GOD VIEW: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN PERSEVERANCE AND GOD’S CHARACTER, AS SHOWN THROUGH GOD’S BIG STORY. PERSEVERANCE IS A RESPONSE OF THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
Key Question: What makes you want to give up? When it comes to perseverance, it’s important to understand why you would want to give up in the first place. As preteens become more aware of those moments, they can figure out a game plan to trust God for the strength to keep going and finish what they start.
We start the month in Matthew 28:16-20 and Acts 1-2 as we listen in on the last conversation Jesus had with His disciples before going back to heaven. He gave them a huge mission—to share His message to ends of the earth. He also promised that they wouldn’t have to do it alone. He would send the Holy Spirit to help. When the Holy Spirit did come at Pentecost, the Spirit gave the disciples power to accomplish the task Jesus set out for them.
Bottom Line: Keep going because God is with you. We all have jobs to do. Some jobs feel completely overwhelming and make us feel like we want to give up. God can give us the strength we need to keep going and finish what we started.
Key Question: Why is it worth it to keep going? Having perseverance can be hard. While you’re in the middle of it, it’s hard to imagine why any of the difficulties are worth it. We want preteens to start thinking about and articulating why it’s worth it to have perseverance when life gets hard.
Next, we head to Acts 16:16-40 to discover what happens when Paul and Silas were arrested. They could have given up their calling to spread the message of Jesus. However, even in the middle of this difficult situation they decided to worship God. And when the time came, they had the right words at the right time and helped the jailer and his family start a relationship with Jesus.
Bottom Line: You can choose joy when life gets hard. We will all face times when life is hard. How we respond to those situations matters. We hope that kids start to understand that when they choose joy, they can point others to Jesus.
Key Question: What gets in the way of finishing what you start? Starting can be easy. We often start projects, sports seasons, and new endeavors with excitement. Yet when whatever we’re working on gets difficult, we wonder if we should throw in the towel and give up. We want preteens to start figuring out the things that get in the way of finishing, so when they face those times, they can trust God to help them overcome them.
Next we head to Hebrews 12:1 where the author of Hebrews reminds us that when life gets hard, we can look to the heroes of the faith and see how they trusted God through some extremely difficult circumstances. God brought them through those trials, and God will help us through ours.
Bottom Line: God can help you let go of what is holding you back. It’s comforting to know that others have made it through to the other side of difficult times. When we see how God helped them, it helps us trust God more with our own circumstances.
Key Question: What can help you focus on Jesus? It’s one thing to say you need to focus on Jesus, it’s another thing to understand how you actually do that. With this question, we hope to help our preteens figure out what it looks like for them to focus on Jesus when they need His help to persevere.
We finish out the month with another passage in Hebrews. In Hebrews 12:2-3 the author notes that to run the race of life with perseverance, we should focus our attention on Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who endured death itself to accomplish the rescue mission God set out for Him.
Bottom Line: Keep going because of what Jesus did for you. Knowing that Jesus persevered through death and was resurrected is the best encouragement for us to keep going when life gets hard. When
we focus on Jesus, we remember that nothing is impossible and God will help us get through whatever we face in life.