At some point, probably early in our lives, we realized this world is not perfect. We have all gone through tough times in our lives that lasted longer than we would have liked. There may have even been a point you were ready to give up. The way we respond in tough times tells us and others a great deal about what we believe is true about God. Do we think we have to try and muscle through it on our own? Do we make everyone else’s lives miserable if we’re miserable? Or do we believe what God says about Himself, that He is good and loving and all-powerful? No matter what we must endure, we don’t have to persevere alone. He will always help us through.
PERSEVERANCE: Going the distance and staying the course, even when it's tough!
MEMORY VERSE: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
This Week’s Finish Line: God Helps Us Persevere Even When It's Tough
God chose the apostle Paul to travel all over the Roman empire sharing the good news of the Gospel. However, not everyone liked what he was saying, and they tried to get him to stop in any way possible. God helped Paul persevere through some of the most difficult experiences including being shipwrecked, beaten, hunted, mocked and thrown in jail. And even with all of this God gave Paul a “thorn” to remind him even more how much he needed God. God told Paul that His grace is sufficient for anything he might have to persevere through. God does not always save us from hard times, but He will always be with us through hard times.
- Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-30 and 12:7-10. What are some of the hard things Paul had to persevere through?
- What are some hard things you are going through right now? What can you remember is true about God when you are tempted to give up?
- Do you believe God is big and strong enough for anything you might be going through?
- What are some ways God took care of Paul through all of these tough times?
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
Spend some time after dinner with your family searching through your Bible for verses and passages that show us that God helps us persevere even when it is tough. Here are some verses to get you started. Psalm 9:9, Psalm 18:30, Psalm 20:1, Psalm 37:5, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 62:8, Psalm 86:7, Psalm 118:8, Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 30:5.
Friend: Drive Time
As you are in the car this week, review and work on memorizing this month's memory verse. Discuss how it may be tough, but that God has given you the ability to remember and memorize things.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." HEBREWS 12:1 (NIV)
Before bed time, ask your kids to share with you something tough they’re persevering through right now. Listen, encourage them, and ask them to think about and share characteristics of God (maybe remind them of the scripture you found during the meal time activity!) that they can cling to as reminders of God’s faithfulness to help them through the hard times. Then pray, asking God to strengthen their heart with the truth of who He is and how He is with us.
During the week find a chore you can assign to your kids. Chores, such as, dusting the living room or washing the dishes, but the catch is you are going to help them. Once you have decided on a good chore, tell your kids that you want them to do this chore with excellence and to not stop until they are finished. Then tell them the secret! You are going to help them! As you are working together, talk about how God is similar in how He has us do things that are sometimes tough, but He’s always with us and helps us through them.
Thank God for always keeping His promise to be with us in any tough situation. Ask Him to help you see that He is enough for whatever He is calling you to persevere thru.
Next week we will begin our new character trait for May- Honesty!