Ditch the Dark Cloud

Posted by Jim Murphy on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 @ 8:54 AM

TRUTH

God wants you to have a great family.

TENSION

Does it ever feel like there are families who are more “perfect” than yours? They dress better. Have a nicer house. Never seem to have a disagreement of any kind. But when we see these families, we’re not seeing the full picture; we’re simply seeing a snapshot. If we actually lived in that family and dealt with each person on a daily basis, we would probably realize that the perfect family is, well, a myth. No family is perfect. We are all just human, and when we realize that, we can live in the messiness of our families and learn to find the good. We can begin to understand that in every situation, God is at work for our good, if only we’d trust Him, follow him, and let him work in us.

Joseph’s family was pretty messed up. He experienced a lot of pain in his family. But, somehow, he was able to ditch his dark cloud and find the silver lining. This week, we’ll explore how he did that.

The truth is God wants you to have a great family. But the reality is every family has problems.

TEXT

Genesis 35-47 (Joseph’s family), Romans 8:28

TEACHING

  1. Ditch the Dark Cloud – Every family has problems. But not every kid grows up to repeat the same problems. The ones who break the chains and move on to a better life are the ones who, like Joseph, learned to ditch the dark cloud. You, too, with God’s help, can break the chains and grow up to a better life. You, too with God’s help, can ditch the dark cloud.
  2. Find the Silver Lining – The kids who grow up and move on to a better life are the ones who were able to find the silver lining in their family situation. They look for the good in each person in their family. They look for the positive in each situation they’re in. But most of all, they stay focused on the one silver lining that remains constant in every family, in every situation––God. They know that they can trust God with every area of their life. You, too, can trust God with every area of your life. God promises, in Romans 8:28, that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”

The truth is God wants you to have a great family. So, ditch the dark cloud and find the silver lining.

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

  1. Describe your family. Dad? Mom? Stepparent? Siblings? Relative(s) who lives with you?
  2. Can you think of a family you know that seems like the “perfect” family? What makes you think they are “perfect”? What have you seen in their family that you like?
  3. What are some good things about your family? The Silver Lining?

CONVERSATION AT HOME

It may be helpful for you and your family to simply acknowledge the troubles you have. No need to be defensive about it. No need to show your stress over it. Just acknowledge it to each other. Name it. No need to point fingers or blame anyone. Be fair and admit your problems, too. If you, the parent, are the first to admit your shortcomings, it'll be easier for others in your family to admit theirs. 

Remember, God wants you to find your identity in Him. You are not defined by your sin, your failings, your mistakes, your past, your circumstance, your problems. Only God can define who you are. To Him, you are a Chosen and Changed Child of God. When you define yourself and find your identity in Him, it's easier to acknowledge your own shortcomings because they don't define you. They are separate from you.

Look at the questions above. Maybe consider asking similar questions at home. 

The content of this post is based on curriculum provided by Orange: XP3.

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Note

These posts are from the weekly lessons at Wednesday night FUEL. They are designed to share with you an outline of the content of our discussions, the small group questions, and ideas for conversations at home. Feel free to use these for your own conversations or lessons.

Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy, Associate Pastor, NextGen MinistriesAssociate Pastor NextGen Ministries

218-751-3699 ext 14 jim@bemidjicovenant.com

 

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