You don’t have to look too far in this world to discover trouble. Sometimes in your life it may seem to be lurking around every corner. Instead of fearing or dreading the troubles in our lives, what if we started to view them in a different way? What if, instead of just trying to get to the other side of whatever trouble we’re facing, we saw that trouble as a chance to honor God. To trust Him and know He can use all things to make us look more like Christ. Troubles may be really hard in the moment, but God is faithful, He will never leave us. When we turn our troubles over to Him, He can use them in ways we could never begin to imagine.
STEWARDSHIP: Honoring God with everything He has given you.
MEMORY VERSE: “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you.” Psalm 37:5 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: To Honor God We Steward Our Troubles
Paul was no stranger to troubles. It seems like his life was full of them, but he was not about to waste whatever situation God placed him in. We find Paul and Silas in jail in Acts 16 for helping a slave girl and preaching the Gospel. Instead of fretting about their situation or coming up with an escape plan, Paul and Silas stewarded their trouble and were an example for Christ to the prisoners and guards around them. God sent an earthquake to release them from their chains, but instead of running away, they continued to witness to those around them. They saved the jailer’s physical life by not escaping and God used them to also save his eternal life by telling him about the good news of Christ. The jailer’s whole family became Christians because of the way Paul and Silas stewarded their troubles and sought to honor the Lord in everything they did.
- Read Acts 16:16-40. How did Paul and Silas steward their troubles for the Lord? How did God use them to spread the good news of the Gospel?
- Think of a previous hard time and what you learned through it. How does remembering something you learned or how you grew, even though it was tough, help your perspective about your current trouble?
- Do you think God can use that trouble for good? Why or why not? How might He want you to steward that trouble to honor Him?
- What is one trouble that you have in your life right now? It may be really big or something small. Share that trouble with your family. How does it make you feel?
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
When you are around the dinner table together, have each family member share different times in their life when they have had trouble. What were the circumstances, what made it hard, how did you respond? Then read John 16:33 and reflect on this verse. What does Jesus promise us we will have? What does He also tell us is true? What do you think it means to steward your troubles? (trust the Lord in the midst of them, allow Him to strengthen your heart and work through you, when the opportunity arises encourage others in their troubles with God’s truth) Explain that it’s ok to be sad and confused in the middle of our troubles, and take those cares to the Lord. Jesus is familiar with the trials of this world (Hebrews 4:14-16). Remind your family that others, specifically non-believers, watch how we deal with our troubles. We have the opportunity to show them that God is in control, He cares, and He hasn’t forgotten us. Pray together before you leave the table and ask God to not let you waste your trouble but show you what He wants you to learn from it.
Friend: Drive Time
As you are driving with your family, tell them to imagine that your car broke down and that you were stuck on the side of the road. Begin a brainstorm session of how you could steward that trouble for God’s glory. Think of ideas like sharing the gospel with the tow truck driver or counting all of your blessings as you are waiting for someone to pick you up.
As you are putting your kids to bed, tell them a story either from your life or someone you know when there was a trouble and how that person was able to steward that trouble for God’s glory. Tell your family the story and be sure to make God the hero because of how He provided the strength and grace to steward the trouble well. Pray with them and thank God that we can use even our troubles as an opportunity to make Him famous.
GHas your family memorized this month’s verse? It’s never too late to write God’s word on your heart! Spend time working on it together this week and make it game where you randomly quiz each other on the verse when you’re at home!
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you.” Psalm 37:5
Thank God for how He has been with you through the hard times in your life. Ask Him to help you through your current trouble and to see how you can steward it well to bring honor and glory to Him.
Next week we will begin a new character trait, LEADERSHIP!