As teenagers, it can be challenging to navigate the ups and downs of life. We face various challenges like peer pressure, exams, bullying, overwhelming family expectations, self-doubt, and more. No wonder we sometimes feel stressed, anxious, or even depressed. But when we turn to God, we find a source of hope, joy, and peace that surpasses all understanding. In Psalm 66:8-20, we learn that God has the power to transform our struggles into testimonies and that we can praise God in the midst of our trials.
Bible Reading (Psalm 66:8-12)
Our lesson today is centered on Psalm 66:8-20. Let’s read verses 8-12:
“Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.” (ESV)
- In verses 8-9, we see that the Psalmist is calling on all people to bless God and make His praise be heard. We are to lift our voices in praise to God, no matter the problems we face.
- In verse 10, we learn that God tests us to refine us, just as silver is tested in fire. This testing makes us strong and helps us grow in faith.
- In verse 11, the Psalmist tells us that God allowed his people to end up in a net or a trap. They were crushed by a heavy burden in the form of trials and challenges, but God never let their feet slip.
- In verse 12, we see that the people of God went through fire and water, but God brought them out and into a place of abundance. God has the power to transform our trials into testimonies.
Bible Reading (Psalm 66:16-20)
Now let’s read the second portion of our focus scripture, Psalm 66:16-20.
“Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!” (ESV)
- In verses 16-17, the Psalmist invites those who fear God to listen to his testimony. The Psalmist cries out to God with his mouth and praises Him, even in the midst of his trials.
- In verse 18, we learn that it’s essential to examine our hearts continually. If we’re holding onto sin, God will not hear our prayers. It’s important to repent and ask God for forgiveness.
- In verses 19-20, we see that God listens to our prayers when we cry out to Him. He shows us His steadfast love and never rejects us.
Youth Group Discussion Questions
1. How do you typically respond to trials in your life? Do you turn to God, or do you look for other sources of comfort?
2. In what ways have you seen God work in your life to refine your faith through challenges?
3. How do you typically praise God when you’re facing difficulties?
4. What sins have you been holding onto that may be hindering your ability to pray?
5. How can you better incorporate the message of Psalm 66:8-20 into your daily walk with God?
Youth Group Game: Testimony Time
In this game, each teenager will have 1-2 minutes to share a personal testimony of how God has transformed their struggles into testimonies of His goodness. This game will encourage teens to reflect on how God has worked in their lives, and it will help others see that they’re not alone.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your Word. We thank you for Psalm 66:8-20, which reminds us that we can praise you in the midst of our trials. We ask that you would help us to trust you more, even when we’re struggling. Help us to seek your face and turn to you for our strength. We pray that we would be a generation of believers that praises you, no matter what. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen