Main Point: Even when we are in situations that seem difficult, we must understand that God is at work.
Movie – Minority Report
This movie is based around the concept of altering the future. It is about Jon Anderton (Tom Cruise), the chief of the Pre-Crime unit in Washington D.C. His job is to prevent murder before it takes place, but he himself is named a future killer of a man he doesn’t even know. On the run, he must solve the puzzle of who has set him up, and more importantly, why he is to kill the man he has never met. This is a very entertaining and intriguing movie, although the entire movie may not be appropriate for a young audience, as it has a couple of sexual situations and deals with murder.
Clip: Do you see the balloons?
This clip is a great illustration of following instructions and trusting someone else’s plan, even when it doesn’t make sense to you. If you’re using the DVD, the clip begins at the beginning of chapter 17. The counter reads at 1:35:33 if you start the counter when the 20th Century Fox logo appears. In this clip, Jon is walking with Agatha, a girl who can see the future. She clearly understands everything that is happening better than Jon does, so he must rely on her direction. The two of them are in a shopping mall, trying to evade capture by the police. She gives Jon seemingly random instructions, which Jon has a difficult time of reconciling, since they at first seem to slow them down. However, because of Agatha’s awareness of all that is going on, the two are able to escape. The clip ends at approximately 1:38:06, when Jon opens the umbrella. Be sure that you do not wait until the police come out on the balcony in the rain, because once the agents realize they have lost Jon, one of them says a bad word.
AGATHA: Can you see the umbrella? Take it. (JON leads her past it.) Take it!
(Jon grabs the umbrella.)
AGATHA: A man in a blue suit—he drops a briefcase.
(Man drops briefcase.)
AGATHA: You see a woman in a brown dress. She knows your face.
(Woman watches JON and AGATHA pass by)
AGATHA: Turn in here. Wait.
JON: No, we can’t stop here.
AGATHA: Do you see the balloon man? Wait. Wait.
(The agents are seen running along the balcony. JON and AGATHA are standing in plain view.)
JON: What are we waiting for?
AGATHA: Wait, Wait. Wait. Wait.
(Balloons block view from where the agents stand.)
AGENT 1: Anyone have a view?
OTHER AGENTS: Negative.
AGENT 1: Scott, Ramos, take the east end. Everyone else let’s go.
(AGENTS run off, and JON and AGATHA continue again.)
AGATHA: (stopping to talk to lady) He knows; don’t go home.
(The two are recognized by RAMOS.)
RAMOS: We’ve got eyes on.
(JON and AGATHA pass a homeless man.)
AGATHA: Drop some money.
(JON drops money for the man. As the man reaches to pick it up, the AGENTS enter and trip over him. Upon going outside, JON sees that it is raining, and marvels over the umbrella AGATHA made him pick up. He opens the umbrella and they escape undetected.)
This scene is frustrating to watch, isn’t it? We feel for Jon and empathize with his desperation. We want him to just up and run as fast as he can. But this guy is stuck having to trust a girl that knows way more than he does. And so we feel for him, since he has to trust someone else, even when it seems like everything is falling apart.
Divide into Small Groups:
Right now we’re going to split up into our small groups and discuss how this kind of trust is required when we walk with God. Afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: When was a time this week when you were in a difficult situation?
- Have you ever been in a situation when you wondered if God was actually taking care of you? How did you react to the situation?
- Why is it difficult sometimes not to question God and the way He takes care of us?
ASK A FEW: How is Elisha’s servant’s situation similar to difficult times in our lives?
ASK ONE OR TWO: It seems as if Elisha and his servant were in the exact same situation. So before Elisha prayed for God to open his servant’s eyes, how were their experiences in that situation different?
ASK A FEW: How can seeing God’s hand in a situation change someone’s experience in that situation?
ASK A FEW: Why do you think God allows us to be in situations where we feel overwhelmed?
2 Kings 6:8-17
When the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he would confer with his officers and say, "We will mobilize our forces at such and such a place."
 But immediately Elisha, the man of God, would warn the king of Israel, "Do not go near that place, for the Arameans are planning to mobilize their troops there."  So the king of Israel would send word to the place indicated by the man of God, warning the people there to be on their guard. This happened several times.
 The king of Aram became very upset over this. He called in his officers and demanded, "Which of you is the traitor? Who has been informing the king of Israel of my plans?"
 "It's not us, my lord," one of the officers replied. "Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!"
 The king commanded, "Go and find out where Elisha is, and we will send troops to seize him."
And the report came back: "Elisha is at Dothan."  So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city.  When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere.
"Ah, my lord, what will we do now?" he cried out to Elisha.
 "Don't be afraid!" Elisha told him. "For there are more on our side than on theirs!"  Then Elisha prayed, "O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!" The Lord opened his servant's eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
ASK A FEW: Do you believe that this is true?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: In the situation you talked about earlier, now that we know that God works for good “in all things,” can you see how God was working all along in that situation?
ASK A FEW: Knowing that there is a greater work present that we may not be able to see when we are having trials, what should we do in the midst of these trials?
And we know that in all things God works for the good for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.
It’s amazing how much God is in control, even when we sometimes don’t feel it. It’s hard to trust God sometimes, but we also must understand that He sees a much bigger picture of what is going on, and according to His promise in Romans 8, He’ll take good care of us, even if times are hard. Let’s each choose a partner and spend the next couple minutes thanking God together that He is in control, and let’s also ask Him to help us trust Him more. Also, if you or your partner are going through a difficult time right now in your life, take time to pray for that too, and pray that God can help you see His hand in your situation.
Written by Matt Furby