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Trusting in God

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FAITH IS TRUSTING IN GOD 

Scripture: Luke 7:1–10; John 3:16; Romans 4:3–5, 5:1, 10:17; Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 11:1, 6

Memory verse: Hebrews 11:6
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Lead—In

Place a sturdy, reliable chair at the front of the room. Call for a volunteer to sit in the chair. Then proceed as follows.

“(Student’s name), I am surprised you came and simply sat in the chair. You did not check to see if the chair would hold you. Why did you not?”

The student will likely respond that he was sure the chair would hold him. Act as though this is quite interesting to you.

Then ask another student to turn off the lights in the classroom. Ask the class what they think will happen when he flips the light switch again. (The lights will come on.) Ask why they believe that.

Explain that there are many times in our lives when we expect certain things to happen because they have always (or almost always) happened before. We are usually not concerned about chairs collapsing or light switches not working. Instead, we are certain they will do what they are designed to do. We tend to not give these items a second thought, much less worry about them.

Stress that these are examples of faith. Although chairs and light switches have nothing to do with spiritual matters, the principle is the same. Faith involves placing our trust in something we can count on. If we are wise in placing our faith in what is trustworthy, we will not be disappointed. Tell the students they will learn today of One who is trustworthy.

Let us look closer at the word “faith” by answering three questions about it.

Faith Explained

  1. What is faith?

Ask: “How would you answer this question?” (Allow discussion.)

The dictionary defines faith as firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” Faith is believing something is true or reliable even though you cannot prove it. When something is proven, it becomes an obvious fact that cannot be denied. When we apply faith to spiritual things, we are saying that we have a firm belief that God will keep His Word, even though we do not see the answer immediately. We have this faith because God’s Word has never failed. Your faith is active when you believe God exists even though you have never seen Him.

Faith is also active when you believe God’s Word is true although you do not know personally the men through whom the Holy Spirit wrote. Faith is active when one knows Jesus died for them even though they did not see Him die. Faith is trusting God will take care of you even though you cannot prove it in advance.

(Ask a student to read Hebrews 11:1.) This is a definition of faith: Faith means being sure of the things we hope for. And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. We can be sure of all the promises of God’s Word, and that God has the power to do what He promised.

In addition to power, God has wisdom to know how to answer prayers. He can do what He says, but we must trust His wisdom to do what is best. For example, Philippians 4:19 does not mean that God guarantees a new keyboard to the faithful Christian. This means God guarantees to provide for the needs of the Christian. We cannot say God failed us and lose our faith in His care if we do not receive something we think we should have.

An Example of Faith

The Bible tells about a man whom Jesus said displayed a lot of faith. (Let the students find Luke 7:1–10 in their Bibles.) This man was a Roman army centurion. He had a servant who was very dear to him. The servant became very sick and the centurion feared he would die. Then the army centurion heard about Jesus and the miracles of healing He had performed. The centurion wanted his servant to be healed too. He believed Jesus could do it, but he felt unworthy to ask Jesus himself. So he sent some Jewish elders to ask Jesus if He would come and heal the servant.

Jesus went with the Jewish elders toward the centurion’s home. When they were almost there, the centurion sent some of his friends out to meet Jesus with a personal message.

“Do not come all the way to my house, Lord,” he said. “I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. But I know you can heal my servant if you just speak a word. You do not even need to come inside. I know what it is like to give commands. I have soldiers and servants under me. I just tell them what to do, and they do it. I know you can just say, “Be healed,” and my servant will be well.”

When Jesus heard this, He was amazed at the Roman centurion’s faith. Jesus told the crowd of people who were following Him that among all the Jews in Israel He had never met a man with faith like this centurion had.

The centurion’s friends went back to the officer’s house.

Ask: “When they got there, what did they find?” (Ask a student to read Luke 7:10.) The centurion’s servant was completely well!”

Before this day, the centurion apparently had never been near Jesus. He had only heard of Jesus’ wonderful works. But the centurion had faith. He knew if Jesus could heal others, He could heal his servant too.

That is what true faith is. It is to believe when you do not yet see the answer. Hearing about what God has done for others helps us to have faith in His power. That is why it is important to read God’s Word and to gather with other Christians and hear what God has done in their lives. These are ways our faith can grow.

Faith—a Needed Ingredient

  1. Why do we need faith?

Ask: “What if no one we know is sick, everyone we know is a Christian, and life is going exactly the way we want. Do we still need faith?” (Allow responses.)

It is unlikely that our lives will ever be absolutely problem-free. But even if they were, our memory verse this week tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. We need faith to believe God exists. We need faith to believe God will answer us if we seek Him. (Instruct the students to find Hebrews 11:6 in their Bibles. Say the memory verse together several times.)

We need faith in order to have our sins forgiven. (Ask a student to recite John 3:16.)

Ask: “What word in this verse means the same as faith?” (Allow responses.)

To have eternal life we must believe. Faith is to believe. Our faith in Jesus makes us able to receive His gift of salvation, because we believe He died for us personally and will forgive our sins.

Ask: “After we are saved, do we still need faith?” (Allow response.)

Yes, we do. Because we believe Jesus forgives our sins, faith gives us peace with God. (Ask a student to read Romans 5:1.) We need faith to live a Christian life each day. We are not able to live as we should if we rely on our strength alone. But when we trust God to direct us and show us what is right, we can live victoriously for Him. Without faith in God’s power to help us in the Christian walk, we are left to fight Satan alone. Faith, then, is something we must have in order to stay close to God.

Ask: “Did you ever put your faith in someone who let you down?” (Allow responses.)

This is one of the ways God is different from people. People can forget, change their minds, get angry, become lazy, or have any number of reasons why they might not keep their word or honour our faith and trust in them. People just are not perfect, but God is. God cannot make mistakes. God always tells the truth and always keeps His Word. We can have complete trust and confidence in God. Faith in Him is never wasted or misplaced.

Building Our Faith

  1. How do we get faith?

The answer is found in Romans 10:17. (Ask a student to read this verse.) Faith comes by hearing what God did for people in Bible days and hearing what God has promised to do for us. We will never know these things unless we study God’s Word every day.

Faith is a gift from God. Would you like to trust God more? Ask Him to help you. God loves to give this wonderful gift. (Read Romans 4:3–5.) Do you want God to see you as a righteous person as He did Abraham? Study God’s Word faithfully and let your faith grow. When you do, God will use you to share this faith with others.

Accepting God’s Word

Some people think they have to feel or see something before they can believe it. They are even this way about salvation. They think in order to be saved you must feel joyous and carefree. Unless they feel this way every day, they think something is wrong and begin to doubt their salvation. But that is not faith.

Ask: “What did Paul say about salvation?” (Ask a student to read Ephesians 2:8.)

Paul wanted the Ephesian Christians and all of us to realize that being saved is something we accept by faith. When we have asked forgiveness for our sins and invited Jesus to be our Saviour, we can know we are saved, whether we feel any different or not. When we live as God has told us in His Word, we can know we are pleasing Him, whether we feel happy and carefree, or whether we are having a problem.

Reaching North America

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for 147 Unreached Tribes of North America

1. American believers follow the example of Jesus,
2. May they give good teaching confirmed by supernatural miracles,
3. American believers by faith attempt great things for God.                                    

Prayer Promise

"Whoever believes in me (Jesus) will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these" (John 14:12).

Remember: FAITH IS TRUSTING IN GOD

Memory verse: Hebrews 11:6
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

1. I want to please God. I will walk by faith.
2. Faith is believing and accepting Jesus and the teaching of Scripture.
3. God is faithful. I choose to trust Him. His Word will guide me to victory.

Pray for 147 Unreached Tribes of North America.

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Study 10 | All the World/Great Teachings | africaatts.org/go-teach

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