Recently, we moved into a new house. We love it, but a new place means a new floor plan, unfamiliar noises, and really just unfamiliar everything. One night after we’d just moved in, the girls were upstairs in their rooms, the boys were in the basement, and my wife and I were in the living room. Outside there was quite a storm brewing. And suddenly the sky lit up followed by loud booming thunder. And that’s when the lights went out.
We heard squeals and screams coming from all over the house. I scrambled through boxes and drawers to find a flashlight, a candle, anything that could help us find each other in this new unfamiliar space we found ourselves.
Finally, I found my phone and turned on that tiny LED flashlight on the back. And in a moment, everything was okay. Sure, we still were without power. We still didn’t quite know where everything was. But we had light. And everything seems better when you have a little light.
The kids just needed to know we were still there. That we’d be able to find them. They’d be able to get to us. That small light gave them hope that everything would be okay.
That’s hope. The belief that although it was dark and difficult to see, everything is going to be okay.
All it took was a small light that pierced through the darkness of that night.
Our life is going to feel like that sometimes, like our life just doesn’t make sense. Our world will be dark and confusing and down right scary. For our kids, this might be difficult to understand.
But here’s thing, just like that light pierced through the darkness of my home, we get to speak into the hearts of these kids and remind them that even in the dark, God is still in control. God still loves them. And God will faithfully carry them through the darkness into His marvelous light.
Unfortunately, even for our kids, this happens more than we’d like.
Maybe someone we care about dies.
Or they get bad news from a doctor.
A parent loses a job.
One of our children gets bullied at school.
Someone gets divorced.
Kids find themselves trying to make their way through the dark, when all they might need is a little light. That’s why we’re taking the whole month to talk about hope.
Hope is believing that something good can come out of something bad. It’s important to help kids know what to do when life throws them a curveball—when their picture doesn’t pan out the way they think it will—to let them know that life will get messy at some point. But no matter how confusing, God still has a plan. He is powerful enough to make something good come out of something bad.
That’s why a great verse to get your kids to memorize is John 16:33b: “In this world you will have trouble. But be encouraged! I have won the battle over the world,” (NIrV)
Those are actually the words of Jesus. And if you want a demonstration of how God can use pain and suffering and do something powerful, just think about Jesus. More specifically, think about the message of the Gospel. The life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is enough to give us all the hope we will ever need, which becomes especially important this month as we get to celebrate and discovery more about Easter.
We start our month on hope in John 11. Here we discover a moment when Jesus brought hope to two sisters who thought all hope was lost. When Lazarus died, his sisters were devastated. But Jesus used the opportunity to point people to God. Jesus was stronger than even death itself and raised Lazarus back to life four days after he was dead. Through this story, we want kids to remember that whatever happens, then can remember that how powerful God is.
Next, we’ll look at several passages throughout John 14-16. We get the chance to eavesdrop on the last conversations Jesus had with His disciples before He was arrested. At the Last Supper, Jesus takes one last chance to encourage His disciples with the promise of heaven, the Holy Spirit, and that He will always be with them. Through this moment in Jesus’ life, we pray kids will realize that whatever happens, they can remember what Jesus promised. It’s such a comfort to know that God is always with us and wants to be with us forever.
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate how Jesus was worshipped as He rode into Jerusalem. Yet, as we’ll see through passages in John 18-19, less than a week later, Jesus went to the cross for us. It was painful, but He endured all of it for us. We know that now, but when Jesus died, His disciples must have thought it was over—that everything they had hoped for would never come true. But, God wasn’t finished yet. Just like the disciples didn’t yet know the end of the story, sometimes our kids can’t see how there story will turn out. We pray that as they go through those times, they’ll remember God is always at work.
Then, on Easter Sunday, we celebrate that we can have hope because Jesus is alive! In John 20:1-18, we’ll find out that all the promises that Jesus made are true. Everything that Jesus said and did lead to this moment. He paid the price for our sin on the cross and came back to life making it possible for us to be with God forever! This is something to celebrate! We want all the kids to leave believing that whatever happens, they can know that God loves them.
Here’s the reality: No one knows at what point your kids may be going through a dark time that doesn’t make sense. But as a leader or a parent, you have an opportunity to lay a foundation so that whatever happens in their life they can have hope.
They can have hope—
because of what Jesus said about heaven,
because of what happened at the resurrection,
because God’s story is much bigger than the one they see,
and because Jesus promised that He would always be with them.
By: Dan Scott
Used with permission. The reThink Group, Inc.