An untroubled heart that comes from trusting God. Sure, that’s an easy thing to have when things are going well, your family is healthy, your job feels rewarding, and all your relationships are strong. But what about hard times of pandemics, unemployment, or conflict? Can you really have peace during those times? Yes, you can! When you trust and rely on God for all things, you can have peace that only comes from Him in all circumstances.
PEACE: An untroubled heart that comes from trusting God
MEMORY VERSE: “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” JOHN 14:27 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Trusting God Gives Us Peace in Any Circumstance
The apostle Paul followed God’s leading at all costs. Acts 20:22-24 highlights Paul’s attitude toward his life, counting it as nothing compared to telling others about the good news of Jesus. Paul was warned by the Holy Spirit that he would face hardship in each new place he went to share the gospel, but that never stopped him from competing the task God had given him. Paul’s life was full of “trouble,” yet he once wrote from a Roman prison about having peace that “transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). How can this be? Perhaps he was spurred on by Jesus’s words to His disciples, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
1) Read John 16:33. Did Jesus promise our lives would be easy? (No.) What DID He promise us? (He promised we would have trouble BUT He is bigger and can defeat anything we face.) Does God always keep His promises? (Yes.)
2) Read Acts 20:22-24. How did Paul show he really trusted what Jesus said in John 16:33? (See Acts 20:22. He was willing to go to Jerusalem because God wanted him to, even though he didn’t know exactly what would happen.)
3) When is it easy for you to have peace in your circumstances? (When it is an easy circumstance; when things work out how you want them to, etc.) When is it hard for you to have peace in your circumstances? (When you don’t understand why things are happening; when they are hard, frustrating, confusing, etc.)
4) Read Philippians 4:6-7, 11-12. What are you tempted to worry about? (Family, friends, sickness, etc.) What does Paul tell us to do instead of worry? Why? (Pray. God can give us peace in ANY circumstance!)
Bring It Home Activities
1. Teacher: Meal Time
After dinner this week, tell your family that you have a story you would like to read to them. Gather everyone into the same room and tell them that it is an incredible story of people who had peace in hard circumstances. Read them the story of Horatio Spafford. After you finish, ask your kids how Mr. Spafford was able to have peace in the middle of all his life’s circumstances. Ask them how he exemplified having peace in all circumstances. Finish by asking God to grow your faith so that you may have peace in all of life’s circumstances.
2. Friend: Snack Time
Take time with your family this week and think of seven attributes of God (all-knowing, faithful, mighty etc.) that help bring you peace. Have your kids write each attribute down on a card. Put the cards in the middle of your dining table and every day when you are having breakfast or another meal together, pull out a different card and thank God for that attribute of Himself. Praise Him for how perfect and wonderful He is! Acknowledge to Him that He is the only one that fully has all of those attributes and thank Him again for how good He is.
3. Counselor: Bedtime
As you are putting your family to bed, tell them a personal story of how God gave you peace in a hard circumstance. Kids LOVE to hear stories from your life, and they will remember those stories for a long time. Really think and pray through how you can use stories to capture your child’s heart! Remember that God is the hero in all of your stories, not you or what you did, but truly by God’s grace do you have your stories. Highlight His goodness and love for you and for them!
4. Coach: Anytime
As you are getting your family ready for the day review this month’s memory verse with them!
"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 14:27 (NLT)
Remind them that God has given them the gift of peace and He is trustworthy! So, do not be troubled or afraid!
Thank God for your favorite thing about Him and praise Him for His excellent character. Ask Him to calm your heart if you are feeling troubled and pray that He would give you the peace than can only come from Him.
Next week we will jump into a month looking at our next godly character trait: goodness!
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