(The following is a family devotional guide with suggested questions and scriptures.)
T-Talk About It Topic
What can cause you to get worried or stressed out? What do you do when you are worried, stressed, nervous, or afraid?
Our Faith Talks this month are all about qualities of Jesus. The more we know about Him, the closer we can grow to Him. And the closer we are to Him, the more we are deepening our roots of faith. Today’s talk is all about how Jesus not only brings peace to our lives…he is the peace. And the closer we step toward Him through reading His Word, praying, and memorizing Scripture, the more we can absorb His peace in stressful or worrisome times.
It doesn’t matter whether the stress is with tests, sports, friends, school, sibling rivalry, teachers, coaches, money, or life in general! Jesus can help us with all of it.
A-Anchor To The Bible
Jesus was teaching near the lake (called the Sea of Galilee). He had been teaching the crowds using parables (simple story to illustrate a spiritual or moral truth). Read Mark 4: 35-38 and let’s see what happened.
Points to discuss:
- After teaching all day, Jesus asked to go to the other side of the lake. (This freshwater lake was 13 miles long and 8 miles wide.)
- The disciples sent the people home, while Jesus came onto their boat. There were others who followed Him in their boats as well.
- While Jesus was at the back of the ship, where the stern was, the violent windstorm arose. The waves started to come onto the disciples’ boat. It was filling up with so much water, the disciples thought it would sink.
- The disciples finally woke Jesus up saying, “Don’t you care if we drown?”
- How many times have you, and I, had the same conversation with Jesus when we felt overwhelmed, scared, nervous, or worried? How many times have we said, “Jesus, don’t you see this? Don’t you care about me? Why are you letting this happen?!”
- How long do you think they waited to wake up Jesus? It must have been a little while because, at this point in the story, they thought the boat would sink from having too much water in it! Again, how long do we wait when trouble strikes to call upon Jesus for help?
Let’s finish this short passage by reading verses 39-41 and see what happened:
- Jesus got up and ordered the wind to “be still!” and it was completely calm. Like God, Jesus is all-powerful. The disciples were amazed that even nature had obeyed Jesus!
- Jesus asked his disciples this important question: Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?
- The disciples didn’t realize this point: The peace was with them the whole time. They just took their eyes off of Him and focused on their worries instead.
Interesting points to this story:
- Jesus never got scared or worried. He simply got up and commanded the wind to be still.
- Jesus was at the stern; this is where the boat would be steered (from the back of the boat). Jesus is always there to help steer us in the right direction through His peace.
- Let’s not wait until we almost feel drowned to call out for help! The moment you feel you are starting to worry, get scared, or cave into your fears, call out to Jesus like the disciples did! Jesus brought peace the moment they went to Him.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, has some strong words about doubt and worry inJames 1: 6-8. Let’s read it now!
- When we reach out to God for help, we must have faith and not doubt! Anyone who doubts God is like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm (CEV). If we can’t make up our minds whether or not to trust God, God won’t trust us and we will miss out on His blessing and His peace.
L-Learn God’s Word
Jesus told us we will have problems and suffering in this world. But, we are commanded to take heart, that means to be courageous, for Jesus has overcome the world…and because He did, He gives us the power and strength to do the same.
Paul, the writer of Philippians, has great words to live by when it comes to worrying: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
If anyone could have caved into his worries, it was Paul. People didn’t always like to hear him share the Gospel. He received 39 lashes of the whip…5 times. (That’s 195 lashes—ouch!) He was beaten with rods 3 times, stoned one time, suffered shipwrecks three times, spent a day and night adrift in the sea, traveled on many long journeys, faced danger from rivers and robbers and from his own people—the Jews. If anyone could have been filled with doubt, it was Paul! And yet, here He is telling us to trust God, with a thankful and grateful heart.
K-Keep Each Other Accountable
This is the most valuable step of any Faith TALK! It’s focused on keeping everyone accountable in this week’s Faith TALK, as well as the memory verse.
Here are a few ideas to keep everyone in check with this week’s TALK:
- Read Matthew 6: 25-27 (ICB) and talk about Jesus’ advice concerning worry. According to Jesus, what are we not supposed to worry about? What does He say about worry? What does He urge us to do instead of worrying?
- Read Proverbs 12:25 and discuss this short but powerful verse. How does worry impact us? What can cheer ourselves and others up? (Key Point: Worrying makes us feel like we are under a great weight; we feel better when we can make it a habit to encourage others, and in turn, we will get encouragement back!)
- Read Matthew 11:28-30 and talk about Jesus’ advice. How can we “come to Him” to get rest?
- Pray with your kids before they leave for school. Make it a group prayer in which you lead, empowering them to face their worry by asking Jesus for His help and His peace.
- Motivate each other to memorize our focus verse this week. Write the memory verse on a chalkboard and display it by the door. Have them say the verse each morning and initial they did so.