What's New In 252: a look at October 2016 for your elementary kids
Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a superhero. Most of the time, it’s like they act without a single ounce of fear. They see a problem and without thinking they jump to the rescue to save the day, conquering evils and injustices in their tracks.
But I’m not a superhero. In fact, none of us will ever be a superhero or have some super-human power from an alien planet or radioactive spider bite. But with or without the super powers, we will face moments in our lives when it feels like the odds will not be in our favor, the obstacles will seem overwhelming, and we will have to overcome that which seems impossible. And when those moments happen, where will we find the courage we need to face the everyday enemies or evils in life?
In truth, we’re all called to do heroic things every day. And those moments can be scary.
One of the most difficult things we will ever learn to overcome is fear. In fact, it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to become completely fearless. That’s why our goal as parents should be to help our children not become paralyzed by those fears, but learn what to do in the face of them.
That’s why we’re taking the month of October to discover what God says about courage as—being brave enough to do what you should do, even when you’re afraid.
Think about that—even when you’re afraid. The truth is, you WILL be afraid. So, the question is, when fear is present, where do you find the courage to stand up, or push through, or keep going?
The Bible is filled with passages reminding us that we can and should be strong and courageous.
Throughout the Psalms, we find that God is our refuge and strength. We can put our trust in Him because He will deliver us.
Paul, in his letters to the churches, tells us to be anxious for nothing, to be strong in the Lord, and to remember that if God is for us nothing can stand against us.
Jesus comforts us when He tells His disciples they have nothing to fear in this troubled world because He has overcome the world.
Our goal as parents is not to raise superheroes, but to raise everyday heroes. We want our children to grow up facing the world with a different kind of courage—courage to stand up against the bully, courage to speak out for the sake of others who may not have a voice, courage to refuse to do the wrong thing even though the crowd seems to be pushing them in that direction.
We need our children to understand, because they believe and trust in God, they have a unique source of strength and courage. There will be times when we’re going to be afraid. But we can trust in a God that is bigger than us. And put our hope in a God who is with us and is in control of every situation. Because of God, we can find the strength to be courageous, every day heroes.
This month we’ll take a look at some everyday heroes from the Old Testament, men and women who had no superpowers except for the fact that they knew God had a mission for them and they trusted in His promise to always be with them. We can’t wait to hear how God shows up in the lives of families and kids when they study these stories, trust God, and show courage in the situations they face.
October 1/2 In Exodus 2:1-10, we discover that Moses was born during a time when Pharaoh feared that God’s people would overthrow his reign. He enslaved them and commanded that all of the Hebrew baby boys be killed. Moses’ mother and sister wouldn’t obey Pharaoh’s decree. They had courage to keep Moses alive. God rescued him with help from Pharaoh’s own daughter who ended up bringing him to live in the palace and raising him as an Egyptian.
Bottom Line: You can do what you should even when you don’t know what will happen next. Most of the time our fear comes from assuming something about the future that may or may not happen. Courage doesn’t mean our fear is gone. Rather, courage is choosing to act even though we are afraid. We’ll never know what will happen next, but we can trust God to give us the strength we need to move forward.
October 7/8 We continue our look at courage in Exodus 3–6:12 and 7–12:42. God calls Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Moses gives excuse after excuse for why he’s not the person God should use. But Moses doesn’t have a choice; God has chosen him. Even though Moses is frightened, he trusts God and confronts Pharaoh to let God’s people go. In the end, God’s power triumphs and Pharaoh releases his hold on the Israelites.
Bottom Line: You can do what you should even when you don’t feel ready. We all face times when we feel like we’re supposed to do something, but fear that we won’t have what it takes to get it done. We can have courage to follow through knowing that God can give us what we need to get the job done.
October 15/16 In Exodus 13:17–14:31, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, but found himself up against an impossible scenario: the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s army chasing them down from behind. Only God could save them. Moses stood strong in the face of fear and trusted God to do what only God could do—part the Red Sea and create dry ground for the Israelites to escape. Our God is truly the God of the impossible.
Bottom Line: You can do what you should even when things seem impossible. We may not face the Red Sea or an army of angry Egyptians, but we will face moments where what we need to do will feel impossible to us. When that happens, we can remember that we can trust God no matter what. God is bigger and stronger than anything we face. Just like Moses and the Israelites, God can do the impossible in our lives too.
October 22/23 Next we head to Numbers 13–14, Moses sent 12 spies to scope out the Promised Land of Canaan. They discovered the land was perfect with one exception: the people who already lived there were strong and powerful. Most of the spies were intimidated and wanted to give up. Only two, Joshua and Caleb, spoke up and said that God would provide a way for them to conquer the land. God rewarded Joshua and Caleb’s faith and courage. They were only men of their generation to see the land God promised to Abraham.
Bottom Line: You can do what you should even when others are afraid. We will face times when the people around us are scared or making unwise choices. When that happens, we should trust God. He can give us the courage we need to do what we should and be an example that points others to Him.
October 29/30 We finish up the month with Joshua and the famous battle of Jericho. God promised Abraham that he would receive the Land of Canaan. In Joshua 5:13–6:27, we find the Israelites taking their first steps towards the fulfillment of the promise. God was faithful to the Israelites. In this story, God’s battle plans seem unconventional for conquering a city, but Joshua knew that if they obeyed God’s plan, the land would be theirs.
Bottom Line: You can do what you should because God is with you. Even when what we’re asked to do doesn’t make sense, we can have courage to do it knowing that God is helping us. We should remember that God is near and He is for us. We can trust God no matter what and have courage to do what we should.