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Responding to Teaching Challenges with Faith & Hope

From behavior issues to unmotivated students, from unrealistic expectations to overflowing to-do lists, teaching challenges abound - especially now!

About the best advice the world's giving these days is, "believe you're enough" and "make time for self-care." #NotThatHelpful

But, praise God, He's given us the anchor our souls truly need. His Word is full of rich promises, wise guidance, and, most importantly - a right view of Him.

Join us in this series as we explore how we can respond to teaching challenges with faith and hope. We'll consider both how we should be thinking Biblically to have hope in these challenges as well practical day-to-day steps we can take to overcome them.

Responding to Teaching Challenges with Faith & Hope

#1: How Do We Actually Trust God in Challenges?

When we’re facing real struggles in teaching (and in life), it’s so easy to worry and stress.

But this is NOT how God would have us live.

God would have us trust Him instead.

But sometimes that’s easier said than done, right?

How exactly do we trust God when we’re in the middle of something difficult?

1. Remember God is in control

Sometimes things feel out of control - but God is ALWAYS in control. That's more than a pat answer - it's absolute truth.

God is not unaware. God is not surprised. God is not worried. He can intervene at any moment (He likely already is).

The all-powerful Creator sees and knows, and He is in control. Yes, even of this. (Matthew 10:29-31)

2. Remember God's goodness

Often the situation we are facing does not seem good. It's awful.

We must remind ourselves that while our world is severely broken by the curse of sin, our God is good and works everything together for good for those who love God. (Rom. 8:28).

God looks beyond the now and sees not just our lives, but all of eternity. He knows that what we need most is more of Him - and He often works through difficult things to show us more of Himself and draw us closer to Him.

So we need to remind ourselves - we have a good Father. He is good and His heart is for our good - even when it doesn't feel like it.

3. Surrender to God's plan

When we remember that God is in control and that He is good and loving, we're on our way to peace - but one more step is vital.

As long as we're holding on so tightly to the outcome that we want, we will not have peace.

We have to surrender.

We have to take a look at the possible outcomes - the one we want, the one we don't want, and everything in-between. And then say, “God, this is outcome I want. I pray for it. But I choose your will above all, and if your plan is different than mine, may your will be done.”

This isn't easy. But it's so necessary. And so freeing.

And the God of hope fills our heart with His peace, giving us the strength we need day by day.

These are just a few thoughts explored in this week's episode. Be sure to listen to the full episode here

Responding to Teaching Challenges with Faith & Hope

#2: Why Do We Face So Many Challenges & Trials?

What on earth are we supposed to think when we’re faced with something really hard?

From “big things” like a cancer diagnosis or school shooting, to day-to-day relationship struggles, or that 5th period class that feels like it will be the death of you – how are we as believers to understand the suffering & struggles we face?

As always, Scripture is incredibly helpful. Let’s consider its overarching storyline…

In the beginning, God created a perfect world. There was no suffering, work was joy, and relationships had no strain. It was paradise.

But sin has brought so much brokenness. God’s perfect world is horribly marred by suffering.

When we see this suffering and think, "This isn't right. This shouldn't be happening," our response is RIGHT. None of this is how God designed the world to be. This is not "good." It is part of the devastating consequence of sin, and we’re right to mourn.

But praise God, He has not left us alone.

He sent Jesus to join us in our brokenness. He experienced pain, hunger, betrayal, and loss. He was misunderstood and mistreated. He was abandoned and forsaken. He suffered even to the point of death.

Our God understands suffering.

But He does more than just understand. He uses our suffering to bring us closer to Him and make us more like Christ.

God is redeeming every tear, every trial.

Nothing is wasted.

And the best news is that this is not the end of the story. This world is temporary – the messy middle.

One day God will restore everything.

He will make a perfect world with no sin, no sorrow, no brokenness, no suffering, no sickness, no death.

God will wipe away every tear, and we will live together with Him in perfect harmony without sin and without its curse.

So how should we view suffering?

We recognize that God created a good world but that sin has massively marred it. We mourn when sin and its curse bring pain and sorrow, but we look with hope to Christ who suffered and died for us, who has redeemed our lives, who walks with us through each moment, and is working in our hearts for our good & for His glory. And we look forward to the day when there will be no more suffering and every wrong will be made right.

These are just a few thoughts explored in this week's episode. Be sure to listen to the full episode here

Responding to Teaching Challenges with Faith & Hope

#3: Finding Worth in the Right Places

Where we find our worth can make all the difference between loving teaching and despising it.

Let me explain...

When we find our worth and identity in anything other than Christ, our worth is shaky - dependent on our performance or people's perspective of us.

Consider what makes you feel like you have worth.

Is it knowing you're a good teacher? When others acknowledge or praise you? When students respect you or do well academically? When you can tell you make a difference? Is it based on how hard you work? Or whether you have a life outside of school?

These are such shaky foundations for our worth. When things are going well, we feel great!

But what happens when things aren't going well?

As Christians, we have a much more firm foundation for our worth.

In Christ, we are….
❤️ God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved (Col 3:12)
❤️ Members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)
❤️ Declared righteous (2 Cor. 5:21)
❤️ Citizens of heaven (Phil 3:20)
❤️ Accepted & brought near (Eph. 2:13)
❤️ God’s children (John 1:12)
❤️ Free from sin & servants of God (Romans 6:22)
❤️ His ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20)

And all of these are unconditional. This is who we are regardless of what people think, how good of a job we're doing, or what's going on.

When we ground our worth in CHRIST, our worth is fixed, our confidence secure, and we are free to face challenges without the extra baggage.

Wondering how we stop finding our worth in our performance and be firm in our worth in Christ? Listen to the full podcast episode above.

Responding to Teaching Challenges with Faith & Hope

#4: Speaking Truth to Our Souls

Teachers, did you know we're being lied to on a regular basis?

Who is lying to us?

Our greatest enemy, the father of lies himself - Satan.

Satan continually lies to us about who we are, who God is, and what God says about us.

He's a jerk who wants to steal our joy, steal our peace, and keep us from living the full life God has called us to.

He wants us confused, frustrated, and discouraged - barely hanging on with hardly anything left to give to the students God has placed in our care.

The lies come in all shapes and sizes - targeted perfectly at our biggest weaknesses.

But, Praise God, He has provided us a weapon against these lies - the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

God's Word is alive and powerful, able to correct our thinking and restore our hope in God, giving us light even in the darkest moments and enabling us to fulfill the calling He has given us.

We have to fight back these lies with the truth of Scripture, reminding ourselves on a regular basis of who God is, what He has promised us, and who we are in Him.

I love Ellie Holcomb's song Fighting Words. The lyrics are amazing. Here's the chorus:
I will fight the lies with the truth,
Keep my eyes fixed on You
I will sing the truth into the dark
I will use my fighting words.

On our podcast, Ellie Holcomb joins us to share how we can use Scripture to fight back Satan's lies and find hope in Christ, even when teaching is tough. Listen to this amazing conversation above.


Fighting Words by Ellie Holcomb

Sounding Joy by Ellie Holcomb

"Fighting Words" song

Responding to Teaching Challenges with Faith & Hope

#5: Does Trusting God Mean We Sit & Wait?

Do you ever struggle with the tension between trusting God & taking action?

Take a situation that you're worried about. You decide to trust God with it and ask God to help. Does that mean you should just sit back and not take any action, just waiting for Him to work?

Um, no.

Or at least, not usually.

Sometimes God DOES impress on our hearts to be still and wait on Him, but it's more rare than common for waiting on God to absolve us from taking any action at all.

The Bible offers many examples of believers who trusted God WHILE taking wise action. Consider Abraham climbing the mountain to offer Isaac, even as he trusted that God would intervene.

Or Esther who fasted and prayed and then put on her royal robes and went into the king, trusting her fate to God despite never having received any explicit direction from Him.

Both Abraham and Esther took the next step that was in front of them, looking to God in each moment, and trusting Him to reveal the next step in His time.

And that's what we should do, too.

Do you have a situation that is confusing or frustrating? Pray about it. Ask God to intervene. Ask Him for guidance.

And then consider - What next step should you take?

Often we feel confused or stressed because we can't see the complete path out of the problem. But we normally DO know at least one or two things we should do - or have someone we know we should talk to.

So take that next step, even if you don't know what comes after it, trusting that God will make your path clear as you walk it with Him.

We're so excited to be exploring what it looks like to rely on God AND take wise action in this week's podcast. Listen to the full episode here for more specific examples, questions we can ask when we don't know the next step, and the key mindset shift we need to keep us from worrying about what will happen. 

Responding to Teaching Challenges with Faith & Hope

does your heart crave even more?

The next series will be coming soon!

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  • Thank you Linda,

    especially for the prayer afterwards. I started out this year and your sources did bring some semblance in otherwise chaos, referring specifically to the article about a classroom management plan and the way to ingrain procedures.

    Blessed Christ feast.

  • Thank you so much for this! This is so instrumental not only for teachers, to help us place our trust in the Lord in teaching and in life!

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