What are some adjectives you use to describe God? Words like loving, compassionate, powerful, and sovereign are probably somewhere on your list. But how often do you describe God as joyful? God doesn’t just tell us to “be full of joy in the Lord” like our memory verse says this month. He IS joy Himself. The word more commonly used in scripture is “delight.” From Genesis 1, when He created things and called them “good,” to the celebration in heaven at the end of Revelation 21, we see the Lord delighting in His children, those who follow His word and seek after Him with all their hearts. God is joyful and He wants to share that joy with us!
MEMORY VERSE: “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 (NLT)
As a part of His big rescue plan, God chose a very ordinary couple to become the parents of an extraordinary family. Abraham and Sarah had done nothing to deserve it, but God made them some amazing promises. He promised land, a big family, and that their family would bless the whole world. However, Abraham and Sarah saw one big problem. They didn’t have kids and were too old to become parents. Thankfully, our God is the God of the impossible and we can trust Him to always keep His promises. When Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90, God finally gave them a son and told them to name him Isaac, which means laughter. God, once again, proved He was trustworthy, and Abraham and Sarah got to share in God’s joy. This small family of Abraham and Sarah’s grew and grew. The most amazing thing is that for all of us who trust Christ as our Savior, we are a part of their family too! (Galatians 3:8-9, 14) We are part of the joy that God shares with the whole world.
Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
While at dinner this week have everyone in your family answer the question, “What is joy?” Pay attention to what they say and ask how they came to that conclusion. Teach them through our definition of joy, which is: Delighting in God in all circumstances. Explain to them that joy is not something that we can produce ourselves, but it is actually a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. So, really, it is the God-given ability to delight in Him in all of life’s circumstances – praising Him for the good times and remembering He is still with us in the hard. God’s children can delight in Him and His trustworthiness, remembering He is sovereign and sees the good and the bad and doesn’t waste one second of any of it. So, we hold onto God’s promises now, looking forward to our hope to come when we get to be with Him forever where sin is once and for all done away with!
This week we are specifically teaching on how we can have joy because God is trustworthy. While driving, play the game "Count Your Blessings" with your family. The game is simply to see how many “blessings” your family can bring to mind together. Tell your kids that there are double points if they can think of blessings that have come from God being trustworthy and keeping His word. The goal is to come up with 50 or more!
Re-visit the Drive Time activity and spend time in prayer thanking God for the many blessings He’s given you. If your family is going through a difficult circumstance, spend time asking God to remind you of His character and His ultimate plan of victory for His children when Jesus returns, and ask Him to strengthen your heart and produce joy that comes from trusting in Him.
Practice the memory verse together!
"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 (NLT)
Write it on flash cards to send with your kids throughout the week and month. To make it fun you can also allow your kids to write it on their bathroom mirrors with a glass crayon or dry erase marker!
Pray and ask God to help you trust Him and have joy in all circumstances!
Next week we will get to learn that because Jesus is alive, we can have joy!