Here’s your quick guide to what we talked about last night in our 2 new series on stress: Escape Room (Middle School) and Deal With It (High School)
Deal With It
Bottom Line When you face a challenge, attacking is better than avoiding.
Scriptures We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:2b-5 ESV).
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23 NIV).
Tension Any time you and I bump into a challenge that we perceive as difficult or time-consuming, it’s natural for us to turn to something easier and more fun. When our distractions keep us from moving toward the life that God wants for us, they become a problem.
Truth Paul says that suffering, challenges, pain, and tough circumstances aren’t always a bad thing. In fact, the more of them we face, the more endurance we develop. Essentially, Paul is saying that what you do affects who you become. You need experience facing challenges with God to know that God can be trusted to get you through. And that’s why Paul says we can rejoice in our sufferings—not because suffering is fun, but because they produce something in us.
Application Instead of avoiding, attack! When you attack, you are developing your future character.
Key Question What have I been avoiding that I need to start attacking?
Bottom Line When life is hard, God says he’s with you.
Scripture “Listen to me, descendants of Jacob, all you who remain in Israel. I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you” (Isaiah 46:3-4 NLT).
Tension We all go through difficult times, but sometimes, bad times can lead to bad decisions. When we’re stressed or going through a hard situation, we look for relief. The relief, though, is temporary, and it can lead to us hurting ourselves, hurting others, and hurting our faith.
Truth In the Old Testament, the Israelites were going through a difficult time, but God spoke to them through Isaiah during their pain and doubt. Just like the Israelites, God made us and cares for us, too. When life is hard, God says He’s with us.
Application What’s your escape when life hurts? Sometimes feeling hurt makes us feel “locked up,” but when we feel this way, God wants to help us open our hearts and let go of what we’re keeping inside. This week, instead of turning to your usual escape, do something physical to turn your mind toward God.
Key Question When life hurts, what can I do to escape to God instead of from Him?