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Family Group Night | August 27, 2023

GIVING THANKS IN TROUBLED TIMES

 

Read it


1 Thessalonians 1:1-3


“Paul, Silas, and Timothy – to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Discover It


Two thousand years ago, the letter of 1 Thessalonians was written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Thessalonica, a city that still exists today in Greece. This was a troubled church. They were troubled by questions about God and how He works. They were troubled by friends in their church who had died sudden and unexpected deaths. They were troubled, not knowing what happens to our soul after we die. And they were troubled by the oppression they were feeling by others who persecuted Christians. And like us, they were troubled by the everyday stresses of living in a sinful, fallen world. But even in the midst of troubles, Paul greeted this church with thanksgiving…giving thanks, even in troubled times!

 


Ask It


1. Have you ever been troubled? Oppressed by problems or conflict? Having anxiety and distress over real issues, or even worried over things that haven’t even happened yet? Why do you think people, even Christians are sometimes troubled?


2. Sometimes, even your troubles can lead to thanksgiving. For example, when you have a flat tire, it reminds you to thank God, for many do not have a car. Think of and discuss other times your troubles can remind you of something to give thanks for.


3. Paul writes in verse two of our scripture that he was thankful for this church, praying for them constantly, and thanking the Lord for their works, their faith, and their endurance. Why do you think Paul was thankful for these qualities in a church?

 

Live It


1. Give all your troubled thoughts and situations to the Lord. The Bible says it this way, “Cast all your cares upon Him, for he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)


2. Completely trust the Lord with your troubles. Long ago He died to give you victory. Lay your burdens at the foot of His Cross and leave them there! The Bible says it this way, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)


3. Thank God by faith in advance for handling all your problems and cares. Then, live in His peace! The Bible says it this way, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passes understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

Pray It


O my God, thou fairest and greatest, first of all objects. My heart admires thee, adores thee, and loves thee. For the little vessel of my life is as full as it can be. And I now gladly pour out all the fullness of my life before thee in a ceaseless flow of thanksgiving, worship, and praise. (Based on a Puritan Prayer)

 

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