David C Cook COVID-19 Response

High School

When Difficulties Come

Lesson 8 

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Fall 2020

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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October 25, 2020

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Lesson Focus:

Why is suffering part of life?

Bible Basis:

Job 1:1, 6, 11-12, 20-22; 2:7-10

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Index cards
  • Pens/pencils

Summary & Links:

Students will see how God is always near to those who suffer and that He is in control even if it feels like things are falling apart.

Memory Verse:

“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
—Job 1:21b

Step 1:

Students will see how God is always near to those who suffer and that He is in control even if it feels like things are falling apart.

Materials Needed:

  • Index cards
  • Pens/pencils

If your class is meeting online, have teens come to class with index cards and pens/pencils.

As students gather in group time today, hand each student an index card and a pencil or pen and have him or her write down one person and one thing that is irreplaceable. The point of this exercise is to show that all of us have people and things that we care deeply about and that to be without them would cause us suffering on some level.

After students have had a chance to write down their person and thing, invite volunteers to share about either the person or thing that they wrote about. As their teacher, it is important for you to take part also. Using nonspiritual examples, jot your own irreplaceable person and thing down and share for a few minutes with the group about what you wrote down.

People can’t be replaced. If someone you love dies, this loss will bring pain and suffering. Even if the loved one is a believer and you are confident he or she is in heaven, those on earth left behind will feel some loss for the rest of their lives. If a person betrays you or a friend moves away, those losses can also cause suffering. If an object is lost, stolen, or destroyed, it is easy to feel as if the pain should be less than the loss of a person, but it still is a tremendous hurt. Those who shared about losing a cellphone, laptop, electronic device, a note from a friend, or a favorite childhood stuffed animal/keepsake may have felt they somehow suffered in not having this item any longer.

Affirm to your students that of course people are more precious than things, but losing anyone or anything important causes suffering.

The city of Beirut (bay-root), in the country of Lebanon, was recently affected by a large explosion. Many people lost their homes, thousands of people were injured, and some people even lost their loved ones in this disaster.

It’s easy to ask the question, “Why is suffering part of life?” when confronted with so much loss and devastation. It isn’t wrong to question—in fact, it is a normal reaction to pain and loss. Watch the following clip about the explosion in Beirut and try to imagine how you might feel if these images were depicting your home town.

Play the video for the class [0:00-0:45]:
Deadly explosion in Beirut: How to help to the victims in Lebanon

Discuss the following questions with students.

  • What kinds of suffering do you think these people are facing? (Loss of property, loss of lives, damaged goods and things, lack of food and sanitation, cars destroyed, communication disrupted, power out.)
  • People in this region are often poor by American standards. How might they rebuild their lives after a tragedy of this magnitude? (Answers will vary. Invite discussion. Remind students that although some of these people don’t have much material wealth, they have their lives, each other in community, and God. He is with those who trust in Him! Students may talk about the necessity of government aid, rescue groups, and volunteers from other countries stepping up, etc.)

Today’s lesson is about answering the questions we face when confronted with suffering. Job, the person we’ll look at, faced suffering that is incomparable to any news story today. Yet Job had a unique outlook on his suffering. Let’s look further at Job’s reactions to his suffering and see what we can learn about suffering from studying him.

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
  • Pens/pencils

Hand out index cards and pens/pencils to your teens. If your class is meeting online, have teens come to class with index cards and pens/pencils.

Have your teens write their own condensed version of what they believe constitutes “A No Good, Very Bad Day.” For example, spilling coffee all over a new outfit, a breakup, a very stubborn pimple, breaking a bone, catching the flu, oversleeping and missing an exam, finding out a friend has been spreading rumors about you, etc.

As a group, have your teens read all of the scenarios they wrote. After they’ve finished, mention that Job’s terrible day was equivalent to all of these horrible things happening at the same time, only much worse than anything we could imagine happening to us!

Have a student volunteer to read Job 1:21b out loud: “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

The horrible things were terrible even for Job. Job never denied that bad things had happened to him. However, Job never blamed God for his misfortunes; instead, he praised God. Job’s wife and friends could not understand Job’s good attitude. But Job knew that suffering is a part of life. Job trusted God to give and take, and as result, Job didn’t sin when reacting to the disasters.

At the beginning of today’s lesson, we watched a video about the recent explosion in Beirut. In this video, we saw people who lost their homes and belongings. Most of them probably felt afraid and unsure of what to do next.

  • How do you think Job felt as he faced these horrible tragedies one after another? (Invite discussion.)

Have students form pairs and talk about a struggle they are facing right now or will have to deal with in the coming week. After students have shared, encourage each pair to pray together about how they will face the “disasters” awaiting them. Invite students to exchange contact information so that they can follow up with each other during the week for prayer and encouragement.

Discuss as a large group.

  • Why might having a friend or Christian brother or sister alongside you in hard times make facing hardships easier?  (Answers will vary. Remind students that they can be there for each other to lift each other up in difficulties.)
  • If disaster strikes and you feel hopeless and alone, who is always with you? (God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit.)

Job’s wife and friends were not super reliable during the worst of days for him. Job didn’t let that get him down, because he knew he could count on God and that God is in control.

Close in prayer that all of you will remember this important truth as you face things this week and in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Hand out index cards and pens/pencils to your teens. If your class is meeting online, have teens come to class with index cards and pens/pencils.

Have your teens write their own condensed version of what they believe constitutes “A No Good, Very Bad Day.” For example, spilling coffee all over a new outfit, a breakup, a very stubborn pimple, breaking a bone, catching the flu, oversleeping and missing an exam, finding out a friend has been spreading rumors about you, etc.

As a group, have your teens read all of the scenarios they wrote. After they’ve finished, mention that Job’s terrible day was equivalent to all of these horrible things happening at the same time, only much worse than anything we could imagine happening to us!

Have a student volunteer to read Job 1:21b out loud: “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

The horrible things were terrible even for Job. Job never denied that bad things had happened to him. However, Job never blamed God for his misfortunes; instead, he praised God. Job’s wife and friends could not understand Job’s good attitude. But Job knew that suffering is a part of life. Job trusted God to give and take, and as result, Job didn’t sin when reacting to the disasters.

At the beginning of today’s lesson, we watched a video about the recent explosion in Beirut. In this video, we saw people who lost their homes and belongings. Most of them probably felt afraid and unsure of what to do next.

  • How do you think Job felt as he faced these horrible tragedies one after another? (Invite discussion.)

Have students form pairs and talk about a struggle they are facing right now or will have to deal with in the coming week. After students have shared, encourage each pair to pray together about how they will face the “disasters” awaiting them. Invite students to exchange contact information so that they can follow up with each other during the week for prayer and encouragement.

Discuss as a large group.

  • Why might having a friend or Christian brother or sister alongside you in hard times make facing hardships easier?  (Answers will vary. Remind students that they can be there for each other to lift each other up in difficulties.)
  • If disaster strikes and you feel hopeless and alone, who is always with you? (God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit.)

Job’s wife and friends were not super reliable during the worst of days for him. Job didn’t let that get him down, because he knew he could count on God and that God is in control.

Close in prayer that all of you will remember this important truth as you face things this week and in the weeks, months, and years to come.

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