We’re going to spend the next several weeks learning about the Sermon on the Mount. It’s Jesus’ most famous sermon! It’s called the Sermon on the Mount because Jesus stood up on a hill or mountain to preach. Today we’re learning that Jesus preached about how God blesses those who struggle.
SUNDAY SCHOOL WORSHIP
We’re learning that God blesses those who struggle. Let’s watch the story of a boy who faced some struggles but saw God’s blessings.
• What’s the hardest thing about Fortune’s life?
• What were good things about Fortune’s life?
• Tell about some struggles you’ve faced. How did you see God’s blessings come out of those times?
Today we’re learning that God blesses those who struggle. That’s pretty cool! You know, life has its share of struggles, but it also has its share of happy times. Let’s see how we’d rank different situations if they happened to us.
I’ll read some situations. If you think it’s a really exciting, happy situation, stand up as tall as you can. If you think it’s really, really sad, get down as low as you can. Or, you can be somewhere in the middle, like squatting for something that’s pretty sad.
Read the following situations, pausing after each for everyone to adjust their position.
• How did you decide how to rank these situations?
• Which situation did you think was the absolutely saddest one? the happiest?
We may not have evaluated everything exactly the same way, but one thing we all seemed to agree on which things were overall happier and which were sadder.
We often say we’re “blessed” when things are happy. When a grown-up gets a new job, she might say she’s blessed. When a family moves into a new, bigger house, they’re blessed. So let’s stand tall like it’s a happy time, and shout, “blessed!”
But we’re about to see how God blesses those who struggle. Those situations you didn’t mark…they don’t seem like blessings! But we’re about to see how God blesses us in all kinds of situations. Let’s evaluate some situations Jesus talked about.
Evaluate the Beatitudes
Read the following situations from Jesus’ sermon, pausing after each for everyone to get tall or low.
Most of the things Jesus talked about here are not happy. Some of them are things we can choose to do, like being pure in heart and working for peace. But even those aren’t things the world around us always values.
But let’s see what Jesus had to say about these situations and how God blesses those who struggle.
Read Matthew 5:3-12 one verse at a time to discover the blessing associated with the words they posed for. After each verse, they can strike the same pose as before and shout, “blessed!”
3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4 God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
• What do you think of the blessings Jesus promised?
• How have you seen God’s blessings come through struggles?
We’ve spent a lot of time judging happier and sadder times. But in Jesus’ mind, one’s not better than the other. Not one of these situations has more or less of God’s blessing, because God is the same in all these situations. In some of them, you might have to wait longer to see God’s blessings. A lot of the things Jesus promised were future blessings. But no matter what’s going on, in good times or bad, God’s blessings are true. God blesses those who struggle.
Have family members take turns sharing something that feels hard or like a struggle. Everyone will get down low as someone shares. Then everyone will try to think of blessings that are coming out of that struggle, getting a little higher for each blessing named.
If kids need help, you can use examples like this:
• How did it help you to look for the good in the midst of your struggle?
Jesus’ way seems upside down. Most people wouldn’t consider struggles a good thing. But God blesses those who struggle, and by shifting our perspective we can see things his way. We can become more joyful and thankful no matter what’s going on in our lives.
Juggle as a Group
Talk About It
Ask: • What caused you to struggle as you juggled?
• When you struggled, what helped?
• When you’re struggling in life, what helps?
God blesses those who struggle. One way he blesses us is by being with us in those struggles. And another way is that he gives us one another to help each other!
Ask: • Who is someone who’s helped you when you’ve struggled? Briefly share a story about someone in your own life who’s helped you.
I love that God blesses those who struggle—because that’s all of us at one time or another. How wonderful that God stands with us as a friend when we need him!
God, we pray for those who mourn, that they will be comforted.
God, we pray for those who work for peace, that they will be called your children. We pray for
those who are being persecuted for doing right. We pray that the kingdom of heaven will be theirs.