THE CONNECTION BETWEEN HOPE AND GOD’S CHARACTER, AS SHOWN THROUGH GOD’S BIG STORY. HOPE IS A RESPONSE OF THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
Key Question: How do you react when bad things happen? We can’t escape them. We will all face moments in our lives that seem difficult. We can respond to them in all sorts of ways. We want kids to identify the way they react in these moments and figure out a plan for how they can find hope, respond well, and trust God no matter is happening in their life.
We start the month with friends of Jesus who had lost all hope. John records an incredible moment that we find in John 11:1-45. When Lazarus died, Jesus used the opportunity to point people to God. Jesus was stronger than even death itself and raised Lazarus back to life four days after he had died.
Bottom Line: Whatever happens, remember how powerful God is. God can do amazing things in your life. We pray that kids will understand that when they face something difficult or hard to understand that they’ll find hope that God’s power can help us through whatever we face.
Key Question: What promises does God have for you? Jesus fulfilled a promise that God had since the beginning. God had been promising His people a Savior, and Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise. But God still has promises for us today. We will help kids discover those promises and how these promises can help them find hope.
Next, we head to an incredible moment John records in John 12:9-16. God’s people had waited for generations for God to send the Messiah. They were overwhelmed when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. God kept His promise. The mission to save the world was happening. This didn’t go exactly how they expected, but God was up to something bigger than they could imagine!
Bottom Line: Whatever happens, remember God keeps His promises. Because God keeps His promises, we can trust Him no matter what. Kids will face moments in their life where they might wonder if God will come through for them. We want kids to understand that God will come through. It might not be as they expected, but they can have hope that God will help them through their situation.
Key Question: What does Easter mean to you? We know that Easter is more than egg hunts and chocolate bunnies. But for preteens, many are just starting realize the full impact the truth of the resurrection can have on their lives. This week, we pray that kids will start to personalize Easter and discover the hope they can have because of Jesus.
We’ll take a look at Easter through John’s perspective in John 18:1–20:18. As the disciples experienced the events of the crucifixion, from Jesus’ arrest in the garden to His death, they must have wondered if everything they experienced with Jesus was all for nothing. But that all changed when they discovered that Jesus was alive! Everything Jesus said about Himself was true. Their hope was now built on the foundation of a risen Savior.
Bottom Line: Whatever happens, remember Jesus is alive. No matter what we face in life, we can hope because Jesus is stronger than sin and death. He’s resurrection is proof that God loves us and wants a forever relationship with us. We pray that kids will celebrate Jesus and discover the hope we can have only because of the resurrection.
Key Question: What questions do you have for God? The preteen years are often the first time kids will start to have questions about their faith. They may wonder if it’s okay to ask the questions, so we decided to come out and ask them what they’re thinking about. We want kids to understand that the church can be the safest place for them to ask hard questions. Help the preteens in your church start to unpack the questions they have for God, and offer suggestions for how they can find the answers.
We finish the month with an important moment recorded in John 20:19-29. Although Thomas was one of Jesus’ disciples, he hadn’t yet seen Jesus face- to-face after the resurrection. When the rest of the disciples tried to tell him that Jesus was alive, Thomas couldn’t believe it. Jesus showed up again, went to Thomas and gave him a chance to touch the scars. Thomas knew once and for all that Jesus was alive!
Bottom Line: Whatever happens, remember God is bigger than your questions. Questions are a normal part of following Jesus. We won’t always understand what we read in the Bible or why our life looks the way it does. God wants us to be honest about our questions and doubts. We pray that kids will understand that they can have hope knowing God will help them through those doubts.