Many junior high students struggle with patience.
And the world we live in does not help us become more patient.
With student’s accessibility to the Internet and social media, information can be obtained faster than ever before.
Because of this, our society has quickly progressed into one of instant gratification.
Just imagine the agony your students would go through if they had to deal with dial-up Internet!
Patience is becoming something that is harder and harder to teach to students.
When they can get everything literally at their fingertips, waiting patiently on God isn’t always the most attractive scenario.
When it comes to patience, the process of waiting may be uncomfortable, but it’s worth the wait.
Waiting on God is like saying to Him, “I want to live in your timing”.
And when we do this we are putting Him in the forefront of our lives, and submitting to His plan.
God’s plan is perfect, but it requires our patience to discover it.
Use this lesson to show your students that waiting patiently on God is worth it.
JUNIOR HIGH MINISTRY LESSON ON PATIENCE
Written by Brian Preiser
Bible: Psalm 27:14
Bottom line: Waiting patiently on God is worth it.
OPENING GAME: DON’T CRACK UP!
This game is pretty easy and requires very little set-up.
Have students pair off in groups of two and sit in chairs facing each other.
Set a stopwatch or phone alarm for 60 seconds.
The goal of the game is to have a staring contest and the first person to laugh – is out!
Have the winner of each round play against another winner of the round until you have two finalists.
Have the finalists compete against each other and congratulate your winner!
Mix up the game by allowing students to use hand motions but not talk.
These added motions make the game more distracting and can quickly move the game along.
What are some of the things that made you laugh during the game?
Was it the funny face your opponent made?
Maybe it was the awkwardness of staring deep into someone else’s eyes?
Maybe it was the fact that you sat there forever, just hoping they would get distracted and laugh.
It can be difficult when we want something to happen, but it doesn’t happen in our own timing.
Patience is something that everyone struggles with.
It’s harder and harder to be patient because of our instant gratification society.
I can Google anything and get an answer in less then 5 seconds.
When I post a picture on social media, I can have people from around the world see it, and “like” it within minutes.
When I order food at my favorite fast food chain, I can expect it to be quick, hot, and “fresh” – whatever that means.
Share another example of something that makes you impatient.
The truth is, we rarely have to wait for anything anymore.
When it comes to our faith in God, we struggle because often times God doesn’t respond to our prayers in the time frame in which we would be most comfortable.
Most of us desire God to be an instant gratification God.
We want Him to “text” back to us within 5 minutes; otherwise we think He is ignoring us.
When it comes to patience with God we have to remember that His timing is not always the same as what we may want it to be.
But the truth of the matter is that the timing of God is the best timing for us.
Read Psalm 27:14.
He asks God all of these things.
That God would hear his prayers.
He praises God for who He is.
But, at the end of his Psalm, David says, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (NLT)
This is at the end of His prayer to God.
How often in our lives do we pray and then think “Okay God? Now, show me.”
Many of us treat God like the old fairy tale of a “Genie”.
We feel that God is in our life to grant our wishes.
But in reality, God is in our life so that we can glorify Him.
In this passage, David is waiting on God.
He has prayed to God for answers but he is willing to wait.
When you pray, are you willing to wait?
David says to be brave and courageous.
When God doesn’t answer our prayers when we want Him to we can become concerned.
We wonder, “Does God even hear me?”
David is reminding himself to be brave and courageous.
Even though God is not answering him right away doesn’t mean that God isn’t listening.
God is just waiting for His timing.
There is a saying that “The right thing, at the wrong time, is the wrong thing.”
I think when it comes to waiting on God this saying is perfect for us.
Sometimes God wants to give us exactly what we are asking for.
That thing isn’t a bad thing at all.
But it’s not the right time.
A struggle many people have is asking God to give them more influence or responsibility.
But since God knows us better than we know ourselves, He waits for the right time to give us that thing we want most.
Being patient on God means believing that He knows exactly when we truly need something even when we think that the moment we need it is right now.
When we wait patiently on God we experience things in our life we couldn’t have ever imagined.
God’s gifts are given to us in His perfect timing, instead of the timing we would think.
The right thing, at the right time is always from God.
Being patient and waiting on God should also be reflected in how we live our everyday life with others.
If we know that waiting on God is the best thing for us, then we should be clear to demonstrate patience to the people around us.
God created us to be people of relationships.
Sometimes those relationships involve unlikely people.
The person who cuts in front of you in the lunch line.
The teacher who is struggling to grade and give back the assignments on time.
Your teammate that acts like they’re the only one on the team.
When we demonstrate patience, it is not only a reflection of how we view our relationship with God, but it is also a demonstration of grace to the people around us.
When we reflect on our situation, the people and environment around us, we will see God in things and people in ways we have never experienced before.
Wait patiently on God, and you will learn the power of being patient with one another.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What are some things that really make you impatient?
Would your family say that you are a patient person?
If you were to look up the word “patience” in the dictionary, who’s picture would be next to the word? Name someone in your life who exemplifies patience and tell why.
What is a prayer you have been waiting for God to answer?
What feelings do you have when you become impatient with God?
Are your feelings out of a desire for entitlement, if so why?
How can you demonstrate patience to others in your life?
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