Finding Refuge in God in the Midst of Isolation
The following challenges are also listed in a journal provided to each youth. We hope that everyone will participate in the challenges. For those who complete the initial challenge and would like to grow deeper in their faith and relationship with Christ, we have included growing deeper challenges, some of which include an element that encourages conversation with others.
If you would like to pick up a journal with these challenges from Bethel Youth,
please contact Melanie (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Title: I Cried Out to God for Help
Date: November 13, 2020
Challenge: Read through Lamentations in one sitting (20-30 minutes). As you read, note how Jeremiah moves back and forth between plea and praise.
Grow Deeper Challenge: While reading Lamentations, use two different colours to underline or highlight where you read pleas and praise. Write down or underline any verse(s) or phrase(s) that stood out to you the most. Consider what these verses or the whole of Lamentations is trying to tell God’s people.
Title: His Love Endures Forever
Date: November 27, 2020
Challenge: Each day, write down a sentence or two in your journal about where you have seen God’s hesed (lovingkindness) as you go about your day. If this is difficult for you, ask a trusted friend how they’ve witnessed God at work in your life.
Grow Deeper Challenge: Ask a family member or friend about a moment in their life where they have seen God’s lovingkindness at work.
Title: Hear My Voice
Date: December 11, 2020
Challenge: Read Psalm 139 and meditate on the fact that you are intimately known by your Creator.
Grow Deeper Challenge: Write down how God has shown you that he sees and hears you. If this is difficult, ask God to reveal this to you and continue to meditate Psalm 139 a few times throughout the week.
Title: How Long?
Date: January 15, 2020
Challenge: Each day jot down an ekah (a how question directed to God). Feel free to throw in your where, why, or any other question you have for God in this season.
Grow Deeper Challenge: Consider the ekah’s of others in your community or around the world. What are some of the questions they may have for God?
Title: Have Mercy
Date: January 29, 2020
Challenge: Each day, write down a confession or prayer of repentance to God.
Grow Deeper Challenge: Write down one or more ekahs (how question) that questions a state of suffering you have felt that has no explanation.
Title: My Soul is Downcast
Date: February 12, 2020
Challenge: Each day write down one plea and one praise. It is alright if you have a difficult time thinking of one for each or if you write down the same plea or praise each time.
Grow Deeper Challenge: Ask a family member or friend: What is one thing you desire to do, see, or experience that hasn’t been able to happen since the pandemic? What have you grown more appreciative of because of the pandemic?
Title: He Will Save
Date: February 26, 2020
Challenge: Read Our World Belongs to God (click here to access online) – there are 10 sections, so you can read a section or half a section each day. In each section, consider how the knowledge of God’s sovereignty over our world may turn your sorrow to praise.
Grow Deeper Challenge: Write down anything you are still questioning (i.e. continue the practice of writing ekahs). Share these questions with a trusted friend or mentor.
Date: March 12, 2020
Challenge: Ask God to lay someone or a group of people on your heart for which to pray for. If it is someone for whom you don’t know much about, seek to hear their story. If you are listening to a friend, don’t rush to fix their problem. Just listen, learn, and be present with them. Humbly acknowledge any biases and/or privilege you might have. Each day consider how you might love others as you lament with and for them.
Grow Deeper Challenge: Before the next Catalyst, write out a communal lament prayer. Share this prayer with a friend or post it on social media (tag @bethelcrcyouth or #bethelyouthlament).
Title: They Conspire
Date: March 26, 2020
Challenge: Each day write a short (one sentence) prayer for an enemy. It can be someone you have fought with lately or you can pray more generally for anyone or system that causes oppression.
Grow Deeper Challenge: Talk to a trusted friend or mentor about the enemy you are facing. Consider what it would mean to love this enemy.
Date: April 16, 2020
Challenge: If you are currently feeling like cursing someone or have felt like this in the past, go through the self-examination questions:
Are we tearing this person down because we are not getting what we want?
Are we actually witnessing something that God himself hates?
Is this godly anger at the injustice and sin in the world?
Do we harbour ungodly hate for this person or people group?
What part have we played in this conflict? What is my role?
Where do we need to ask God – or this person that we are cursing – for forgiveness?
You may have to do this process more than once throughout the week.