyle bravely tackled the uncomfortable and often avoided topic of dealing with sin in one's life. He admonished all that we must deal with our sin, and gave three principles to use in overcoming it. First, he said, admit your sin to yourself and to God. "The key is understanding what the sin is and knowing you need to change," he said. Second, ask God for forgiveness. Know what triggers temptation for you. He warned against getting stuck in a cycle of doing the same thing over and over, and so offering endless prayers for forgiveness for the same sin. Third, talk to someone else about your sin, he encouraged. "If you are the listener, use understanding and not condemnation," he said.
Citing 1 Corinthians 10:13 (The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.), he said God wants us to turn to Him so He can give strength. "You can't commit any 'new' sins," Kyle said. "You are never alone in what you have done."
After the students finished sharing, BTA alumna Amanda Perkins closed the service by encouraging the students to stand firm and hold fast to the teaching of the scripture. She invited them to consider Christ's chief virtue: grace. Contentment, courage, peace, and overcoming sin are impossible to do on our own; it is only by grace that we will find them.