David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Upper Elementary

Pressing On

Lesson 11 


Winter 2020-21


By: RLD Editorial Team 


February 14, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

Our faith in God can encourage us.

Bible Basis:

Acts 27:1—28:16

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will consider ways their faith can encourage others just as the faith of others can encourage them.

Memory Verse:

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
—Psalm 55:22

Step 1:

Students will consider ways their faith can encourage others just as the faith of others can encourage them.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

For some, sports come easy. For others—because of physical challenges or a lack of skill in athletics—sports come harder. When someone decides to participate in a sport, like running in a marathon, that person usually dedicates months to practice running long distances. Still, race day is a challenge. For Jamie Watts, her cerebral palsy was an added challenge as she ran a marathon.

Share this video with your students [0:36]:
Woman with cerebral palsy finishes marathon 

You would expect Jamie to be discouraged that her pace was slower than the average marathon runner, but she was determined to finish the race anyway! Thanks to special accommodations from the race workers, she was able to start early and take as much time as she needed to finish.  

  • What experiences discourage you? (Answers will vary.)
  • What thoughts or feelings do you have when you are discouraged? (Answers will vary.)
  • Jamie had the support of the race workers to help accommodate her needs. She also had someone alongside her throughout the race to support her physically and emotionally. Who do you know who reaches out and supports others when they are down—perhaps someone who has inspired you or those close to you? Share an example. (Answers will vary but might include a teacher, pastor, or friend.)

Jamie Watts’ determination might encourage other athletes to keep going or to come alongside those who need help to keep going. It might encourage others with physical challenges to reach for their dreams. Her example might even touch the lives of other people in ways she could not imagine.

It is good that Jamie had support for her race, but what happens when we don’t find encouragement from those around us—when we feel alone, or think others don’t understand what we’re going through, or when others are discouraged, too? Examples from the life of the apostle Paul will help us find and give encouragement even in the most difficult experiences. Let’s find out where Paul found his encouragement.

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 (2 per student)
  • Pens/pencils (1 per student)

If your class is meeting online, invite your students to bring a pen/pencil and index card with them to class.

Paul sure had some tough times, but being shipwrecked did not wreck Paul’s spirit. He relied on God and trusted in God’s promises. His faith in God helped him persevere. God’s faithfulness encouraged Paul, and Paul’s faith encouraged others.

  • During what experiences do you wish you had someone who understood, someone who stayed close and helped you? Or, in what possible future situations would you like someone to be there to encourage you? (Answers will vary.)
  • When and why do you give encouragement to your friends? (Answers will vary but may include when we agree with them; when they did something great; when they tried their best but did not succeed at something, when they are feeling discouraged, etc.)

We are going to make a card with encouragement for ourselves and an encouragement card to give away to encourage someone else.

Hand out index cards and pens/pencils to your students. If your class is meeting online, invite them to have those items ready.

At the top of one of your index cards, write “God is always…” Then, write the following as a list below “God is always…”:

with me
in control
on time
loving me
my strength

Instruct them to write the following verse on the back of the card: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22).

Have your students copy the text and scripture onto their second index cards.

As you go through the week and challenges come your way, rather than being negative or giving in to feelings of discouragement, take out your encouragement card. Read the words over and over. Ask God to encourage you with those truths. Thank God for giving you encouragement. Challenge your students to be on the lookout during the week for someone who can use encouragement; urge them to give that person the spare card they created.

Close in prayer: Thank You, God, that You are always with us, that You are always in control, that You are always on time, that You are always loving us, and that You are always our strength. Help us to know these truths deep within our hearts and to be encouraged by them. Help others to be encouraged by our faith in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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