Perhaps now more than ever, we feel the pressing reality that we cannot anticipate what a year might bring. Life throws us what we never expect, and holds back what we often anticipate and plan for. Thankfully, in God’s Word, we find truth and assurance for the unpredictable nature of our lives. Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” While God calls us to make wise plans, He also promises His faithfulness through every shaky, uncertain, or surprising step. May we empower our kids to walk in bold faith and in the security of a God who is always a step ahead of us.
It’s easy for kids to hear the Biblical instruction to “be strong and courageous,” but unfortunately, stop there. Taken at face value or without context, we’re left to our own devices and striving. Quickly we come up short and exhausted, trying to muster up our own boldness and strength. Yet with a command, God always equips us. God points us not to our limited reservoir of power, but rather to His limitless supply. Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might,” and in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
If our kids feel weak, timid, or powerless, we can assure them that as we trust God, the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work within our hearts and lives! Let’s pray Ephesians 1:18-20 over our kids:
When the world feels shaky and circumstances erratic, our kids can feel a lack of security and purpose. Yet throughout history, God has demonstrated a consistent, concise, and dependable plan for our lives. When sin broke this world, and each time humanity has gotten into trouble, God has made a way for us. He desires us to be in a close relationship with Him and enjoy His presence and peace in our lives. His plans never fail, and He has a good purpose for each of our kids!
Jeremiah 29:11 offers this assurance: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Whenever our children grapple with fear or experience disaster, we can point them to a God of unmatched goodness and steadfast hope. We can encourage our kids that God is constantly at work in our hearts and minds. As we hide His Word in our hearts and embrace the work He’s doing inside us, we will walk in those good plans. We can live in the confidence of Philippians 1:6 and know that God does not give up on His work: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
We can place our hope in these promises of courage, strength, and God’s good plans because He is constantly watching over us. If our children feel unseen or unimportant, we can empower them with the truth of God’s ever-faithful presence. Nothing in our lives goes unnoticed by Him. In our mistakes and weakness, He brings grace. In our loneliness, He provides comfort and love. In our sadness, He offers joy and hope. In our fear, He meets us with peace and power. Even in our sleep, God never looks away, as Psalm 3:5 promises, “I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me.”
Not only does God watch over the details of our lives, but He is for us! He desires victory, peace, and success as we pursue His plans for us. We can encourage our kids to memorize and recite Psalm 118:6, “The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear…” God is on our side, and He wants to equip and empower us with His peace, power, and protection.