PHOTO CAPTION: I can do this. I am strong. God is with me.
Before you can trust someone or something, you have to have some measure of belief in them, some level of confidence. If you’re not quite sure, then you will probably approach the situation with caution. For example, I would not trust my healthcare to someone who doesn’t have some education or expertise in that area. When I go to my doctor, I want to know that he is a doctor, that he has studied and has his degree so that he knows what he’s talking about. When I take my car into the shop, I hope that the mechanic is someone who has had some mechanical training. When I go to get my haircut, I want to know that my hairdresser is qualified. I trust these people because they have training in the area of their expertise. That brings me to the question, what do I believe about God? Do I really even know Him? Do I trust Him? What about you? Do you believe?
I believe because I learned about God as a child. That was the beginning of belief and trust for me, but I also believe because I have experienced Him and I have a relationship with Him. I have found Him to be faithful. I have read what it says in the Bible and found it to be true. I believe because He is who He says He is.
When I first came to believe and trust in God, I had to take a step of faith. Because of what others had said and because of what I had seen in my own young life, I decided to take that step of faith. There was still a lot I didn’t know about God, but I believed enough to know that I wanted to take that step. There is still a lot I don’t know about God. I am taking faith steps everyday and I have found Him to be faithful and true. Still I find myself floundering sometimes. I flounder because I don’t know exactly what God will do. I flounder because my situation, in the natural, may not look hopeful. I flounder because I wonder if God will answer me.
I may even flounder because of what someone else says that undermines my trust. I know God answers prayer. I’ve seen Him answer other’s prayers, but why should He answer mine? In spite of my floundering, I’m also learning to look beyond my doubts to simply take God at His Word and believe that He truly is who He says He is and He does love me. What do I believe about God? Do I believe He keeps His promises? What are those promises anyway? What do you believe about God? Do you know Him? Do you believe that His promises are for you?
Here are a few verses that resonate with me. Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “And I pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, (Isn’t God’s love the beginning of our faith?) 18 may have power, … to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you (Yes, you!) may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,” Do you believe you can be filled with the fullness of God? Do you believe His power is at work in you?
I believe that God made me and has a plan for me. He will fulfill the good work that He began in me. Do I know and believe that with a certainty? Do you believe that too?
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Notice it doesn’t say that everything that happens to us is good, but rather that God works for the good of those who love Him.
Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God keeps His promises. Nothing is impossible with Him. If I truly believe these things, then like Abraham, I will be willing to move when He says move and I will trust that He will fulfill what He is saying to me. God told Abraham that He would give him a son, Abraham believed and God did give him a son. What do you and I really believe? What is God birthing in your heart and my heart? If we really believe what God says, then it’s time we started acting like it. I’m ready; are you?
I do believe and trust in you, yet I don’t always act like it. It takes some pushing to get me to step out in faith when hard things come my way. I want to be bolder in my faith. I want to say a resounding, “Yes!” to the opportunities you bring my way and I want eyes to see those opportunities instead of ignoring them. Do I trust the promises you have given me or do I explain them away and question their validity? Thank you for your patience with me. You continue to work with me and push me gently out of my comfort zones. I know you will continue to lead and guide me as I look to you. Forgive me, Lord, when I become impatient or complain or doubt. Please finish the good work you began in me and my family. Teach us to be brave, bold and courageous as we walk with you. A pastor friend of mine once said that when God asks us to do something we should respond. “Yes Lord, I’m ready, now what is the question?” I want to be quick to respond to you, even before I know what you are asking me to do. Thank you for your promises. I know that nothing is impossible with you. Amen
RAISING CONFIDENT KIDS
- Confidence often comes from what we come to believe about ourselves, God and others. We can have confidence in God when we believe He is good, He loves us and is trustworthy.
- Acknowledge your child’s fears, but don’t let your him stay there. Encourage and help your child to face his fears. Let your child know that you believe he can do something new.
- Be confident yourself and willing to face your own fears.
- Let your child know it’s okay to try something new even if mistakes are made. It’s okay if a mess is made or if your child fails. You can both get up and try again.
- Encourage your child to do things for herself.
- Praise your child for his efforts and courage. “I’m so glad you tried to catch the ball. I’m very proud of you.” or “You showed a lot of courage when you helped that friend at school today.”
- Affirm your child’s confidence. Saying she is afraid can become a habit, if you buy into the fear and always try to come to her rescue. Instead, acknowledge that it’s okay to feel afraid, but you know she can do a hard task. Tell your child, “I know you can do this because you are brave and courageous.”
- Be proud of your child and his accomplishments.
- Remind your child that God is with Him. He made your child and He will give him the courage to face any fears that might come his way.
- Encourage your child to do things for herself.
STORY: Abraham Has A Son – Genesis 12:1-8
One day God visited Abraham when he was sitting by his tent. Abraham quickly fixed something for the Lord to eat. (Pretend to stir some food.) While they were eating, God said, “Next year you and Sarah will have a son.” (Pretend to rock a baby.) Sarah laughed. (Say, “Ha, ha, ha!”) She thought, “Abraham and I are much too old to have a baby.” But nothing is too hard for God. He can do anything! (Stretch arms outwards.)
Guess what happened the next year? Abraham and Sarah did have a baby boy just like God had promised. (Pretend to rock a baby.) Sarah laughed again. (Say, “Ha, ha, ha!”) This time she laughed because she was so happy! Abraham and Sarah named their baby boy, Isaac. They loved baby Isaac. They thanked God for their new baby. (Fold hands as though praying.) Abraham trusted that God would do what He promised. He trusted God to give them a son and God did. God always does what He says He will do even when it seems impossible.
Abraham trusted God and God did something amazing for Abraham. He gave him a son. But that’s not the end of the story, you can trust God too just like Abraham. God will keep His promises to you too, because He loves and cares for you. God had some amazing promises for Abraham, God has some promises for you too. He wants you to be part of His story. When you have something hard to do, you can talk to God and trust Him to help you. (Fold hands as though praying.) You can trust Him to do what He says He will do. You can trust God to help you. Nothing is impossible with God!
Thank you for loving and taking care of me. I love you too. I know that you can do anything. Help me remember to talk to you when I have hard things to do. Help me to trust that you will help me too. Thank you for keeping your promises. You are a good, good God. Amen
MEMORIZE: Proverbs 3:5 – (Hands like holding a book.)
Trust – (Make a fist & pull in.)
In the Lord – (Point upwards.)
With all – (Extend arms outward.)
Your heart – (Hands on heart.)
KNOW: God can do anything!
TALK ABOUT: God’s promises.
ASK: Who can do anything? God can do anything.
AND DO… Trust God to help me.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
- Thank God for your child and encourage your child to thank God too. Remind your child that they can ask God for help whenever they need it.
- Encourage your child when they are learning new tasks. Give them plenty of time to try to do new things on their own whenever you can. God will help them learn new things and He will help with things that seem impossible. God can do anything! He is the God of the impossible.
Trust – To know/believe that God does what He says. Depending on God & doing what He says because God keeps His promises..