Artist: The Showdown
Album: Temptation Come My Way
Label: Mono vs. Stereo
Song: Temptation Come My Way
Writer: Kirk Moore
Ministry: Union Congregational Church
Location: Somonauk, Illinois
Discouragement, Guilt, Emptiness
By the end of this study, students will understand that everyone has feelings of hopelessness and that we are not alone or abandoned in our times of despair.
An Unfair Game of Simon Says
Feel free to play regularly until there are only a few people left. Then start changing the rules at will. Shout out things like, "Rule change! Now you do the opposite of what I do!" (Without saying, "Simon says" first) Be sure that through your continual rule changes that there are no players left. When they are in defeat, lament with them that no matter how hard they tried, they just couldn’t get it right. (If you have a player or players who are simply better at it than you and are still in, end the game announcing your defeat and lament that you could not do it right, no matter how hard you tried.)
The game was rigged. Nobody was supposed to win. The game attempted to let everyone experience failure. Failure, Trouble, Tragedy, Trials and Temptation are situations we really can't completely avoid. It seems like no matter what we do – praying hard, willpower, trusting that God will guide us -–we have times where we feel like failures. We have times where we feel like no matter where we turn there will be no relief. The song we're about to hear expresses that. It comes from metal band, The Showdown. The lyrics to this song are dark – seemingly hopeless. "I’m held at the mercy of the unknown" and "I love to love the way that you let me down" express feelings of hopelessness and failure. The song doesn’t offer a hopeful solution or a nice way to avoid the problem. Instead it simply is a lament.
Play "Temptation Come My Way" from The Showdown.
During the song, have students fill in some "fill in the blanks" lyrics sheets that you've made up.
Ask: What in particular stood out in this song? How do you identify with the feelings of hopelessness and despair communicated in the song? What do you think about a song that only expresses sadness and hopelessness without any hint of healing and hope?
(Psalms are great at describing the human condition. Whether it is a psalm of joy, celebration, anticipation or lament, the poetic expressions of the writer are genuine and reflective of the way lots of people feel at times.)
We feel like this:
- We sometimes feel alone and abandoned in temptation.
- We are not alone in temptation.
- We sometimes feel alone and abandoned in trying to resist temptation.
- We do not have to be alone in resisting temptation.
- We sometimes feel alone and abandoned when we’ve given in to temptation.
- We do not have to be alone in our sadness and anguish.
God’s promise to us is this:
- Hebrews 13:5b (I will never leave you or forsake you)
- Matthew 11:28 (Bring your burdens to me – I’ll give you rest)
- 1 John 1:8-9 (When we acknowledge our sin, God forgives us)
- Luke 11:9 (Ask, seek, knock)
This song we listened to was mostly about temptation. However, the pain, guilt and sadness we feel isn't just related to failing to resist temptation. We've seen in our study that pain and sadness come from many sources.
Whether the issue is temptation, yielding to temptation, feeling abandoned, depression, loneliness, despair or anything else that has us in sadness – we are not alone.
- Others have felt it.
- Others are feeling it.
- We are not alone.
- God hears our cries.
- God’s promises are real.
God who never leaves us and who hears us when we’re celebrating, failing, crying and even when we can't find words to describe what's going on with us, thank you for your unconditional love. Help us to find your hope and to remember your promises no matter what the situation. Help us to reach out to others with that same unconditional love. Amen.