“The gospel offers us hope in a God who was not willing to spare His own Son, but instead gave him up freely in order to save us. Jesus Christ, our lord and Savior was forsaken on the cross so that we might not be forsaken because of our sin and rebellion against God. This is the good news our hearts need to hear today. This is the good news our hearts need to hear every day.”
Telephone charades (group activity requiring 2+ people)
The purpose of playing telephone charades as an activity is to function as a tie in to the lesson for today’s devotional on Psalm 42. It acts as setting the need. Just like what we see isn’t always reliable and dependable in interpreting the reality of what was intended to be acted out in telephone charades, our hearts aren’t always reliable and dependable in thinking rightly about our troubles and discouragements in life.
None (pieces of paper and pencil optional to write down clues that can be drawn from a bag to be acted out)
1) Lord from Sorrows Deep I Call (Psalm 42) – Matt Papa and Matt Boswell
2) 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord O My Soul) – Matt Redman
3) Jesus is Better ¬– Austin Stone Worship
4) God is For Us – CityAlight (Ideal song for children that’s also perfect for VBS)
• Passage: Psalm 42
• Key Idea: When you’re discouraged and God seems absent from your troubles in life, you must reorient your heart by speaking words of hope.
o Consider speaking/rehearsing the gospel to yourself. As you think through and maybe write down things that are troubling or discouraging in life right now (if you keep a personal journal), write down how the gospel offers perspective in those trials. By perspective, think about how the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of life, including trials.
o Write down short truths about God and promises He has made in His Word. Or perhaps write down examples of how He has been good and faithful to you that you should praise Him for. Place these statements of truths/promises/faithfulness in an area of your house that you frequently spend time in so it can serve as a way to speak to your heart (e.g. bathroom mirror when brushing your teeth).
• What are some things in your life right now that has “cast you down?” That has got you feeling like you’re “down in the dumps” or downright discouraging?
• In what ways or how does the absence of God feel or look like for you?
• When you’re discouraged, what value do you think there is in speaking to your heart? (c.f. Philippians 4:8)
• What are some specific hope giving truths that you can be saying to your own heart in the particular difficult or discouraging situation you are currently going through right now?
Time of Prayer:
• Pray by lamenting to God the things on your heart that are difficult or discouraging going on right now. Pour your heart out by sharing with God ways you feel He is absent or far from you.
• Pray by acknowledging specific characteristics of Who God is and ask Him to give you hope that is grounded in His character.
• Pray by praising God for ways He has demonstrated His presence and comfort during past trials and difficulty.