"Why?” This is one of our favorite questions. It’s a question we learn to ask shortly after we’ve learned to talk. Why is the sky blue? Why does grass grow? Why do I have to take out the trash? As we get older, things happen in our lives that we don’t understand so we look to God and ask, “Why?” Why did that person have to get sick? Why am I still waiting? Why did you answer that prayer but not this one? Sometimes God, in His kindness, answers our questions. Other times, also in His kindness, He does not. Whether or not we understand the “why,” we can have faith that God is good, He loves us, and He always keeps His promises.
MEMORY VERSE: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
What? Did the angel really say that? Did he really say that plain, little, unmarried Mary was going to have a baby and that blue collar, hardworking Joseph was going to be the earthly father of the Messiah? Remember, God isn’t looking for the most impressive, popular, or rich people to do His work. God doesn’t always make sense. Actually, God rarely makes sense when you look at what He does through the world’s perspective. God’s choice of Joseph and Mary to raise Jesus really wasn’t too unusual when you look at who He’d used in the past to be a part of His plan. God knew exactly what He was doing even when no one else did. Joseph and Mary knew the stories we read in today in the Old Testament. They knew that God could be trusted, was good, and would always keep His promises. They knew God was faithful, so they had faith in Him even when they didn’t understand.
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This year Watermark has put together a family advent guide. Inside this guide there is a daily passage of scripture to read, a devotional, and some discussion questions to talk about with your family. The goal of this is to prepare you and your family's hearts for the Christmas season and to focus your minds on the true meaning of Christmas. Take time at dinner each day to walk through the devotional for the day.
While you're driving with your family in the car, play some Christmas carols and sing along. Ask them to listen for what the composer of the song wanted to tell you about Christmas. Were there any promises that God kept in the song? Was there a specific part of the Christmas story it told? Was there something it told you about God or faith? For older kids, challenge them to find verses in the bible that support what the song is saying. “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” is a good one to start with as it is full of God’s promises.
In the evening, ask your kids about something hard that may be going on in their lives right now. Is it at school, home, with friends? Do they have questions that they wish God would answer? Talk to them about some of the questions you might have or something hard in your life. Remind your kids that even when something seems confusing or you don’t understand, God is still in control. He may not always answer our questions like we wish He would, but we can have faith that He is good, trustworthy and loves us more than we know. Then pray together, giving your concerns to God and thanking Him for how He can be trusted.
As you are getting your family ready for the day, ask your kids what is one thing they have to trust God for that day. Take time to pray for each other to have faith in each of these circumstances. Be sure to ask your kids about whatever they shared when they get home to see how God answered your prayers.
Pray and thank God that you can always have faith in Him, even when you don't understand, because He is good, trustworthy, and loving.
Next week we will learn why we can trust God and go where He leads us!
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