Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
1. Primary Statement
Life is painful. From toothaches to heartaches, experiencing pain is a part of the human existence. Many people doubt God or leave God because of the pain they experience, but the truth is: God isn’t the source of pain, and if we stay close to Him, He will help us through our pain and bring good out of it in the end.
2. Bible Verse
Sometimes we experience pain as a discipline or a warning.
If you try to bend your finger the wrong way, it hurts! Why? The pain is a warning that your current course of action will damage your body. If you drive too fast around a police officer, you may get a speeding ticket. Why? The financial pain of paying a fine encourages you to drive more safely in the future. Sometimes, we bring pain on ourselves, but it’s helpful.
Hebrews 12:11 [ESV] “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Q. What’s a painful consequence you’ve experienced? Did it cause you to change your actions in the future?
Sometimes we experience pain that we did nothing to cause or deserve.
God’s original creation was pain-free, but when sin entered the world, pain came along with it. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, because this is the sin-infected version of God’s world. In those times, we can look to God for relief, endurance, and perspective. In the long run, God can bring good out of any situation.
Romans 8:28 [ESV] “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Q. Think of a time you experienced pain that you did nothing to cause. At the time, were you frustrated at God because of it? Looking back now, ask yourself: Did God cause it? Did God help me through it? Am I in some way stronger today because of it?
4. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for the hope of a pain-free future with Him forever. Ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you in seasons of pain and help you to stay close to Him through any circumstance.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
1. Power Verse
James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above…”
Watts Up: “G-R-A-C-E! God Gives Grace to You and Me!”
**PARENTS: Have 2 small presents ready for each kid (a few coins, candy, etc.).
Call your kids together and tell them that for the next several weeks,you’re going to talk about gifts. Without explaining anything, hand each of them one of the gifts you’ve chosen. Don’t discuss it or tell them why you chose it. If they thank you, just say, “You’re welcome,” without talking about it anymore.
Q. What did you do to be able to become a member of this family? (Nothing, you were born or adopted into it.)
Q. What are some of the benefits of being a member of our family?
Q. Do you think there’s anything you could do that would cause you to no longer be a member of our family? If so, what? (If your kids mention some things, just say something like, “Oh, really? Do you really think so?” Don’t argue or disagree with them, though.) Now hand them another present. Once again, don’t discuss it or give them a reason for giving them any presents.
Q. Have you ever heard the phrase, “no strings attached”? What does it mean? Grace means that we receive something that we don’t deserve or didn’t earn. Grace is a “no strings attached” gift, which means that the person who gave it to you won’t snatch it back if you don’t do what they want you to do.
The unexpected and unearned gifts you have just gotten are like “grace.”
Q. Can you think of any times you’ve received grace in the past? (Maybe one time you didn’t turn in your homework, but the teacher didn’t count it against you or someone did something nice for you just because they love you.)
Q. What is God’s grace?
Q. What has He done for us that we don’t deserve? (Think not only about salvation, but all of the daily blessings He gives us.)
Q. What should be our response to His grace? No matter what you [kids] do, your parents will never stop loving you, and neither will God.
4. Prayer Focus
Pray together, thanking God for his grace and asking him to help you see every day the things he does for you that you don’t deserve. Ask him to help you have a thankful heart and to pass his grace on to others.