David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Middle School

Bound to Be Blessed

Lesson 9 

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Winter 2020-21

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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January 31, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

God can turn bad into good.

Bible Basis:

Acts 28:16-23; Philippians 1:12-14

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will begin to think about seemingly negative situations turning out positively as they explore how God can turn bad into good.

Memory Verse:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
—Jeremiah 29:11

Echoes Verse
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord.
—2 Timothy 1:7-8a

Step 1:

Students will begin to think about seemingly negative situations turning out positively as they explore how God can turn bad into good.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Can you think of a time when something bad happened, but later some good seemed to come out of the situation? (Allow your students time to share; be prepared to share your own experience. Students may think of a time they had to move away from good friends but then found their BEST friend in their new school; maybe a bullying incident caused their school to rally together in a zero tolerance for bullying campaign, etc.)

There are many things in our lives that seem bad at the time, but eventually turn out to be good. Sometimes the bad things in our lives get more complicated. Let’s think about COVID-19 as an example of a bad situation.

  • What are some of the obvious bad things that have happened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? (People have gotten sick, thousands have lost their lives, families have had to stay home, many more people are out of work, lots of schools meet virtually, etc.)
  • Do you think anything good has happened as a result of these changes? (Accept all reasonable answers.)

While many negative things have happened as a result of the pandemic, there have been some positive effects too. Because so many people have been staying home, they aren’t driving or using public transportation as much. People aren’t using as much fuel and energy, pollution has lowered by a large quality, and the air quality in our atmosphere has improved. Our environment has significantly improved in a very short amount of time!

God worked through the horrible situation of COVID-19 and allowed something good to happen too. In today’s Bible story, Paul goes through some seriously negative stuff.  Let’s see how God can use it.

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:

  • Pens/pencils (1 per student)
  • Internet access
  • Origami paper (1 6×6 or 7×7-inch sheet per student)

Before class, familiarize yourself with the following origami craft tutorial. You might want to make a sample to show your students. At the appropriate time, you can walk them through the steps by stopping and starting the video after each instruction [3:10]:
How to Make an Easy Origami Butterfly (in 3 MINUTES!)

If your class is meeting online, invite your students to bring a pen/pencil and piece of paper cut into a 6×6 or 7×7-inch square with them to class.

The bad things that were happening to Paul in our story today might have seemed like the end of his ministry at the time, but God used them for more good than anyone could have imagined. 

Before a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it must go into its chrysalis. It has to be stuck in its cocoon in order to become its beautiful new self, just like Paul had to be stuck in Rome to grow God’s Church. Butterflies have to struggle to release themselves from their cocoons. If a person were to try to help it get free, the butterfly wouldn’t be strong enough to fly. The strength to fly comes from the struggle itself. 

  • How are the struggles we face similar to a butterfly struggling to escape its cocoon? (When we struggle, we are growing stronger. We wouldn’t be able to grow and handle all the challenges of life without the struggle.)

Have students privately consider what struggles they’re going through right now. Hand out origami paper and pens/pencils. If your class is meeting online, invite them to have those items ready. Ask your students to write one of the struggles they are facing on the inside of the origami paper. Have each student fold up their paper per instructions in the video found at the beginning of this step. Ask them to keep their butterfly somewhere visible so that they are reminded to pray about their struggle and ask God for the strength to overcome and patience to wait for growth.

End in prayer, asking God to use the struggles in our lives for His glory.

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