Materials: Bible, paper, pencil, markers, or crayons

Preparation: Make two signs.  One sign should say “Good Times” and the other “Bad Times.” Attach the signs to opposite walls.

Presentation: Say:, Everyone goes through situations in their lives that are good. Everyone also goes through situations in their lives that are bad. Let’s play a game to see if you can tell the difference between a good time and a bad time. Explain to the children that you are going to read some short stories to them. If the story talks about a good time, they should run to the “Good Time” sign. If the story talks about a bad time, they should run to the “Bad Time” sign.

    • Sarah was playing in her yard and another girl, a bully, came and pushed her so hard that Sarah fell and broke her arm.
    • Elizabeth received a good grade on her math test.
    • Caleb’s dad got a new job and the family is moving to a new town.  Caleb is worried that he won’t have any friends.
    • John is scared of the dark. He wants all of the lights on at night.
    • A new family just moved into the house next to George.  They have a boy his age, and they have already played today. George is so thankful for a new friend.
    • Maria’s best friend is very sick. They can’t play together, and Maria is worried about her friend.

Say: It can be hard to trust God when we are going through bad times, but the Bible tells us that we can trust God at ALL times.

Invite your child into a time of worship, you might sing familiar songs of praise or use your own CD, album, or media player. A number of worship songs are available through online sources like Youtube and can be played through your computer, tablet, or mobile device. The following songs might be familiar and correspond with this weeks lesson:

Materials: Poster board, markers or crayons, glass, water, bowl

Preparation: Write Psalm 62:8 on a piece of poster board.  

Write the words “worry,” “fear,” “sadness,” and “trust” on separate pieces of paper. Fill a glass with water.

Explanation: Say,  We have spent several weeks taking about trusting God.  We know that we can trust God at all times. Underline that part of the verse.  It is easy to trust God during good times, but how do you trust God during bad times?  This second part of this verse gives us a clue.  It says to pour out your hearts to him. Show children a glass of water and begin to pour it into a bowl or onto the ground.   When I pour the water out of this glass, what is left inside? Allow children to answer.  There is nothing left.  This glass is like your heart.   When you are facing a bad time, your heart is probably full of worry, fear, and sadness. Place the pieces of paper with those words written on them into the glass.  God wants you to pour out these things to Him. Pour the papers out of the glass. You pour out these things by praying.  When you pray and give them to God, He takes your worries, fear, and sadness away and fills you with trust. Place the trust paper inside the empty glass.  In lesson 6 we learned that a refuge is a place or person you go to when you are facing a bad time.  This verse reminds us that God is our refuge; we can pray to him; and He will fill us with trust.

Memorization Activity: Ask children help you make up motions for the Bible verse.  Practice saying it aloud and with the motions. Do this several times until children have learned the verse. 

Materials: Paper, markers or crayons, Bible

Preparation: Read and study Genesis 37, 39-46.

Draw pictures of each good and bad time that Joseph experienced.  Attach them to the wall as you tell the story.  Place the good times at the top of the wall and the bad times at the bottom of the wall.  The pictures should show a pattern of good and bad times in Joseph’s life when he trusted in God.

Presentation: Say: There was a man in the Bible that had to learn to trust God during good times and bad times.  His story starts with a good time.

Good Time:  Joseph was the favorite son of his father Jacob. His father gave him a beautiful new coat and loved him very much. BUT

Bad Time: Joseph’s brothers were jealous, so they sold time as a slave.  The people who bought Joseph took him to Egypt, far away from his father. BUT

Good Time: God was with Joseph and allowed him to work in the home of Potiphar, a rich man.  Potiphar came to trust Joseph and put Joseph in charge of Potiphar’s entire house. Joseph was happy and safe. BUT

Bad Time: Potiphar’s wife told lies to Potiphar about Joseph.  Potiphar believed his wife and had Joseph thrown in jail. 

Good Time: Again, Joseph did not understand what was happening in his life, but he trusted God.  God allowed the prison guard to see that Joseph was a good man, so the guard put Joseph in charge of the prison.  Even though he was in prison, Joseph was treated well.

Bad Time: While in prison, Joseph met the king’s cupbearer and baker.  Both of these men had dreams and Joseph interpreted the dreams for them.  Through the dreams, Joseph knew that the cupbearer would be released from prison.  He asked the cupbearer to talk to the king about releasing Joseph from prison.  But when the cupbearer was released from prison, he forgot about Joseph.  Joseph was in prison for two more years.

Good Time: Finally, the cupbearer remembered Joseph when the king had two dreams no one could interpret. Joseph was brought from the prison to appear before the king.  God told Joseph that the king’s dreams meant that Egypt was about to have seven good years of crops and then seven years of famine.  The king was grateful that Joseph understood his dream.  He put Joseph in charge of preparing Egypt for the seven years of famine. The king made Joseph the second most important man in Egypt.  Joseph helped the people save enough food during the seven good years of crops that everyone in Egypt had enough to eat during the seven years of famine. And the best part is that during the famine, Joseph was reunited with his father and forgave his brothers.

Even though Joseph did not understand why the bad things happened in his life, Joseph trusted God.  God used the bad things to put Joseph in a place to save his family and all of Egypt from starving.    

Materials: Paper, markers or crayons

Preparation: Draw lines on a piece of paper to divide it into three sections. Write the words “yes,” “no,” and “wait” at the top of the sections.  Prepare one paper for each child.

Presentation: Say: When you ask your parents for a snack, what are some answers they might give you? Allow children to respond.  They should mention parents saying yes, no, or wait.  Your parents hear your request, but they don’t always say yes or give you what you want.  You might even not understand why your parents said no, and you get upset with them.  They will probably respond that they know what is best for you and you just have to trust them.

It is the same way with God. When we pour out our hearts to God in prayer during bad times, we can be certain that God hears our prayers.  But He doesn’t always say yes. Sometimes God says no. Sometimes God says wait.

Give each child a prepared sheet of paper.  Ask them to write or draw prayers that they have prayed where God has answered yes, no, or wait. If this is too difficult for children to do individually, you might do this as a group activity with a large piece of paper or poster board.

Materials: 3 Biblespaper, pencils, paper from the application activity

Preparation: Write out the following Bible verse references on separate sheets of paper. Each verse lists one or two characteristics of God.  The characteristics are listed for the teacher’s reference.
Daniel 2:20 (wise and powerful)
Jeremiah 31:3 (loving and kind)
Psalm 73:1 (good)

*If Bibles are not available, write the entire verse on the pieces of paper.  

Presentation: Say, One of the hardest things we will ever do as Christians is to trust God when bad things happen or when God says “no” or “wait” when we pray.   How do we know we can trust

God during these times? Allow children to answer.  Let’s look at what the Bible says to help us answer this question.  Divide children into three groups.  Give each group a prepared piece of paper. Ask the group to read the verse and find one or two words that describe God.  When finished, ask each group to share their words with you. Write them on a large piece of paper. (Answers are listed in the preparation section.)

Do you think you can trust someone who is wise, powerful, loving, kind and good?  Allow children to answer.  Because the Bible tells us that God is all of those things, we know we can trust Him.  Even when bad things happen or we don’t understand why God says no to some of our prayers, we can trust Him because we know He is all of these things. We can trust God at ALL times.

Invite children to place their hands on the “no” column of their paper and say, “I will trust You, God, even when You say no because you are wise and powerful.” Then have them place their hand on the “wait” column and say, “I will trust You, God, even when you say wait because you are loving and kind.”  Pray with the children asking God to help them trust at ALL times.