David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Upper Elementary

Always There

Lesson 2 

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Spring 2021

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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March 14, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

Turn to God when you’re feeling down. ECHOES Focus: God will carry out His plans.

Bible Basis:

1 Kings 19

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will share their experiences with discouragement and focus on ways to encourage and remind others that God is always, always with them.

Memory Verse:

I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths.
—Psalm 30:1

ECHOES Verse:
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
—Proverbs 19:21

Step 1:

Students will share their experiences with discouragement and focus on ways to encourage and remind others that God is always, always with them.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Before class, write this riddle on a whiteboard or screen-shared document: “It belongs to you, but your friends use it more. What is it?” (Don’t write the answer for students to see: Your name.) If there is enough time, you can write more.

As students arrive, greet them and invite them to think of the solution to this riddle. After everyone has had a chance to think of the answer, invite students to share their ideas.

  • Were you frustrated from trying to solve this problem? (Answers will vary.)
  • As we work through problems, our emotions play a part in the process. What kind of emotions might people experience as they tackle their problems? (Sadness, frustration, determination, perseverance, discouragement, etc.)

Many times, when we’re faced with a problem, we experience some kind of discouragement or frustration. When that happens, it’s hard to look past the negative and see the good. 

  • Think about a problem you’ve had recently. What kinds of things made you feel down and discouraged? (Allow students to think and share responses. Students may respond with topics about losing friends, hurting/damaging relationships, knowing that someone is angry with them, anticipating punishment or consequences, losing something important or valuable.)
  • When you’re feeling down, what do you do to help you feel better? (Answers will vary, but may include praying for God’s strength, getting help from a parent or adult, trying a new way of fixing the problem, taking a break, having someone help, processing emotions by writing or drawing.)

We all have to deal with the ups and downs that come with problems, no matter who we are. Sometimes we know exactly what we need to do to fix a problem, and we jump right into figuring it out. But other times, the solution is not as easy to find, and discouragement causes us to feel down. Today we’re going to talk about someone in the Bible who felt the same way—let’s see what happened.

Riddle Source: https://www.prodigygame.com/main-en/blog/riddles-for-kids

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Index cards (1 per student)
  • Pens/pencils (1 per student)
  • Whiteboard or screenshared document
  • Markers or colored pencils (optional)

If your class is meeting online, invite your students to bring a pen/pencil and index card with them to class. Before this step, write the following Scriptures and ideas on the whiteboard or a screen-shared document for your students to refer to later:

  • God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
  • Cast all your cares on Jesus, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
  • I exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths. —Psalm 30:1
  • Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21).
  • Jesus is always with you, even if it might not seem like it.
  • God always has a plan, and that plan is perfect.

Today we saw how God helped Elijah when he was feeling down and discouraged. Elijah knew how powerful God was; he had seen God show His power when He sent fire from heaven to burn up Elijah’s sacrifice. After being part of such an incredible miracle, Elijah found himself running for his life and wondering if Queen Jezebel would make good on her threat. It seemed like the farther Elijah ran from Jezebel, the more discouraged he became. God came to Elijah and reminded him of His love. 

We often experience the same kind of discouragement and disappointment that Elijah felt. We may find ourselves in a situation that leaves us scared, lonely, and wondering if God has forgotten about us. Just like the baby pigeons in the video we watched earlier who had a hard time waiting on Mom to bring home dinner, we sometimes find it hard to trust that God will take care of things. And when He does take care of things, we may find we wish for a different outcome. The story of Elijah and the whisper of a loving Father can help us remember that God is always, always there for us. He may not show Himself in the way we’d expect, but we can be certain that He will remind us of His love and care in the way we need it most. 

  • In what ways might God send love and encouragement to us today? (Answers may vary, but might include Scripture passages, devotionals, actions of kindness, and love from others.)

God can use us to do for others what the whisper in the wind did for Elijah; we can encourage and love others through our words and our actions.

  • If someone in your life was lonely or discouraged, what might you say or do to help them feel encouraged and loved? (As students share ideas, add them to the verses/ideas already on the whiteboard.)

Hand out index cards and pens/pencils to your students. If your class is meeting online, invite them to have those items ready. Instruct your preteens to use the cards and markers to create encouragement cards. Students should choose a verse or quote (use the ideas from the whiteboard) and write it neatly on the card. Students can decorate their card with drawings or designs. If they have time, encourage them to make more than one.

This week, you’ll probably cross paths at some time with someone who’s experiencing discouragement of some kind. They may be lonely, they might be in the middle of a difficult situation, or they may be sad or scared—maybe Mom or Dad seems really worn out. You may not have any idea why they are down, but you have the opportunity to encourage them and show them Jesus.

When you get home today, find a place for your card(s) where you can access them easily—your backpack, your lunch box, your locker, or tucked inside a book you are reading. That way, when you encounter someone who is discouraged and down, you can give them your card and remind them that Jesus loves them, and that they aren’t alone. Your card of encouragement can be like the still, small voice that Elijah heard in the wind. 

When you face discouragement this week—whether it’s at home, during school, or in the middle of an activity—remember the words of encouragement that you wrote on your card(s). Let the reminders of who Jesus is and how He always is there for you bring you encouragement and hope. 

Close in prayer.

Spread the word

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