Click below to download the Cornerstone Connections leader’s guide and student lesson. This week’s resources also include two lesson study options which offer different ways of looking at the topic. Each lesson option includes opening activities, Scripture passages, and discussion questions.
Everyone faces tough times. The question is, “What will you do when you face tough times, and afterwards?” Checkout People Who Overcame Adversity
In addition to the article above you can choose to download the following three options.
The Bible gives a number of examples of overcoming adversity. These happened well before any of these people overcame their adversity. Our focus today will be on the person named “Joseph” and the amazing adversity he overcame.
Maranatha Volunteers International has provided us with another 5-minute countdown video for Youth Sabbath School.
Play this 5-minute countdown video to lead up to the actual start time for Youth Sabbath School. When people arrive at Sabbath School is anything happening? Is anyone else there? If nothing’s happening, many will turn around and walk out. Heaven forbid that a youth is the very first person to enter the room!
If you play a 5-minute countdown video, keep in mind these important factors as a leader:
TRANSITION: As we consider “Life is Hard—Work” today, how hard is your life? How much work is involved? Little children might be tempted to think their parents brought them into the world to be slaves servants at home. By the time you reach your teen years, hopefully you’ve grown beyond that immature perspective. But how much hard work is demanded of you these days? With whom do you compare that? Who are your role models? And what does all of this have to do with God?
This is a short video clip and an idea to help you to create your own video on this week’s topic, plus a few follow-up questions to spark discussion afterwards.
Create a video clip that illustrates individuals or groups who have to overcome adversity. Ask someone in advance to create follow- up questions based on these video clips.
Or watch “BEATING THE ODDS” for a 6:53 video clip that shares some sports stories of young people who have overcome incredible adversity. Then use the follow up questions provided (or create your own questions)
These are more approaches to the same topic as is in the Teacher’s Guide, but just a different way of looking at it. Expect activities to illustrate the topic followed by some questions.
BASED ON Genesis 39-40
How would you like it if you had clear evidence that God was actively giving you success in all you did? Be careful how you answer!
This is how the Bible describes Joseph’s life in Genesis 39, verses 2 and 21. In verse 2, Joseph was a slave in Potiphar’s house. In verse 21, Joseph went from slave to prisoner.
Yet in both settings, God was clearly with Joseph, giving him success in all he did. In both settings, Joseph quickly become the “go-to” guy—the one who ended up running things for the person who was supposed to be running things. When you consider that Potiphar was in charge Pharaoh’s military, entrusting Joseph with his household says a lot! When you consider that the jailer put Joseph in charge even though Joseph sexually assaulting Potiphar’s wife, that also says a lot!
In spite of the unfair and unfortunate conniving of Potiphar’s wife, and in spite of being put in jail, Joseph responded by following God’s empowerment for him to be the “go-to” guy in prison as well. How different compared to his previous relationship with his brothers! I suppose you could say, “Thanks, God.” But who would be thankful for being blessed in Joseph’s circumstance? Furthermore, once he made it to the top of the prison, where would he go? There was no promotion to freedom in Joseph’s case! It appeared this is where Joseph would spend the res of his life. Would you be saying to God, "Thanks, but no thanks"?
It is in this context that the butler and baker’s dreams came to Joseph’s attention. Unlike blurting out his dream to his brothers and other relatives earlier in his life, Joseph names God as the one who interprets dreams, and Joseph sees himself as one through whom God will do that (see Genesis 40:8). For the butler, the interpretation is good news. For the baker, it's just the opposite. And both happen just the way Joseph or rather, God through Joseph had predicted. And let's not forget Joseph's request for the butler to do something to help him get out of prison (see Genesis 40:14-15). Of course! But the overjoyed butler overlooked that request and completely forgot about Joseph.
ACTIVITY: Write some journal entries for two different days in one setting. There are three of these coupled as:
1st day in Potiphar’s house
1 year after being in Potiphar’s house
1st day in prison
1 year after being in prison
1st day after butler restored to Pharaoh’s court
1 year after butler restored to Pharaoh’s court
Use your imagination as you get into the story. Picture your surroundings. Tap into the feelings you would have experienced. What other people are around? How much trust do you have in God at this point? How strong is your dream? How long will you be in your current situation? Why are you here at this time and in this place?
Write your journal entries. Next, share your journal entries with others, either in one-to-one or in small groups.
God was with Joseph, but Joseph was in some difficult situations. A person’s faith gets tested challenging settings. You can view a setting as overwhelmingly negative, and you can experience God’s blessing even in an unwanted setting. You might say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” But that might not be an option for you. What you do then demonstrates the character Christ has formed in you to this point.
Let this spark your ideas to move from talk to action by living out the lesson in practical ways in your life this week.
The following applications relate to the corresponding Bible Study Guides for Scripture for the lesson above.
Take a sheet of paper and mark places for four journal entries. One can be one year ago. The second could be today. The third is one week from today. And the fourth is one year from today. Make the topic two parts or segments:
Note the similarities and differences. You’re projecting a year into the future with the last time frame, so put your collection someplace where you can find it one year from now. Review and reflect at that time.
This bonus is just for the youth leader—a quick tip and an illustration to enhance your youth leadership. You may already know this idea, have learned it through trial and error, or maybe just need a reminder. Here it is in a quick infusion:
Safety people can drive you crazy and seem to prohibit everything fun, especially for young people. But accident prevention is always better than picking up pieces. While every youth leader should be safety conscious, it’s ideal to have at least one person who sees (and speaks) from a safety perspective. Have other leaders tap into that observation so it’s not just one person who’s “the bad guy.” God provides angels of protection, but you also should responsibly do your part. Have more common sense than a teen with only a partially formed brain.
An outreach or world mission component: If Sabbath School is just for us, we will spiritually die. We must share what we’ve been given. This can be done locally and/or globally. We’ll suggest several options over 3-4 weeks for reaching out.
Jesus told his disciples that they would “be witnesses” when they received power from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Their witnessing would happen right where they were, and would spread out like the rings when you throw a pebble into a pond. Here’s how that can happen, taking the words of Jesus and relating them to your Youth Sabbath School outreach and mission:
When you receive power from the Holy Spirit, you will be Christ’s witnesses in:
The the ends of the world
Your youth Sabbath school
The church where you attend
The Community around your church
The world beyond your community
We’ll suggest four options for these four target groups today. You may choose to follow all four or maybe start with one the first week of this month and choose several options over 3-4 weeks for reaching out.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the season called “spring” officially began March 20. But that certainly varies from Calgary, Canada compared to Miami, Florida. In places where snow melt occurs, the need for “spring cleaning” becomes obvious, although just about every place could use a good scrubbing each year. Make the “spring cleaning” practical by dedicating a day or a half day to clean up things. Here are some suggestions to get you thinking and into action.
A. Your Youth Sabbath School
Where does your youth Sabbath school meet? Is it in a dedicated room at the church or do you share it with other users or for other uses? Think of this as cleaning your part of the house at home. It could be as simple as washing walls and baseboards—something more than just sweeping or vacuuming that might happen with weekly cleaning. It might be time to clean the windows, or even possibly paint the walls. (Suggestion: Get permission first.)
B. The Church Where You Attend
Take it a step beyond just where you meet for youth Sabbath school. Hopefully the youth also attend the church service and are part of “the church.” That means it’s their church! With that comes the responsibility of caring for the building where the people meet to worship, to learn, to fellowship, and to serve. Increase the scope of your “spring cleaning” to include the entire church. And make this intergenerational if possible. This moves it from being “your church” to “our church” (inclusive).
C. The Community around Your Church
Just as the youth are part of the church, the church is part of your community (at least it should be). What could use some “spring cleaning” in your town or city? If you don’t have community connections, use this as a prompt to start them. Clean up a park, plant some flowers, pick up trash along the highway or a river, paint curbs that need painting (colors often matter with this, so do it right). Public bathrooms can get dirty and unsanitary very quickly. Are you capable of helping with this need? Do bike trails need some attention? For places that have snow during the winter, spring can signal new life through plants, flowers, and grasses, as well as the leafing of deciduous plants/trees. Be part of the new life. The spiritual analogies can be shared during or after your service activity.
D. The World Beyond Your Community
Team up with nonprofit contacts you might already have in other parts of the country or the world. Ask if you can help raise funds for a specific project, such as building improvements. Connect before, during, and after the project. If you’ve done a short-term mission trip in the past, renew that point of contact and plan something together even if your side-by-side work might not be physically side-by-side this time.