Oftentimes, the characters of the Bible are helpful to us because we get in similar situations to ones they were in, and we can learn lessons from how they acted. (TEACHER WORDS IN BOLD.)
How to Handle Hardship
• M&Ms in little bags Put a handful of cookies or marshmallows down in front of each child andtell them not to touch or eat them.
Job lost everything. He lost:
(take the first chid’s marshmallows back) his children
(take the next chid’s marshmallows back) his children’s husbands and wives
(take the next chid’s marshmallows back) his fortune,
(take the next chid’s marshmallows back), his wife’s loyalty,
(take the next chid’s marshmallows back), to his health.
And then…the friends who came to comfort him were no help at all. (Take every other child’s marshmallows back). While he lay there, covered in sore scabs, they asked him what he had done to deserve this, and to not stupidly say he was innocent! He obviously had done something, they said!
Put the marshmallows back in the bag and put it away. Job thought he was going to enjoy the riches he had honestly earned, and have many grandchildren, and he would live out his days in comfort and peace. But that isn’t what happened. Job ended up (point to the empty places in front of the children where the snack had laid) with nothing. Do you think he was disappointed?
Are you disappointed, too? Did you think we were going to have a snack together? Yes.
Sometimes we don’t get what we want. Sometimes we are surprised when a bad thing happens. We think something good is coming, and it turns out that we get something
very bad instead. Does that mean that God doesn’t love us? No.
Does that mean that God caused the bad thing to happen? No.
God knows about our hard times and he cares very much. And when a hard time ends, he brings us into happiness again and again.
When Job went into his bad time, did he say anything bad about God? No
He was not very happy, but he did not say that God was unfair. Let’s talk about some things in our life that have made us unhappy.
Let the children discuss things—deaths of loved ones, having to move, parents separating, pets dying, anything they feel is a bad thing.
Ask each time: Does that thing mean God doesn’t love you? No. God still loves you. It isn’t about that.
Did you ever have something bad happen and you thought your friends would be there for you? And maybe they were mean, or maybe they just didn’t care?
Note: If some of the older/wiser children want to get into a discussion about why bad things happen to good people, encourage it, and don’t be afraid to not have all the answers. They are most interested in sensing your empathy.
So, what do you think happened to Job at the end of the story? Job 42:12 says, “ The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so he died, old and full of years.
God was very happy with Job when he didn’t blame God for the bad things that happened. Job trusted and relied on God to do the right thing, and so God restored his
Sometimes God lets us be unhappy and disappointed for a reason.
Bring out some better snack than marshmallows, such as little bags of M&Ms. But he restores our happiness even better than before.
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