Think About It!
Words have creative power. God spoke, and a universe was born! Jesus spoke, and the sick were healed, demons were cast out and the dead rose. Made in God’s image, our words have tremendous power too, both to build up and to tear down. That’s why it hurts so bad when someone uses words against us. In our new series, The Way Up, we’ll see the wordsmiths of the Bible using the artistic and creative power of words to glorify God and pray powerfully…with miraculous results.
Talk About It!
1. When you’re down, cry out
- What is your favorite song to sing to God? Songs are great! They help us to remember things and they help us talk to God. A long time ago the Israelites would sing special songs while they walked to Jerusalem. These songs were called, “The Psalms of Ascent.” They were songs for people who were walking with and talking to God. In a different way, you and I are walking with God, and we can still use these psalms to talk to him.
- Do you tell God what’s really going on in your life? Even your problems and your painful feelings? In the Psalms, people tell God how they really feel––even if they’re sad or scared or angry. God isn’t afraid of our honesty. In fact, he wants us to cry out honestly to him. Sometimes life is hard and confusing. It’s okay to talk to God about that.
- What do you need to tell God today? Our God is a God who turns things around for good. One of the ways he does this is through the wise people he puts in our lives. These people point us back to God and remind us that we need to cry out to him.
2. When words hurt, consider the source
- Have you ever been hurt by someone’s words? When someone hurts us, it’s important to remember that it is not God who is hurting us. Hurt people hurt people. They are not acting for or speaking for God. God is a Father who loves us and wants to welcome and comfort us in the moments when we are hurting.
- When someone else hurts you, what do you do about it? When we are hurt by someone else’s words, we need to go back to the Bible. We need to remind ourselves of what God says about us (and what he says about the people who hurt us). We need to return to his Word and let it strengthen and settle us.
- Sometimes, words hurt us, but they are there to help us. (Like when our parents have to tell us no or teach us how to act.) Other times, people just hurt us and don’t have good reasons. Talk with your family about when it’s time to listen and when it’s time to walk away from hurtful words. When words hurt us, we need to think about who is doing the talking. Are they a person who loves us, a person who is close to God, or a person we trust? If they are, then we can trust that even if their words hurt, they want what is best for us. If they are not, then we don’t have to hold their words inside of us. We can let them go.
3. Always remember how good the Lord is
- How has God been good to you? How have you seen his goodness in your life? In hard times, we have to remember who God is. The Bible tells us that faith is believing in what we can’t see. Sometimes, if we’re hurting, it’s hard to see how good God is. Faith is remembering that he has not changed no matter what is happening in the world around us.
- Have you ever seen God turn a bad thing around for good? God always wants to take the painful and hurtful things in our lives and turn them around for the good of those who love him. He is rich in mercy and love for us, and he wants to demonstrate his goodness to us. When everything feels like it’s falling apart, we need to remember what God promised us.
- What are some of the promises of God? We can rest because of God’s constant, unchanging nature and the promises he has made. We see this in the psalm. No matter how long we have been waiting, God never falls asleep –– he’s got us, he keeps us, and he has good plans for us.
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?