Bible: Matthew 14:30-31(NLT)

Bottom Line: When life is hard, allow your faith to take the place that doubt could fill.


  • Paper lunch bags – 2 per student
  • 2 Bananas
  • 2 Pencils, 2 sheets of paper
  • 2 Rolls of toilet paper
  • 2 Tubes of lipstick
  • 2 Decks of playing cards


Divide students into two teams of equal size.

Give each student two paper lunch bags and tell them to place them on their hands.

Choose a “captain” for each team and give them a list of the following tasks.

  1. Peel and eat a banana.
  2. Have each person on your team write their name on a piece of paper.
  3. Form a straight line and unroll a roll of toilet paper by passing from the front of the line to the end and back without letting it break.
  4. Have three people tie their shoelaces.
  5. Have one person perfectly apply lipstick.
  6. Create a “house of cards” that utilizes 15 or more cards and is at least 3 levels of cards high.

Have one leader assigned to watch each team to ensure they have completed each task correctly. 


Say: Today, I have divided you into two teams to perform six tasks that will be pretty challenging.

Your team captain has been given a list of these tasks and they will be responsible for deciding who will complete each one.

Here are a couple of notes: 

Everyone must participate in at least one task.

You must complete the tasks in order and you can only begin the next task after you have finished the previous one.

A leader will let you know when you are “signed off” for each task.

The first team to finish all of the tasks, and have a standing house of cards at the end of the game wins!


Say: At some point during our game, you probably doubted whether or not you would be able to finish—and forget about winning, you just wanted to get it done!

When you think about the stories we read in the Bible, many times we remember the examples of people with great faith in God. 

But the Bible also tells about those who dealt with personal feelings of doubt.

In Matthew 14, we read the story of when Jesus fed over 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish—it was a miracle!

Jesus’ disciples had seen it happen with their very own eyes, which is why I think what happens in the following few verses is so interesting. 

The crowds went home after they ate their meal of fish and bread, the disciples went across the lake in a boat, and Jesus went up into the hills to pray.

While the disciples were out in the boat, they encountered a storm.

In the middle of the storm, Jesus walked on the water toward their boat.

He tells them not to be afraid and Peter asks Jesus to prove Himself.

Peter says, Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

And Jesus tells Peter to come to Him. 

But, let’s read what happens in the following verses.

Read Matthew 14:30-31. 

 But when he saw the strongwind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

Say: Let’s take a minute and imagine that entire scenario.

The disciples are in a storm and they see someone walking across the water. 

The Bible says the disciples actually thought Jesus was a ghost.

I mean, what other explanation would they possibly have for what was coming at them in the middle of the water?

But, when they see Jesus, they ask Him to prove it’s really Him.

Who did they think it was?

Next, Peter begins to walk on the water towards Jesus and as he looks around, doubt settles in and he begins to sink.

Jesus doesn’t let Peter drown.

He could have, but He shows Peter grace and saves him.

As Jesus is pulling Peter out of the water, he asks Peter, “Why did you doubt me?”

The Bible doesn’t record Peter’s answer, and maybe it’s because he didn’t have one. 

Really, what could he say?

Ask: Think about your own life.... have you ever doubted God?

Maybe you’ve had questions about whether the Bible is true, or if God is even real.

Have you ever doubted whether God was going to help you in a situation?

Allow a few responses from students. Create a safe place where students can be honest about their doubts.

Peter looked into the face of Jesus and doubted who He was and he had an advantage that we don’t have—he was looking at Him!

When we ask God questions and work through our own feelings of doubt, Jesus responds the same way to us as He did to Peter. 

What was Jesus’ response?

He saved him.

Doubts are feelings of uncertainty and all of us experience them at one time or another.

But, you can’t allow yourself to live in those feelings.

Peter overcame his doubt when he asked Jesus to save him—and Jesus did.

We need to choose faith over doubt, even in the midst of our questions.

Here are a few things you can do when you feel doubt creeping in:

1. Take a look at what has happened in your life to cause you to doubt God.

Is there a situation that has made you question what you believe?
Are there people close to you that are in their own struggle of faith?
Do you feel like God or other Christians have let you down, causing you to examine your own beliefs?
Try to get to the core of where your doubt is coming from.
2. Share your feelings of doubt with God—tell Him about it. 
Don’t hold anything back and just lay all of your doubts out there for God to see.
He knows all about them anyway!

3. Talk to people who will encourage you, even in your times of doubt.

Ask your parents, pastors, and friends—who are growing in their relationship with God—how they learned from the doubts in their lives.

Be honest with others and realize you aren’t alone.

You’re going to experience tough times in life, but you have the opportunity to grow and become stronger in your faith, even if that means you have to work through your doubts. 

Just remember: When life is hard, allow your faith to take the place that doubt could fill.

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