Think About It!
In the midst of troubling circumstances, hope can sometimes feel just out of reach, like it’s impossible to really hang onto…but what if hope is hanging onto us? The crazy thing is, hope isn’t some sort of abstract concept, or a “thing” we can grasp –– hope is a Person. Hope has a name: Jesus. And only with Jesus do we find that hope is unstoppable because he hangs onto us, even when we feel like we have nothing to hang onto ourselves.
Talk About It!
1. Faith cures your troubled heart.
- Is there anything bothering you today? Sometimes our heart just get a little bit troubled. If something is bothering us, we need to spend some time talking to Jesus. When we believe in him, our hearts don’t need to be troubled! Believing that God loves us and is taking care of us is called “faith.”
- Have you ever gotten a cool gift that you didn’t use? Faith is a gift God gives us, but we still have to choose to use it. We don’t make this choice just one time, but every single day. When something is bothering us, sometimes it’s because we aren’t choosing to believe in how big God is.
- Do you think God is ever worried about the future? (No, God isn’t watching our lives and worrying about whether or not things will work out). He is in control of all those things. We can distracted by the events around us, but God is steady and unchanging. Even when we are freaked out, he is not at all.
2. Put your struggles in the context of eternity.
- Is it hard to stay focused on Jesus? It can be hard for all of us. That’s why we need to choose faith, not just every day, but moment by moment. It’s especially hard to focus on Jesus when we’re in pain or having a rough day, but those are the days when we need it the most.
- Have you ever had to wait a long time for something very good? Right now, we’re waiting for Heaven. While we’re waiting, we can’t let the tough days right now distract us from the amazing days that are on the way!
- Is there anything distracting you from Jesus right now? Something that distracts all of us sometimes is fear. We can’t let our fears get in the way of our faith. Everyone has an eternity. When we trust Jesus and walk with him, we are promised eternal joy in the presence of God.
3. Jesus is coming soon.
- (Have your kids close their eyes or turn off all the lights. Have them sit in the dark until their eyes adjust. While there, read the following point). Did you know that Jesus is coming back for us? That’s the promise we have from Jesus in this verse. It might seem crazy, but if Jesus rose from the dead, then he is going to come back for us! Jesus came back from the dead, and when that happened, it changed everything for everyone forever. He’s still alive! And his return is soon.
- (As you discuss how Jesus’ life changed everything, turn the lights back on or have your kids open their eyes). What does it mean when the Bible says that some people live in the light and some people live in the dark? When Jesus came back from the dead, everything changed. Our hearts were dark, and Jesus turned on the light so that we could see all that He has done for us. Now, he wants us to walk with him in the light, but lots of people are still trying to live in the dark. When we are selfish or unkind to people around us, it’s like trying to live in the dark.
- What does it look like when someone walks in the light with Jesus? Every day that we live with Jesus and do what he says, we’re choosing to live in the light. By the grace of God, we’re not where we were and we’re not where we’re going to be. Today is exactly where we should be, and that should get us excited! Jesus wants to take us further into the light with him everyday, and he’s coming back for us soon!
4. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
- What is “hope”? What are some things that you “hope” for? Most of the things we “hope” for are far away in the future. They also aren’t certain. They might happen, and they might not. Our hope in the Lord is different! Our hope isn’t far away, and it isn’t uncertain. Our hope has a name. Our hope is a Person, and his name is Jesus.
- How do we know that Jesus is coming back for us? We know because Jesus is living inside of us right now. Because he is with us right now, we know that his promise to come back for us is sure.
- How can we get closer to God and walk in the light with him? The only way to the Father is through Jesus –– he is the way, the truth and the life. No struggle, nothing going on around us is ever going to change that. His promises hold true. And we can bank on that, no matter what else happens.
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How does that make you feel?
- How would you explain this to someone who doesn’t know Jesus?
- Why do you think God did it that way?
- Why should we do the things that God tells us?