(The following is a family devotional guide with suggested questions and scriptures.)
Focus Verse: “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.” -Romans 8:28
T-Talk About It Topic
What are some bad things that have happened to you, this family, or others?
It may never make sense for bad things to happen in our lives, but if we choose to trust Jesus through the process, our faith will grow and we will see some good come from it.
A-Anchor To The Bible
In John 16:33, Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble,” but He does promise us hope in the same verse by saying, “But take hope! I have power over the world!” As believers, the power of Jesus Christ lives in us and can help us through any trial that comes our way! While we may never know or understand why, the Bible offers a few ideas on why bad things happen to us:
#1: We live in a fallen world. God made the world and mankind perfect, but when Adam and Eve made that bad decision, it introduced sin to their perfect world. Sin brings death (Romans 6:23), and it affects our bodies through the aging process, making us vulnerable to illnesses and diseases.
Have you ever been sick or watched someone get sick?
Sin also affects the world causing people to make bad decisions that come with bad consequences. You can easily see the effects of sin if you watch the evening news or if you’ve ever made a bad decision!
What bad decision have you made that had bad consequences? What are some bad decisions you hear about on the news?
#2: We have a real enemy who targets us. Remember, Satan’s job is to put distance between us and God, whether it’s through bad choices, temptation, or causing us to doubt God’s goodness and love. Anytime we start living out our faith, he is there to cause problems, hoping we will question and distrust God.
Talk about Job’s story in the Bible.
#3: We have an opportunity to experience God’s power and glory. In the Bible, a storm came upon the disciples causing much fear and anxiety, even when Jesus was right next to them. Once they woke up Jesus, He easily calmed the storm. During another storm, Jesus walked on water to the disciples! These were great examples of God’s power on display! God’s power can also be seen when we are willing to face adversity relying upon His strength and power to see us through it.
Talk about a time you experienced God’s power, glory, or strength.
L-Learn God’s Word
James 1:1-4 tells us to choose joy in these tough circumstances. Why? Not only will we see God work supernaturally in our situations but our faith will grow as a result. Unfortunately, it’s usually when bad times come that we lean closer to God and sense His presence more. In fact, we are promised that God can bring good from any tough situation, if we trust and love Him through this tough process.
K-Keep Each Other Accountable
Here are a few ideas to keep everyone in check with this week’s TALK:
Talk about some bad things that have happened to each family member. Has good come from it? (Experiencing good from a bad situation helps give us joy that God is always working on our behalf.)
Watch the Barrick family testimony. They had a terrible life tragedy happen when a drunk driver hit their car and nearly killed 3 out of the 4 family members. The fact that they are here today is a miracle. However, the daughter, Jen, suffers from a traumatic brain injury. She isn’t bitter, nor is she angry. She cleaves to Jesus daily for help in day-to-day living. Her goal is to witness to others about Jesus. I’ll never forget her saying, “Every morning, I get out of bed, and I ask Jesus to use me that day.” Though something terrible happened to her, she is using this experience to be a light to those around her on a daily basis. They are using this terrible moment and using it to shine the light of Jesus to those around them. Watch their testimony with your people. (Their story can be found on their ministry website: https://hopeoutloud.com/our-story/.)
Watch Bethany Hamilton’s testimony. She was a young surfer when a shark attack changed her whole life, yet she chose to trust God through the process and let His light shine through her life.
Motivate each other to memorize our focus verse this week. Write the memory verse on a chalkboard or sign by the door so that every time your kiddos leave, they can say it and initial it.