What do we do when people are mean? When they say bad things about others that we care about? What happens when someone says mean things about you? What do we do when others laugh at us and make fun of us? What do you do when people laugh because the president and the first lady are sick with the virus? How are we to react? What should we think? What should we do?
The first step is to think of good things…Think about how your parentslove you. Think about how your grandparents love you. Can you say three things that you are thankful for? (Do it now…as I would like to hear your thoughts.)
The most important thing we can think about is Jesus. How Jesus loves us…so very much that He died on a horrible cross of pain and suffering…to take away our sins…so that simply believing in Jesus we will forever have eternal life. Jesus also sends His
angels to watch over us. And Jesus tells us so many important things for us to remember in the Bible.
We should keep oureyes, our heart, and our mind on Jesus. What do you think that means? (Take a minute to let me know what you think it means.) When you think about it…if you keep your mind on the good things, the blessings, your parents that love you, and most of all Jesus, who loves you every day, no matter what is happening to you. He loves you, even fi you forget about Him. What a friend we havein Jesus!
In the Bible, Jesus has given each of us a true story that will help us to always remember to keep our thoughts, our mind, our heart and our eyes on Jesusa n d not on the “storms of life”. What does it mean–the “storms of life”? (Take a minute to discuss what it means when the word “storms” are used? What are some storms in your life come up with an example that was recent, and another that happened some time ago.)
Let’s get into the story about a follower of Jesus, a disciple named Peter, who let a bad situation get to him because he forgot about trusting Jesus. But before we begin, lets understand what happened just before this story.
Jesus was traveling throughout the land teaching thousands of people about God, heaven, trust, faith, reading the Bible every day, and praying every day. Jesus was exhausted because He knew that He had so many important things to teach and that His time on this earth was short.
Then right in the middle of teaching one of His classes, Jesus got some bad news. He learned that his best friend, John the Baptist, was executed (killed by King Herod. But He had to keep on teaching and encouraging others.
Then, as it was getting late in the afternoon, He realized that the crowd of over five thousand had been sitting on the hillside classroom all day and had nothing to eat. Now He had all of these hungry moms and dads, and all of their starving children. What was He going to do? Because of His love for them, He made a miracle! Jesus’ disciples found only two fish and five loaves of bread. After giving thanks (saying grace) over the food, He started breaking the bread and fishes into pieces, and it began to multiply so that everyone had plenty to eat. They even had leftovers for another day 12 big baskets of food! (Matthew 14: 13-20).
Now it was getting near nighttime.. and Jesus and His disciples were wiped o u t – exhausted from a long, long day. So they told the large crowd that it was time to go home. Jesus wanted His disciples to go ahead of Him on the boat and begin to cross the lake to the other side. Jesus knew there would be more crowds to teach in the morning and He wanted his disciples to get an early start.
What did Jesus do? Well, He knew that He needed to keep up his strength so he climbed up a mountainside, all alone, so He could pray. Jesus always shows us by His own actions, how important it is to pray. He taught us that we need to pray for others before we pray for ourselves. He also taught us to thank God for all of our blessings- the good things in our lives.
After his long prayers to God the Father, Jesus knew He needed to catch up with His disciples that were already half-way across the lake.
And here is where the story begins….