Summary: To lead the people to understand some of the benefits of patience as given by God and used for His purposes.
Unit 14 – Patience
Lesson 38 – Elijah, The Little Cloud and the Great Rain – I Kings18:41-46
Preparation for the Teacher
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand some of the benefits of patience as given by God and used for His purposes.
2. Explanation of the Aim: Elijah teaches us some of the many benefits of patience in this passage. Godly people know that patience involves having a calm endurance during hardship. God uses the prayers of patient people to work great wonders. Several words express in great faith with fervent love for God’s glory will profit many. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that comes when we have yielded the control of mind, will and emotions to the Lord. God blesses people with patience because He knows it the first evidence of a loving heart.
3. The Bible Story: In our lesson we learn how Elijah did not seek his own glory, but God’s glory and the good of the people. Thousands have just witness God demonstrate His fiery power on Mount Carmel. However, there are always some that will need patient prayer before they are willing to surrender to God’s controlling influence. Elijah refused to allow the servant to give up on his first try, but insisted that he return seven times – the sign of completion. Many people require persistent persuasive attempts before they come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Do not give up until you God directs you to stop. This is why great men of God like Paul wrote, “Love is patient.” (I Cor. 13:4)
4. Prepare to Teach: The INTRODUCTION gives the people an opportunity to consider why it is so difficult to be patient? Ask the people why many people have a hard time being patient with others? Find out why some people are more patient than others? Ask the people why people knew Jesus Christ as a patient man? What are some of the ways that people should demonstrate more patience? (Prayer, listening, serving, remaining calm, not reacting out of anger etc) The BIBLE STORY gives us a great example of how Elijah urged the servant to return seven times to go down to the sea to look for a rain cloud. Many times people do not receive God’s blessings because they lose patience in waiting for an answer to prayer. Trust the Lord to help you overcome any feelings of fear, anger or frustration as you patiently express love, compassion and forgiveness for others. The MEANING FOR OUR LIVES gives the people an opportunity to make applications from the lessons. Ask the people how they can learn to be more patient with their friends; their family; their leaders; their parents; their teachers? How can we expect God to develop greater patience in us? (James 1:2-5) Why do many people fail to exercise the patience God has given them through the Holy Spirit? How should we patiently share the gospel with others so they may find Christ as their Savior and Lord?
CLASS TIME (Begin With Prayer)
Give the people an opportunity to consider why it is so difficult to be patient? Ask the people why many people have a hard time being patient with others? Find out why some people are more patient than others? Ask the people why people knew Jesus Christ as a patient man? What are some of the ways that people should demonstrate more patience? (Prayer, listening, serving, remaining calm, not reacting out of anger etc)
The Bible Story
Patient people learn how to cooperate with others in a unified way that gives greater glory to God. In our lesson we learn how Elijah patiently asked the servant to go down to the sea seven times until he saw the rain cloud sent by God. Jesus taught us to be patiently persistent in all prayers when He said, “Keep on asking and you will receive. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7) Only by patience can we expect to see God answer our prayers.
After Israel reformed as to acknowledge the Lord to be God they consented to having the prophets of Baal executed. However, few people were prepared to continue to patiently pray for more of God’s demonstrations of His power. Elijah wanted even the pagan king Ahab to personally know God. Godly people are willing to spend great amounts of time in prayer when others simply take God’s blessings for granted. When you do not see your prayers answered, do not grow weary in well doing because in due season you will reap if you faint not. It may take years before you see the fruit of your labor, but God promises to answer prayer for those who persist.