Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
There are times in every believer’s life when you can truly see God had His hand at work through a not so pleasurable experience. One that comes to my mind is when I (Carrie) was struck by lightning. I was 17 years old and I felt like I was pretty much in control of my life and felt somewhat invincible. During a lightning storm, all of my co-workers at the animal clinic refused to take the dogs out for an evening break for fear of getting struck by lightning. I, on the other hand, had no fear and volunteered readily. As I stood with the dog by a giant metal dumpster, God sent me a message; a lightning bolt. Thankfully, it struck the dumpster, traveled through the ground, the leash, the dog and then through me before it bolted out of my ear! But, after that, I realized how fragile I really am and how dependent on God I should be. I am now more thankful for every moment and stand in awe of our creator and His power. Sometimes it takes a lightning bolt to get a person’s attention and make them aware of their dependence on God. That is what it took for me!
Discuss with your children:
- Have you had a lightning bolt experience in your life that has made you more thankful?
- Be thankful in everything? Rejoice always? Really? Does God really expect us to do this?
- Notice Paul, doesn’t say to be happy in all circumstances, does he? Can you be thankful and joyful in a situation you aren’t happy about?
- Joseph’s trial when he was sold into slavery by his brothers (Genesis 37)
- Jonah’s experience regarding Nineveh (Jonah)
- Paul’s trials with a shipwreck, a snake and prison (Acts 27)
- How was God glorified through those struggles?
- Even when it’s hard to see God at work and we wonder what He is doing, can we still believe He is allowing us to go through it? Can we believe God will take care of us? That God will never let us go? (We may not understand it, but God can use any situation for His benefit. The key is for us to trust Him enough!)
- A friend of mine said, “ultimately complaining is really a lack of trusting in God.” Do you agree or disagree? (When we complain, we are not rejoicing, praying, thanking God. We aren’t trusting in His sovereignty.)
- What situation are you in right now in which you are having a hard time rejoicing and being thankful?
- Can you see how God might use the situation for His glory? (You may never know or maybe God will show us. Either way, He will see us through, even if it’s when we meet Him in heaven!)
Memory Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Close in prayer. You can say, “God, help us to trust You; to acknowledge that in every circumstance, You are bigger, You are more powerful. You will see us through.”