Have you ever had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? Those days when just nothing seems to go right and it seems like the day will never end? In John 16:33, Jesus tells His disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Living in a fallen, broken world means days, seasons, sometimes even years of hardship. But even when we don’t understand our circumstances, God is always working for our good. This week, we see how God’s ultimate goodness and love were made available to us, even when the situation seemed hopeless.
GOODNESS: A Heart that Reflects the Excellent Character of God
MEMORY VERSE: “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart." LUKE 6:45 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: God is Always Working For Our Good
Jesus knew what was coming. As He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, He cried out to His Father, “Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Mark 14:36). The Father did not take the cup of suffering away. Jesus went on to be betrayed by one of His own disciples, mocked, beaten, falsely accused, and publically humiliated. This all culminated in His death on the cross. Yet through the suffering, God was working for our good. Jesus’s death was the only way to make a relationship with God possible for us. He endured the worst in order to make the best a reality.
- Read Mark 14:32-36 Jesus knew something really hard was about to happen to Him. How did Jesus show that He trusted His Father? What did He say? (Not my will but yours be done)
- Read John 19:9-11 Who was in control of this situation? Who had the ultimate power? (Jesus told Pilate that he only had power because God had given it to him.)
- Read Luke 23:32-35 Why did Jesus stay on the cross if He had the power to save Himself? (If He saved Himself then all the sinners, including us, would be separated from God forever. He was the only one who could take the punishment we deserved. He was willing to suffer because He loves us so much. He knew that what He was going through would be used for the greatest good ever.)
- Read John 19:28-30 Did Jesus finish what He came to earth to do? What was that? (Yes. He came to live a perfect life and be a sacrifice for us, taking the punishment we deserve.
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: After Dinner
Read Mark 15:33-39 Imagine you were one of Jesus’ friends when He was on earth. How would you feel when you found out He died (pretend you didn’t know He was going to come back to life again)? Would it be hard for you to see anything “good” about it? Why?
Friend: Drive Time
While you’re in the car, talk about some of the hard things you’ve gone through in your life. They can be things you went through in the past, something you’re going through right now, or something you’ve gone through together as a family. Is it easy or hard to trust that God is good when you’re going through this? Why?
Read Romans 8:28 and review the verses you wrote down (see COACH: Anytime) that remind you about God’s goodness. Pray them to God each night this week before you go to bed. (Example: Psalm 103:8 – “God, You are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love!”)
What scripture do you use to remind yourself about the goodness of God? (Here are some to get you started: Genesis 50:20; Psalm 103:1-12; Psalm 119:68; Isaiah 26:3) Write those verses down on a notecard, sticky note, popsicle sticks, etc., and brainstorm as a family some fun ways you can refer to them the next time you are going through something hard.
Thank God for being good, loving and kind in any and all circumstances. Thank Him for His amazing sacrifice on the cross for you. Ask Him to help you trust His goodness in whatever circumstance He has you in right now.
Next week we will continue the month of April with the godly character trait, GOODNESS. We will learn about the good news of our good God: He's ALIVE!
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