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Teach Your Kids to Face Hard Things Through These Bible Stories

We know in this life we, and our children will have hard times. One of the best gifts we can give our children is resilience.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Jayda sank down onto the bedroom rug, tears overflowing. Life had been a series of heart-
wrenching twists and turns lately. Much like the Smallbone family in the movie Unsung Hero, life seemed to be a series of disappointments and heartaches. It started with the flat tire at the grocery store (where she had spent her last fifty dollars on food), the furnace going out, her daughter being bullied at school, and now her dad being diagnosed with cancer. She was sure if one more thing happened, she would collapse. How could she hope to be resilient through all of this? Jayda reached for her Bible, searching for Bible stories, and the people in them, who showed resilience in hard places. She wanted to know how they sought God in their challenges and recovered from them.

She needed to know she was not alone.

Whether you’re stranded with a flat tire, or on your own in a new country, we all need to know we’re not alone. Life hits hard. As followers of Christ, we have James 1:2-4 to encourage us. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Since Adam and Eve came out of the garden humanity has faced challenges and hardships. We can become resilient by trusting, not in our own strength, but in God’s. In The Unsung Hero their children knew to pray and trust God for all of their needs. Through teaching them to trust in God through adversity, they also gave their children the gift of resilience.

Are you in need of a bit of encouragement today? Let’s lean into God’s Word and study how
these biblical figures showed resilience overcame with the Lord’s help. These stories are only a handful from the pages of Scripture. Many other Bible characters also showed resilience and faithfulness to God.

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Trials and Triumphs of Biblical Heroes Who Showed Resilience

Abraham and Sarah
Abraham and Sarah faced many challenges as a couple, but one of their biggest challenges was
their desire to have a child they couldn’t have. Though they prayed for a child for years, Sarah
remained childless. Taking matters into her own hands, she gave her servant Hagar to her
husband to have a child for her.

These actions created heartache, tension, and separation in the family. Sarah laughed When God promised Abraham they would have a child in their old age.

But God was faithful to His covenant with Abraham. Because Abraham believed and remained
resilient, they had a son named Isaac. Through him, Abraham became the father of the Israelites.
Abraham and Sarah’s story can be found in Genesis 12-23.

Joseph never expected his brothers to plot his death or sell him into slavery, but that’s exactly
what happened. Carried off to Egypt, he became a servant and then a prisoner. Despite these
trials, Joseph remained resilient and clung to God’s voice. Through God, he could interpret
dreams for two men in the prison, one of whom told the Pharaoh about him years later.

When he interpreted a dream for the Pharaoh, he was exalted next to Pharaoh in Egypt. When the Lord warned him of a coming famine, Joseph put a plan in place to store up grain and provisions during the fruitful seasons to feed the Egyptians and surrounding nations when the famine struck. His resilience through the difficult times and preparation for coming challenges helped save thousands of lives, including his family, who came to him for help.

Not only was he elevated to a place of honor, but he was restored to his father and his brothers.
God used Joseph to save his entire family and countless others.
Joseph’s story can be found in Genesis 37-50.

Ruth & Naomi
Naomi found herself in the heartbreaking position of losing both of her sons. Her daughters-in-
law had not had children, so she expected them to return to where they had been raised and
remarry. However, Ruth, her daughter-in-law, promised to go with Naomi and stay with her so
she would not be alone. The grief these two women felt must have been crushing.

However, Ruth never gave up or went back on her word to accompany Naomi. She showed tireless
resilience and uncommon wisdom. Not just in words, but in hard work as she gleaned from the fields of a man named Boaz, who showed care and compassion for her and Naomi. Eventually, Boaz would marry Ruth, and they would have a family. Generations later, through Ruth’s resilience, Jesus would be a part of this lineage.
Ruth and Naomi’s story can be found in the Book of Ruth.

The last thing a shepherd boy would expect is to be crowned King of Israel. When Samuel
blessed David, he put him on a trajectory for this very position. However, God’s blessing doesn’t
mean an easy path. David had to show tremendous courage and resilience when he faced Goliath
and again when King Saul led a manhunt to kill him.

Even as king, when there were repercussions for sin that David allowed into his life, he had to
remain resilient to protect and grow the nation of Israel.
King David’s story can be found in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel.

When we think of a queen, we don’t often think of the challenges she might face. Esther was
born while Israel was in exile. An orphan, she was raised by her uncle Mordecai. When the king
decided to take a queen, she and all the other eligible young women were forced to participate in
a stressful competition to win the king’s favor.

Esther won the king’s favor and became queen, but she kept her identity as an Israelite hidden.
When a plot to murder the Israelites surfaces, her uncle comes to her and asks her to speak to the
king. Esther knows that going to the king without being summoned is almost certain death, yet
she chooses to find courage and faith and approach him. Her actions enable God’s people to
protect themselves and thwart the evil plans against them. Queen Esther’s story can be found in the Book of Esther.

Mary and Joseph
We don’t have to wait until Christmas to tell our children about Mary and Joseph. Jesus’ parents, were called by God to raise His Son here on the earth, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t face challenges. Mary faced severe consequences for becoming pregnant outside of marriage. It was no small feat for her and Joseph to travel while she was nine months pregnant. Giving birth to her first child, Jesus in a stable, couldn’t have felt like the best place at the time.

When Herod heard of Jesus’ birth, they had to flee to Egypt to protect Jesus from a mass genocide of infant boys. Consider talking to your children about what it would be like to be Mary and Joseph raising a child who was fully human and fully God.

Mary, years later, would watch her son be crucified on a cross. Despite the agony she felt, she continued to trust and follow God and saw Him resurrected. The story of Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, can be found in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2.

By leaning into a relationship with God and trusting in His goodness, we can have the hope that
we need to be resilient when we face life’s trials and challenges. Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “I
have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have
tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

What wonderful news! No matter what challenges we face, we have already overcome them
through Jesus. Share these stories of perseverance in the Bible. Consider sharing alongside them stories of grandparents, aunts or uncles within your family who showed resilience in their lifetimes. Stories of coming to America, fighting wars, or keeping their faith through catastrophes.

Giving your children a glimpse into the lives of others, we can help prepare them for challenges today and throughout their lives.

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