August 14, 2022

Unit 2: Basic Training


Study 3: Hard Times Will Come
Text: 1 Sam 23:14-18, 26-29; 24:1-4, 8-11, 16-20; Psalm 54:1-17; 57:1-5
Key Verse: Psalm 57:9-10:- I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. (KJV)
Often, some of us wish that problems could be instantly solved just by pushing an “easy” button. But life experiences teach us that it’s not so. There are hard times – a prolonged illness; lost job; natural disaster; death, church split; and the presence of God seems like a distant memory. It seems that hard times often involve more than one issue at a time to deal with.
Many of your students may be facing hard times in their lives. Your challenge is to show them from God’s Word that God cares for them, even in the hardest situations in life when it may see God is far away. Help students to see that hard times of life can be part of God’s plan for their lives. God can use these times to develop character and teach trust in Him, which is always rewarded.
Hint: Teaching this kind of lesson requires humility and compassion– humility to be honest about spiritual struggles you have had when going through hard times; and compassion for those who are going through hard times when you find it hard to empathize with what they are going though.
>>The Basic Message: Explain to students..
We can trust God to stay with us and provide for us even in the hardest situations of life.
Hard times will tempt us to look for other solutions instead of faithfully relying on God.


Trust God and submit to His plans for your life – no matter what you might be facing.
>>Activity Option: NICK VUJICIC
Read or ask a volunteer to read this story:
Nick Vujicic (pronounced VOO-yee-cheech) is one of the inspiring people of our time. Without any medical explanation or warning, Nick was born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia, without arms and legs. The early days were difficult. Throughout his childhood, Nick struggled with depression and loneliness; and constantly wondered why he was different than all the other kids. He questioned the purpose of life, or if he even had a purpose.
According to Nick, the victory over his struggles, as well as his strength and passion for life today, can be credited to his faith in God. Today this dynamic young evangelist has accomplished more than most people achieve in a lifetime. He’s an author, musician, actor, and his hobbies include fishing, painting and swimming.
>>Guide the students in a discussion on how they think they would respond if faced with similar situations. Ask: What might hard times tempt us to do? Why is faith in God so important in dealing with temptation? Then explain that hard times come to everyone at some point in the response is to rely on God, instead of looking for ungodly alternatives.
>>Study Overview
Explain that today’s study considers:
• That God is with us and provides for us even in the hardest situation of
• Why we must avoid looking for other solutions instead of faithfully relying on God.
• How we must stay committed to fulfilling God’s plan for our lives no matter what we might be facing.
>>Inform and Discuss
a. God Can Provide for You
Read or ask a volunteer to read 1 Sam 23:14. David was not a criminal fugitive, but rather the king’s son-in-law; and had been a very successful commander in Israel’s army. Yet, Saul’s insane jealousy kept David and his men on the run, even hiding out in the Desert of Ziph, which was sparsely
1. What do you think of when people say that God provided for them? [Hint: Money and possession are not everything. In David’s case in this particular situation, God provided for him by not allowing Saul to find and capture him.
2. How has God provided for you in ways other than with money or possessions? [Guide: Responses will vary. Try to summarize responses on the board (or big cardboard) in general terms such as safety, help from friends, favour with a teacher, etc.] Read or ask a volunteer to read Psa 54:1-4. The background information to this psalm reveals that the Ziphites also turned against David by going to Saul, and offering to turn David over to him (1 Sam 23:19-24). It means that what David endured was not a short-term problem.
3. Discuss how God can provide strength and help us even when the hard times go on day after day. [Hint: We can learn from David by placing our trust in God; and calling out to Him for protection and deliverance. He is our helper, and will surely sustain us (4).] b. God Can Deliver You
Read or ask a volunteer to read 1 Sam 23:15-18,26-29. It is like Saul’s relentless pursuit may have begun to discourage David. But God has ways of encouraging His children when the grind of hard times is wearing them down. In this case, God used David’s good friend, Jonathan, to help David “find strength in God” (v16).
1. How can God use other people to encourage and help us find strength in Him? [Hint: Friends can remind us of the promises of God, as Jonathan did David. Friends can also help us refocus our attention away from the immediate problems to see the bigger picture — that God has a plan for our lives, which incudes a solution to what we are currently going through.] 2. What do you think of the message that caused Saul to break off his pursuit of David? Why? vv26-29. [Guide: Explain that God is sovereign; He can use the circumstances of our lives to fulfill His purpose for us.] 3. What does it mean that God is just? Psa 54:5-7 [Hint: God calls every action into account. He judges every evil action and rewards every good thing people do. His judgement can take place in this life, though we may not recognize them as such. But whether in this life or the life to come, God’s just judgment will ultimately prevail.] c. Surrender to God’s Plan
Read or have three volunteers read 1 Sam 24:1-4, 8-11,16-20. Guide:
Explain that though David had a chance to kill Saul and end all the trouble but he had a better sense of God’s plan than his men who- urged him to do so. He refused to use evil means to try to bring God’s plan to fulfillment but trusted God to keep His promise in His time and in His way.
1. Have you ever had the chance of really dealing with someone you didn’t like? Did you do it? Why or why not? [Guide: response will vary. Point out that many people will harm someone they consider an enemy if they get the chance, especially if they think they would get away with it. Rather than live by the Golden Rule -do to others as you would have them do to you- they try to do to others before others do something to them.] >Note: Saul recognized that David had acted righteously, despite all the evil intents and actions he had taken against him. Also, Saul acknowledged that God’s plan for David’s life would be fulfilled.
2 Discuss ways students might be tempted to “help” bring about God’s plan for their lives by doing something they know is wrong? Discuss with them whether the end ever justifies the means in God’s sight?
3. Read or ask a volunteer to read Psa 57:1-5. What can you learn from David in this psalm? [Hint: He surrendered to God’s plan by calling on God to help him do what is right in His sight during the hard times. He knew that it was God ‘who fulfills his purpose for me’ (v2). His desire was that God be exalted (v5).] Note: By trusting in God and submitting to His plans for his life, David was confident that God would be exalted.
Involve Them: GAME PLAN
Distribute pen or pencils and paper. Have students come ‘up with a “game plan or plan of action for dealing with the hard times or difficult situations they are going through at this time. Have them respond on paper the following questions:
¹. Describe a hard time, difficult situation, or tough decision you are facing at this time. [lt could be relationship with parent or guardian, a situation at school, work, home, or things that might hinder their plans for the future.] ². How has God provided for you in this issue so far?
³. What are some of the things you could ask God to provide to help you deal with the issue?
⁴. What steps can you take to rely on God to deliver you from this situation?
⁵. How do you think this issue relates to God’s plan for your life?
⁶. Have you committed this issue to God, asking Him to fulfill His plan for your life so He is exalted through the solution to the issue?
>>Guide: Let students know that they do not have to share their responses with anyone, but you would be glad to pray with any of them that would like you to do so about their situation.
>>inspire Them
Remind students THE BASIC MESSAGE of this study (pg 027), explaining WHAT the Big ldea behind the study is; WHY it matters; and How we can live the lesson captured in this study.
>>Conclude the study by explaining that everyone faces hard times in life. How we face them is what makes all the difference. If we trust God and submit to His plans for our lives, no matter what we are facing, we can be confident that God will provide for us. No one ever said living for God was easy, but it is most definitely worth it.
>>Teacher Hint: Ask Yourself…

1. Are students aware that God is with them and provides for them even in the hardest situations of life?
2. Can student explain why they must avoid looking for other solutions instead of faithfully relying on God?
3. Have students decided to stay committed to fulfilling God’s plan for their lives no matter what they are facing?

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Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC.

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