Helping Kids in an Upside-down World

One of the aspects of planning for a ministry year is to be prepared to know what to say in case of a traumatic event.

Because we live in a upside-down, messed-up world.

On a human level, this can be frightening to us as adults: mass shootings, tornadoes, parents abusing kids, abortion … All we have to do is take a quick look at a web newsfeed or turn on the car radio or watch a TV newscast and we hear about the chaos.

As do our kids.

No matter how much we strive to isolate our kids, they hear what’s happening and are effected by the world around them. As parents, we want to offer them comfort and a solution.

The kids we teach also live in this world, and sometimes it’s not just the big news’ happenings that bring chaos to their lives, but rather chaos in their own homes. Dad’s lost his job and often comes home drunk, Mom has a boyfriend, big sister is on drugs, big brother is in jail.

We can’t make their problems go away. Not the world problems. Not the home problems.

But we do know the Lord Jesus Christ – the very personification of peace.

That’s what we need to share with the kids.

Here are 8 peace verses to talk about with your clubbers (or your own children).

1. John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Here Christ makes a distinction between the temporary peace of the world and the true peace that He provides. We can rest in His peace and not be afraid.

2. John 20:19 – On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

As soon as Christ entered the room, He said, “Peace be with you.” Christ is the personification of peace. With Him as our Savior we are privileged to experience His peace at all times. (The problem is we often ignore the peace He offers.)

3. Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
 Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The Prince of Peace is one of Christ’s names. This is a great verse to talk about around Christmas (and all year). One Christmas I taught a group of Sparkies the four names of Christ listed here. We talked about Isaiah living hundreds of years before Christ was born, but yet knowing what was to come – as a true prophet of God.

4. Romans 14:19  So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

We are to follow after peace, to pursue it. For kids this would mean doing the peaceful things. Here Paul is talking about Christians helping each other to be unified and work together. If clubbers see a bunch of kids fighting at club or saying nasty things about someone else, they should walk away from it and not get involved — but should instead tell a leader. They should work at being the peacemaker rather than a peace destroyer.

5. Ephesians 6:15 – and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

Shoes of peace are one of the pieces of our spiritual armor. Kids love learning about the armor. God offers us the ability to “walk” in peace. (This is an especially good verse for kids who live in chaotic homes.)

6. Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Peace is something that we should allow to rule over our hearts. In other words, we need to let peace be in control of our actions. That’s hard for all of us – not just kids. How often do we give in to worry, or frustration or confusion? We need to be an example for those kids we teach.

7. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 – Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

I like the “at all times in every way” phrase. That’s how often God’s peace is available to us.

8: Isaiah 53:5 – But He was pierced for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with His wounds we are healed.

And of course, the most important fact your clubbers (kids) need to know about peace is that because of the cross, we can have peace with God.

 

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