Think About It!
Sorrow or feelings of overwhelm take a ton of energy…In fact, when things get really bad, it’s hard to think about anything else other than how badly we want something –– anything! –– to change. And that’s when it can be so tempting to take matters into our own hands and start living in a way that’s ultimately not God’s best for us…we can end up with serious regrets! The key to living out God’s best plan for our futures is to remember who God is and how he’s been faithful in the past. If we can remember rightly, we can live rightly too.
Talk About It!
1. Remember to fear the Lord
- Share about a memory that makes you happy. Why is that memory special to you? There’s something unique about memory. We all see things in a way that no one else sees them, and we all remember things that other people don’t remember. The way we look at the world shapes what we remember. When we remember who God is and who we are, we remember what is right and true.
- What does it mean to “fear the Lord”? Fearing the Lord is different than being afraid. When we’re afraid of thunder or the dark or spiders, it makes us want to run and hide. When we fear the Lord, it just means that we understand that God is God and we are not. It means that we remember how powerful and awesome he is. When we remember that God is God and we are not, it makes us want to run to him. This Psalm says that when we fear the Lord, we are happy and blessed!
- Is there an area of your life where you need to put God first? When we remember that God is God, it doesn’t just change our lives. It changes the lives of the people we love! Our families and friends are blessed by our love for God and our respect for him.
2. Remember God’s character
- Share about something hard that happened to you. How did you feel? When hard things happen, sometimes we forget that God is still good. Even though people and situations in our lives let us down and hurt us, we need to remember that evil does not come from God and that God is more powerful than any evil thing. That’s why he sent his Son, to save us from the evil in the world and in our own hearts.
- What are some broken things in the world that need God’s help? Psalm 103:8-14 reminds us that while God hates wickedness and evil, he loves us. He wants us to come to him so he can remove the sin and the wrong from our lives. He remembers that we are dust, and he has a Father’s heart—ready to forgive and to rescue.
- When things are hard or you see the broken world, how can you remind yourself to focus on Jesus? There is a lot of brokenness and wrongness in the world around us. When we see sad or broken things in the world, we have to remember who God is. We keep our eyes fixed on him by spending time in prayer and in the Bible. We need to stay in God’s Word because that’s where we learn who God is. When we can remind ourselves of who God is, we are able to face the wrongness of the world.
3. Remember God’s blessing
- Have you ever seen someone stand up for you or protect you? When spiritual opposition and evil people want to hurt the people of God, they have to answer to God. God is a powerful Father, and when his kids are hurt, he hurts too. God will protect and stand up for his people. He won’t let people get away with bad things, because he wants to save them too.
- How has God stood up for you or protected you? God brings so many blessings into our lives. But really, we need to love God for who he is: that despite all he does for us, the greatest blessing is that he forgives us and loves us unconditionally. Even when nothing else makes sense, we can remember that.
- Is there anywhere in your life (or in the world) where you need to ask God for his protection? Because of God’s character, ultimately God’s going to do right by his kids. He does not forget or get tired of us or leave us as orphans. God is present, powerful, and gracious toward those he loves.
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- 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?