Faith is built on our confidence or trust in a God who keeps His Word. He never waivers, never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and He is always with us. When God says something, we know He will do it. Even though we may never see the full results of His promise in our life time, God is faithful and trustworthy. He is always ready to help us whatever the need is. Faith is also based on relationship. When we take that first step of faith and enter into relationship with God daring to believe that He is who He says He is and that Jesus is His Son, God doesn’t take that lightly. He is more than willing to meet us and help us along the way. As we experience God’s goodness in our lives and learn to depend on and lean into Him, our faith grows and the more we exercise our faith, the stronger it grows. Faith sometimes takes us into unknown waters or uncharted places, but we know that we do no go alone, God is with us, He goes before us and He is also bringing up the rear protecting and helping us.
This month the stories have been about kings and a queen. Queen Esther trusted and prayed standing for right though she knew it could cost her life. That’s faith! David trusted and loved God even when he found himself running from King Saul. It was years before God fulfilled the kingly anointing on David’s life, yet David trusted and continued to go to God with his feelings and despair. Through it all, David continued to praise and worship God. King Josiah found and relied on God’s Word and King Hezekiah trusted God when threatened by a very real enemy. Do any of these situations resonate with you? Can we trust God through everything? Through pain, lack, disaster, loss? Can we trust God with our families, our jobs and our dreams? Yes! No matter what, God is good. Hang onto that and keep trusting, even when the answers are long in coming.
I don’t know about you, but I hope that my trust and faith is contagious. My great-grandmother had a contagious faith and her daughter, pictured above also had a contagious, persevering faith. She prayed faithfully for her family by name everyday. She prayed for those who had not yet acknowledged Jesus as their Lord and Savior and she believed God for their salvation. Some of those prayers were not answered until well after her death, still she kept praying and trusting. She didn’t give up! She left a legacy of faith that will continue through many generations. Out of her legacy, today there are grandchildren and great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren who are pastors and missionaries and volunteers in their communities and at their churches. There are good citizens, wonderful fathers and mothers, hard workers, neighbors and friends spreading the good news everywhere they go. Her influence in living a life of commitment and trust in God, is reaching around the world! You see, she shared her simple love for Jesus with her family and those around her. She persevered. She kept trusting! She trusted because she knew that God loved her and she embraced that love.
One thing I like to do when my confidence and trust are a little on the low side is to recount what God has done for me in the past. As I reflect on God’s past goodness to me, it renews my hope and faith. My confidence soars because I’m reminded once again of the amazing God who loves and cares for me.
PS Kids learn trust when they are lovingly cared for and their needs are met.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Father God, I want to trust you fully. The road seems so long and circumstances can seem so hard. Life’s struggles can be long, but I know you are trustworthy. Help me to remember that whatever I am facing is only temporary. Problems come to pass not last. No matter how hard it may seem at the moment and no matter what happens in the future, you are with me. You will walk with me through everything, regardless of what I may encounter. I come to you for strength to stand, strength to persevere and strength to trust no matter what. Thank you for your presence and your amazing love. Teach me to look to you everyday. I ask that my kids understand that you can and will help them too. You can help them when they don’t know what to do or when they have hard decisions to make. May they always be ready to look to you no matter what they are facing. Amen
SAFETY, SECURITY & TRUST IN THE CLASSROOM
Safety and security make for a trustworthy classroom.
- Have a well-planned check-in and out system for the kids and make sure your policies are well-communicated.
- Check-in and check-out should include:
* Identification of parent and child. Children should only be released to the people who are authorized to pick-up. A matching number system works well.
* Know who is authorized to pick-up each child.
* A back-up plan for emergencies if someone loses their tag or your computer system goes down.
- Background checks should be done on all teachers and volunteers.
- Walk into your facility or classroom as though you were a guest parent. What do you notice? Is there anything on the floor that shouldn’t be? Any objects lying around that could be potentially dangerous to a toddler? Is your classroom clean, orderly and kid friendly? Do you allow your teachers to bring hot drinks into the room? Are shoes worn in the infant room or is it a no shoes zone since babies are crawling on the floor?
- What are your restroom or diaper changing procedures? Never take a child to the restroom alone. Take a group.
- Other items to think about, allergies, sickness policy, keeping things clean and disinfected. Who is allowed in the hallways? Fire or earthquake safety. All of these things go into providing an environment that the parents and kids feel good about entering. Are you rooms inviting and does it look like you care? These are the things that build trust between you and your families.
Things You Can Do With Your Child At Home
SHARE A STORY: King Hezekiah Trusts – 2 Kings 18
Hezekiah was 25 when he became king. Like Esther, he did the right thing. He did the things God wanted him to do. He loved and trusted God with all his heart. (Place hands on heart.) There was no other king like Hezekiah because God was with him.
King Sennacherib’s BIG (Show BIG with hands.) army came to fight King Hezekiah. King Sennacherib’s commander asked the people in Jerusalem, “What are you trusting into help you?“ He told the people not to listen to King Hezekiah. He said, “Why do you think the Lord can save Jerusalem?“
When King Hezekiah heard what the army commander was saying, he was upset. He sent for prophet/pastor Isaiah. Isaiah told the king, “God said, ‘Don’t be afraid.’”
Still King Sennacherib and his army said bad things about about God. King Sennacherib wrote bad letters to Hezekiah. So King Hezekiah went into the temple church with the letters and laid them out before God. He prayed (Show praying hands.) and asked the people to pray too. Hezekiah was afraid, but he trusted God. He knew God was way bigger that King Sennacherib.
Then Isaiah came to King Hezekiah to tell him what God said again. God said, “Don’t be afraid. (Show afraid face.) I have heard your prayers. I will make King Sennacherib return to his own country. I will protect this city and save it.”
King Hezekiah trusted God and King Sennacherib did return to his own country just like God said. God helped Hezekiah because Hezekiah loved (Put hands on heart.) and trusted Him. You can love (Put hands on heart again.) and trust God when you are afraid (Show afraid face.) too and you can pray. God is always with you; He is strong and He will help you because God can do anything.
Who loves you? God loves me.
What can you do? I can trust God because I know God loves and cares for me.
MEMORIZE: Proverbs 3:5 NIRV – (Open hands like holding a book.)
Trust – (Hold hands open, then pull back into fists.)
In the Lord – (Make and L with fingers, touch shoulder then hip.)
With all – (Hands out wide to sides.)
Your heart – (Place hands on heart.)
Thank you for loving me. Help me to love and trust you like King Hezekiah did. I know you are with me all the time. I know that you take good care of me and I know that you will help me. Amen
KNOW: King Hezekiah prayed and trusted God, I can pray and trust God to help me.
TALK ABOUT: What is trust and faith?
Trust and faith can be BIG words for little ones. A simple definition for preschoolers is that Trust is knowing that God is good and believing that He does what He says He will do.
Faith then acts on that trust. Faith is continuing to trust and believing God enough to keep loving Him and going His way even when things look scary or bad. It’s knowing that Jesus is God’s Son, that He loves and forgives us and wants to be our forever friend.
ASK: Who loves you? God loves me!
AND DO: I can trust God because I know He loves me.
FUN IDEA FOR THIS WEEK
- Pray about a problem with your child. Any time throughout the day, you can pray – when your child falls and scrapes a knee or elbow, when another child hurts their feelings. God wants to know what we are feeling, what we are afraid of, anything that concerns us.