Building Hope

by Brian Kim, Parent & Family Support Coordinator

Yesterday, Dave Lomas taught on doubt and moving to hope. This is such an important principle to teach our children. However, most of our children do not doubt in the way that we as adults do. Due to their youth, most of their doubt is simply because they have not had opportunity to learn or experience.

The doubt that children have is usually one that asks “Please show me” or “Teach me”. The example of Thomas we studied in John 20:24-28 reveals a similar ask from him: he wanted to see Jesus for himself. We build hope in our children by teaching them about God’s character and, even better, leading them to a real encounter with Him.

This week, we have two devotionals for you, but we also encourage you to be intentional to teach your children more about God’s character by reading stories from the Bible and sharing from your own faith journey.

Devotion 1: Taste and see

Get a handful of things to taste and eat together but keep them hidden from your children. Some ideas are grapes, apples, a sip of milk, nuts, rice, bread, cereal or oranges. Save something sweet and delicious for the end, we suggest some honey. If your children are old enough, see if they can pick a few things as well to keep hidden from you.

Let your children know you are playing a little game of guess the food. Have them close their eyes and try one of the food items and then see if they can guess what it is. If they have prepared their own foods, let them give you something to try!

Keep trying foods until you are done. Have some fun talking about what was your favorite food to eat and how it felt to have to eat something mysterious. Were you worried it might be something that you might not like?

Read Psalm 34:8 together and wonder about this together: What does it mean that we should taste and see that God is good? What does this show us about God? I think it’s like this: We have one final food to taste and I promise it is sweet and good, do you believe me? Are you willing to taste and see if it is good?

Do one final tasting and give your children the honey (or other tasty item). While you enjoy it together, take some time to praise God for who He is!

Devotion 2: Hope Forts

Psalm 147:11 says “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. Those things were written so that we could have hope. That hope comes from the patience and encouragement that the Scriptures give us.” (Easy to Read version)

Psalm 25:5 says “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long”

We can hope in God when we remember who He is and what He has done. Get some items to build a fort (blankets, chairs, pillows, etc) and as you build each piece, recount some stories of God’s faithfulness: How he gave Abraham a son, how He brought Israel out of Egypt and parted the Red Sea, the way God gave David victory over Goliath, brought the walls of Jericho down without any fighting, how He protected Daniel in the lion’s den.

Alternatively, you can use some blocks to build a fort for this activity and remember the ways that God has been faithful to His people over the years as you build.

Pray together at the end that God would continue to show us His faithfulness that we may continue to put our hope in Him because He can be trusted.