Upper Elementary

The Key to Hope

Lesson 5 


Fall 2019


By: Nance Keyes 


September 29, 2019

Lesson Focus:

God can help us in hopeless times.

Bible Basis:

Exodus 13:17—15:22

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will watch a video about hopeless situations in the city of Baltimore as they explore that regardless how bad things may seem there is always hope in God.

Memory Verse:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
—Hebrews 11:1

Step 1:

Students will watch a video about hopeless situations in the city of Baltimore as they explore that regardless how bad things may seem there is always hope in God.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Have you ever felt discouraged? Most of us have. Sometimes when we feel discouraged, we think of all the reasons that things are not going to work out. We fear the worst.

  • What kinds of experiences make you feel discouraged, perhaps to the point of losing hope? (Answers will vary. Be prepared in this set of questions to share your own experiences in order to get your students talking.)
  • When have you been in a situation where no matter what you did you knew the outcome would still be unpleasant? (Answers will vary.)
  • When have you felt that things were already bad enough and then something else bad happened? (Answers will vary.)

This past spring the city of Baltimore was struggling with a number of issues, including high rates of violence, congested traffic, water main breaks, and questionable leadership. Getting things under control seemed hopeless to those who kept seeing things get worse instead of better. Just when it seemed like the city had more than enough problems to address, the city fell victim to a cybercrime.

Show the following video [3:12]:
Baltimore ransomware attack is ‘very aggressive’, according to city officials

If the city were to pay the ransom of $100,000 to regain access to its systems, the cybercrime could be repeated, making matters even worse. If the city chose not to pay the ransom, there would be difficulties in running the city, some that would affect the citizens.

No matter how the city responded to the crime, there would be more problems for a city already experiencing hardship. 

This attack on the city’s computer systems crippled the city’s services. It froze the city’s computers, making it impossible to access documents such as those needed for the buying and selling of property, and it kept the city from processing water bills among other things. This meant that at a later date people would be billed for a number of months of water usage all at once, placing a burden on those who already struggled with bills.

  • Where does a city, or an individual, find hope in the middle of problems that seem endless? (Accept all reasonable answers: Other cities or people; remembering how things worked out before; coming together; prayer; church; God, etc.)
  • How do you stay positive or encouraged when things around you seem hopeless? (Answers will vary; parents, teachers, or grandparents help; prayer, etc.)

The Israelites found themselves in what seemed like a hopeless situation. The Egyptians were chasing after them, and they found themselves caught between the enemy and a sea of water. For sure they were doomed. Or were they? Let’s find out about the key to their hope—and ours.

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:

  • Internet access
  • Cardstock printouts of keys (3 keys per student; template found here has 6 keys per page)
  • Fine-tipped permanent markers
  • Scissors
  • Binder/key rings or large paper clips
  • Single hole punch

Before class, print out three keys for each student on cardstock (template found here has six keys per page).

Rising above the circumstances regardless of how hopeless they seem means letting go of fear and negative thoughts. It means remembering that we do not get our hope from ourselves or from our circumstances. It means that what we see is not the end and that the One we do not see has the situation under control.

  • With that in mind, what will you tell yourself the next time you feel discouraged or hopeless? (Answers will vary: If God could make a way for the Israelites, He can make a way for me; God will help me; I need to have faith in what I cannot see, so what I do see does not take away my joy; God is bigger than the most hopeless situation, etc.)

The key to hope is faith in God. We can be confident that God has every situation under control no matter how difficult or discouraging the circumstances. As a reminder to keep our eyes, and our prayers, focused on the God of hope and not on the problems that appear hopeless, we are going to make keys of hope.

Instruct your preteens to cut out three keys and punch holes in them. Have them thread them on a ring or key binder or large paper clip to serve as a key chain. On one key write “Hope.” On another key write “God.” On the remaining key write “Hebrews 11:1.” When you get home, add these keys to your key chain or put them somewhere that you will see them this week. When you begin to feel discouraged or your circumstances seem hopeless, get out your keys and remind yourself that the key to hope is faith in God. We can have faith that God is in control even when the situation looks bad to us and even when it does not look like things are going to improve.

While the students are working, you may want to play the following [4:18]:
Aaron Shust – My Hope Is In You (Official Video)

Close in a prayer asking God to help us remember to hold firm to our hope in Him, knowing that God has everything under control even when it does not look that way to us.

Spread the word

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