Upper Elementary

It Takes Courage

Lesson 10 


Fall 2019


By: Lea Vaverchak 


November 03, 2019

Lesson Focus:

Trusting God takes courage.

Bible Basis:

Joshua 1:1—6:27

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will watch a world record freefall as they discuss what courage is and why trusting God can be a courageous act.

Memory Verse:

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
—Joshua 1:9

Step 1:

Students will watch a world record freefall as they discuss what courage is and why trusting God can be a courageous act.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • What does the word trust mean? (Answers may include: to rely on someone or something; to put your confidence or trust in something; to have faith, etc.)
  • Who do you trust? Why? (Some possible answers:  my parents because they love me; my teachers because they always want the best for me; God because He knows everything, etc.) 
  • What/who do you struggle to trust in? (Answers will vary. Students may say they don’t trust the neighbor’s dog because it growls when I walk by, so I won’t pet him; I struggle trusting in God because I can’t see Him; I don’t like airplanes because I don’t trust they’ll get me somewhere safely, etc.)

Sometimes trusting and putting our confidence in someone or something requires courage.  It takes guts to rely on someone else when we’re not sure of the outcome.  Felix Baumgartner is an example of this type of courage and total reliance on something other than himself.  Several years ago, he attempted to break the world record for the highest altitude jump…from space.  That’s right, Baumgartner traveled in a hot air balloon right outside of Earth’s atmosphere and—trusting totally in his equipment, his measurements, projections, and a team of people—he jumped 24 miles. The specially made suit he trusted in—the one that kept his blood from boiling and his lungs from exploding during his 725 mph free fall—did everything it was supposed to do, and the parachute he trusted in opened and he landed safely. Let’s watch this astonishing stunt.

Play the following link [4:24]:
Red Bull Stratos-World Record Freefall-

  • Do you think Baumgartner is courageous or just plain crazy? Why? (Answers might include: I think it’s very brave to try to break world records, no one’s ever done it before and it

can inspire others to go after their dreams; he’s crazy, no one should risk their life just to break a world record, etc.)

  • Do you think he was right to believe in all those people and the things he trusted? Why or why not? (Answers may vary about the years of thought and study that went into this feat or the fact that any one of those components could have failed at any time.)
  • What is something you need courage to do right now? (Answers will vary but may center around standing up to a bully at school or trying out for a team or choir even though it isn’t something they’ve ever done before.)

Trusting takes courage, especially if we’re being asked to step outside our comfort zones to try something new.  Most of us don’t like going beyond what we can see for ourselves.  Not knowing how something is going to turn out can be scary!  Those unknown outcomes require lots of courage and faith.

Today we’re going to talk about someone named Joshua. God asked him to put his trust in God even though it was definitely pushing the limits of normal. Let’s find out what happened.  

Additional resources:
Definition of trust

Supersonic skydiver breaks three world records during his descent from balloon 24 miles above the Earth’s surface

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:

  • Poster board (1 sheet per student)
  • Markers/crayons
  • Scissors

Earlier we learned Joshua had to be courageous in trusting God and His directions for overtaking Jericho.  God’s directions were out of the ordinary.  Joshua could have easily disregarded them and followed his own plans instead.  However,  Joshua was tuned in to God’s voice.  He had a personal relationship with God and because of His belief in Him, chose to follow God’s directions, whatever they might be.  In doing so, God led Joshua and the Israelites to a complete and total victory.

  • Have you ever had to step out of your comfort zone to trust God? Tell us about it. (Answers will vary. Be prepared to share your own experience.)

We can trust God because we know He will protect us, guard us and take care of us when we are choosing to follow His directions for our lives.  There is no safer place to be than in the center of God’s will.  Just as the Israelites wore their heavy armor for protection and marched around Jericho for seven days, God is our armor today.  He stands in front of us and He leads the way as we follow Him.  He is our real-life shield. 

Today we’re going to make our own shields to remind us we can trust in God because He is our protector.

Pass out large poster boards for each student to draw and design life-size shields.  On the shields, students should write out Joshua 1:9 as well as write words and phrases that will remind them to have the courage to trust in God.  They should also draw pictures of situations where they’re in need of courage as well as how they plan to trust God. Examples might include:  the words “trust,” “I will obey no matter what!” or “COURAGE!”  Pictures might include: praying hands and an open Bible; a Cross; standing up to a bully; witnessing to a friend, etc. Students can cut them out and pretend to use them as real shields when they’re finished.

Play the following song as they work [3:15]:

As time allows, have your preteens share their shields once they’re complete.

Remember, when we are listening to God and following His will for our lives, there is no safer place to be.  It takes courage and bravery to believe God when life doesn’t make sense.  But God promises to go before us and acts as our shield, protecting us and teaching us His ways along the journey. 

Hang your shield up in your room somewhere you can see it.  Let it remind you Who is in control of your life.  Every time you look at it, pray and thank God for taking care of you.  Pray He’ll increase your faith in Him and ask Him to give you courage like Joshua.  Then watch God take down the walls of Jericho in your life.

Pray to close.

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