David C Cook COVID-19 Response

High School

Tough Faith for Tough Times

Lesson 13 

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Fall 2021

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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November 28, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

Pass God’s test with faith.

Bible Basis:

Genesis 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17-19

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Your teens will look at the evolution of their willingness to put their trust in others in order to understand their need for trusting God.

Memory Verse:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
—James 1:2-3

Step 1:

Your teens will look at the evolution of their willingness to put their trust in others in order to understand their need for trusting God.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Begin today’s lesson by instructing your students to think about what life was like when they were very young (3 to 5 years old). Give a few students a chance to share some of their memories from this time.

Of course, all of our individual experiences will vary depending upon circumstances, but for most of us, this period can be summed up in a single word: happiness. We faced the world head on, without worry, because we knew that our fundamental needs would be met. The world could be swirling and storming around us, but this feeling of careless contentment persisted because we trusted the people in authority.

For most of us, putting our trust in others used to be a lot easier. As kids, we placed our lives into the hands of people we believed could never harm us. Parents, relatives, teachers—we followed their every instruction. The world hadn’t hurt us, so we lived harder. We took more risks, loved easier, and trusted faster.

But as we got older, life became a lot more complicated. Friends betrayed us, parents misled us, and teachers didn’t always have our best interests at heart. Our ability to trust was chipped away at little by little. Now, trust is something we parcel out hesitantly; like wading into cold water, we move slowly, waiting to acclimate before taking another step.

  • How many people do you really trust? (Chances are this number is far fewer than what it would have been had you been asked the same question as a child. And for most of us, it’s only a handful. Ask a few volunteers to share who they trust and why.)
  • When was the last time someone broke your trust? Without using names, and in general terms, tell us about it. (Answers will vary, but it’s likely that a few students have had this happen recently. Your students may be hesitant to share, so be prepared to share your own experience to get the conversation started. Moderate the conversation to be sure that no one shares too much information—answers should be general and leave out names and details such as: “A friend told others a secret when he/she promised not too.”)

Trusting others can be scary because we don’t know the outcome. It may help us get closer to other people, or we may get hurt in the process. We may fear that trusting others will end like this clip:

Play the following video:
Wrong way! Pair’s trust fall fails spectacularly when girl topples FORWARDS into a stream [0:27 seconds; stop at 0:18]:

Allow your students to discuss and react to this video. Although this clip is entertaining to watch, it also speaks to the fear of trusting other people.

  • Do you ever wonder whether it’s worth trusting anyone at all? What do you think it will take to get you to trust again? (The pain of a betrayal is so great that it can lead us to think that it isn’t worth putting ourselves out there again.)

The question becomes then: Who or what can we hold onto? Today, we’ll learn about the one Person who we can always hold onto even when life gets tough. Let’s take a look.

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:

  • None

As we’ve learned today, sometimes God does test our faith by letting hard times happen to us, just as He tested Abraham’s. But before we close this lesson, let’s dig a little deeper into the meaning behind today’s story.

A common question that arises from stories like this is why does God test our faith? After all, He already knows whether our faith is authentic or not.

According to an article written by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, this question comes from a misunderstanding about the purpose of the trials depicted in these stories. We may be thinking that God was testing Abraham to determine if his faith was strong enough to become the father of Israel (Abraham means ‘father of the people’.) But as the article states, “God doesn’t test us because He doesn’t know how strong we are. Instead, He tests us because we don’t know how strong we are—and will only realize it when times of testing come” (emphasis added).

It goes on to say, “None of us likes to go through hard times…But God can use them to show us our weaknesses. And when that happens, we need to ask God to help our faith grow. Testing should make us spiritually stronger—and it will as we turn it over to God. The Bible says, ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials…so that you may be mature and complete’ (James 1:2, 4).”

With this in mind, challenge your students to use this coming week as a chance to practice moving their perception of challenges from a problem to a growth opportunity. Encourage them to write down every obstacle they encounter throughout the week, spiritual or not, and work to identify how they can use it to grow as a person.

Close in prayer, thanking God for giving us opportunities to grow in our faith.

 

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