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 told His disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Sometime we have to go through really hard things and we can’t understand why. It’s okay to have the emotions that come from these hard things. God wants you to talk to Him about how you’re feeling, so be honest with Him. We can’t see the end of the story but God is all-knowing and all-seeing so He knows how He is using even the hard things for good.
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)
Last week we celebrated the best news ever: Jesus came back to life! Before the good news of Easter, however, Jesus had to go through some really terrible things. Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to Him and how it would be used for good. However, that didn’t take away the horrible suffering He had to go through. 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 publicly 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 because of His amazing love for us.
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Talk with your kids, in an age appropriate way, about what Jesus had to go through after He was arrested. You may find it helpful to make a list of those hard things. Ask: Did God use even the worst day ever for good? Yes! How? Make a new list of all of the good that came from what Jesus went through and what we celebrated last week at Easter! Remind your kids that God doesn’t always let us see the end of the story right away BUT we can trust that He knows, He loves us, and is working all things for the good of those who love Him.
Parents, talk with your kids about some of the hard things you’ve personally gone through in your life. How did God help you though those or what did He teach you? How did He use them for good? Is it easy or hard to trust that God is good when you’re going through this? Why? Is it easier to trust God’s goodness when you remember how He has been good in the past? Prior to social distancing changing our day to day lives, our Family Ministry team wrote a blog article called, “Navigating Hard Things with Your Kids,” which may be a helpful resource for initiating conversations with your kids this week.
Read Romans 8:28 with your kids before bed and maybe even challenge your family to memorize it. Go back and forth sharing good things that you are thankful for from the day. They can be big or small things. Pray and thank God for those things and ask Him to help you remember that you can always trust His goodness.
We started our month on goodness by first reminding ourselves about the excellent character of God. Help your family make a list of verses that can remind you of who God is. If you need a jumpstart, check out this ABC list of verses that has one verse about God for every letter of the alphabet! Write down your favorite verses on notecards, sticky notes, or popsicle sticks and find places you can put them around your house to remind your family that we can always trust God’s goodness.
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 wrap up the month of April and the godly character trait GOODNESS by learning that our goodness is an overflow of God's goodness to us.
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