Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
1. Primary Statement
“It’s too hard!” We’ve all uttered those words before, as we let the fear of failure keep us from trying to accomplish something. Many times, God calls us to things that are simply too hard for us… on our own. It takes faith to take on things that seem too hard, but with God’s help, we can do anything.
2. Bible Verse
Philippians 4:13 (ESV) “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
John 15:5 [NLT] “Yes, I (Jesus) am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
Q. Think of a time when you gave up on something – or never started – because it seemed too hard. Were you factoring in God’s help, or just your own ability?
Q. What are a few examples of things God has called you to that are too hard without His help?
1 Corinthians 1:28-29 [NLT] “God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”
Q. Why does God put us in situations where we can only succeed with His help?
Q. When you succeed, and it’s obviously because of God’s help, how should that affect how you see other challenges? How does that effect how others see you? How does it affect how others see God?
Q. Have you ever been frustrated with God because of a difficult situation you found yourself in? Is it possible He allowed you to be in that situation to learn to depend on His strength instead of your own?
4. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for giving you strength to accomplish anything He asks of you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you courage to take on challenges and keep you dependent on His strength instead of your own.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
1. Power Verse
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIrV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways obey him. Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.”
“Hold on to God when life spins out of control.”
If your family or your children are going through some hard times, take the time to talk about it this week and pray with your kids. Take the lead, showing them how to lean on God in hard times, and let God be your strength.
2. Bible Reading
Read: Genesis 41:14-27, 41-43
Genesis 41:14-27New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)
14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph. He was quickly brought out of the prison. Joseph shaved and changed his clothes. Then he came to Pharaoh.
15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream. No one can tell me what it means. But I’ve heard that when you hear a dream you can explain it.”
16 “I can’t do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh. “But God will give Pharaoh the answer he wants.”
17 Then Pharaoh told Joseph what he had dreamed. He said, “I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18 Seven cows came up out of the river. They were fat and looked healthy. They were eating the tall grass growing along the river. 19 After them, seven other cows came up. They were bony and very ugly and thin. I had never seen such ugly cows in the whole land of Egypt. 20 The thin, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21 But no one could tell that the thin cows had eaten the fat cows. That’s because the thin cows looked just as ugly as they had before. Then I woke up.
22 “In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain. They were full and good. They were all growing on one stem. 23 After them, seven other heads of grain came up. They were weak and thin and dried up by the east wind. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told my dream to the magicians. But none of them could explain it to me.”
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams have the same meaning. God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years. And the seven good heads of grain are seven years. Both dreams mean the same thing. 27 The seven thin, ugly cows that came up later are seven years. So are the seven worthless heads of grain dried up by the east wind. They are seven years when there won’t be enough food.
Genesis 41:41-43New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)
Joseph Is Put in Charge of Egypt
41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I’m putting you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took from his finger the ring he used to give his official stamp. He put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes made out of fine linen. He put a gold chain around Joseph’s neck. 43 He also had him ride in a chariot. Joseph was now next in command after Pharaoh. People went in front of Joseph and shouted, “Get down on your knees!” By doing all these things, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
Joseph thought life was out of control, but after meeting Pharaoh, he realized he was right where he was supposed to be. God gave Joseph the gift of interpretation. He was in the right place at the right time to interpret a terrible dream for Pharaoh.
He was in the right place at the right time for God to use him.
Sometimes life can feel like it’s spinning us out of control! No one had a life that spun from good to bad to worse quite like Joseph. But Joseph never lost his faith, and God blessed Joseph.
Q. How did Joseph’s life spin out of control?
Q. How did God turn things around for Joseph?
Q. Why do we need to hold onto God when life is spinning out of control?
4. Prayer Focus
When life feels like it’s spinning out of control, pray to Jesus, and ask him to help you through it. Thank God for always being constant and in control.