This is a free Bible lesson for children teaching them to recognize their fears and develop trust in God. It was first prepared for a Children’s Church setting, but would work well as a Sunday School lesson also. Through a study of multiple verses on fear and faith, students will answer honest questions about the subject. They will learn that they can trust God through a Bible lesson, a Trust Toss Game, and “The Lord is my Shield” Art Project.
Bible Story: “Fear Meets Faith”
Scripture: Multiple scriptures on fear and faith; focus on Psalm 28:7a
Target Age Group: 1st – 5th grade
Time: 45-60 Minutes
Learning Context: Children’s Church
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Supplies: Bibles, 5 index cards with statements/questions written (from the Bible lesson), Psalm 28:7a visible for students to see, a ball for tossing, example of a Coat of Arms, poster board templates of shields or multi-colored construction paper cut-outs of shields (one for each student), crayons or markers, optional sour patch kids and optional mirror for introduction
Introduction: How many of you are human here? Well if you are human (and I do believe all of you are), you are going to struggle with being afraid. You could be afraid of the dark, being alone, clowns, bugs, or the fear of something happening to someone you love. When I was younger, I used to be afraid of ___________. Share a story in which you were fearful as a child.
Did you know that there are hundreds of things to be afraid of? For example, some people have what is called Acerophobia, which is the fear of foods being sour. (Anyone up for a sour patch kid?) Others have Catoptrophobia, which is not the fear of cats, but the fear of mirrors. (Hold up a mirror and scream!) Still others are afraid of chopsticks, numbers, and certain fabrics. These may sound like silly fears to us, but to some people, these fears are real!
What are some other things people may be afraid of? (Invite student responses.)
God knew that we would be people who struggle with fear. He knew that in our world darkened by sin, there would be many things to be afraid of. If you search the Bible, the word “Fear” is mentioned 326 times. Over and over again, God says, “Do not be afraid.”
“Do not be afraid?” How is that even possible? Let’s investigate today.
Learning Activity #1: Fear Meets Faith Bible Lesson
Conduct a question and answer time with your students. Distribute the following 5 statements/questions on index cards for students to ask. If most of your students have a good familiarity with the Bible, conduct a sword drill to provide answers as a fun challenge.
1. Our world is full of fear. Why shouldn’t we be afraid? God says….
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
(God is with us no matter what fearful time we are going through.)
2. What if we don’t want to be afraid anymore. How can we stop?
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” – Isaiah 41:13
(He helps us. We can’t do it on our own. He gives us His Word to hide in our hearts when we are scared, His Holy Spirit to comfort us, grown-ups who follow Jesus to help us, prayer, and friendships. Make it clear to your students that you are always there to support them and help them get over a fear.)
3. What would happen if we don’t give our fears to God?
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15
(Fears tend to grow, sometimes out of control. The more you are afraid, the less you live the life that God has for you. Being afraid is like being in a prison, but God has set us free. As His children, we can trust Him because He is a good Dad.”
4. How can we trust Him? Will He really help us with our fears?
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18
(Jesus’ love for us is perfect. He showed us that by dying on the cross to rescue us from our sins. Perfect love is the only thing that can drive out all fear.)
5. What if we do learn to trust Him? What then?
“Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.” – Psalm 34:9
(If we trust God more than we fear the world, we show Him honor and love. This verse says that we will lack nothing. In other words, we will be given everything we need in Him. Wow! Now that’s a promise worth holding onto!)
Learning Activity #2: Trust Toss Game
Show the students Psalm 28:7a. Read the verse. Have them repeat it after you. Practice a couple of times, using motions. Post it up so that it is visible for the game.
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” – Psalm 28:7a
Have the students make a large circle of 6-8 students. The first student to receive the ball should say the verse and toss it to a friend. That friend will catch the ball, repeat the verse, and toss it to someone who hasn’t had it yet. Have them continuing tossing and repeating the verse until everyone has had a turn. Time them and see how quickly the Trust Toss can make its rounds. If time allows, play again and try to beat your time.
Learning Activity #3: “The Lord is my Shield” Coat of Arms Art Project
Since it is essential to know that Christ is our shield, have your students design a “Coat of Arms” that reflects His protection and their individuality.
Say, “In the Middle Ages, way back in the 12th century, soldiers could not tell each other apart because they were wearing so much armor! As a result, they started painting their own shields. Painted on the soldiers’ shields, were things that were important to them.
If truthfulness was important, they colored their shield blue. If peace was important, they used white. Animals also symbolized character traits. A lion stood for courage, a bee stood for hard working, and an eagle stood for leadership. Other symbols such as crosses, fire, hearts, stars, and suns were also used on the coats of arms.
We learned today that our Lord is our strength and our shield. When we trust in Him, we are helped. If you think about it, shields are only needed for battle, wars, and enemies. God never said that things in our lives would be easy. But He did say that He would never leave us alone, He would fight for us, and He would protect us as a shield so that we are helped.
Today each of you is going to make your own coat of arms. Most importantly, I want your shield to remind you that you do not have to be afraid. You could write a verse from today on your shield. Hiding God’s Word in our hearts will help us when we need it most. You could draw a cross, a heart full of trust, or God’s hand helping you stand.
But I also want your shields to tell something about you! What is important to you? Family? Friendships? Ballet? Football? Reading? Playing an instrument? Church? Draw symbols on your coat of arms that describe who you are.
1. Show students your Coat of Arms example. Have them try to guess what is important to you by your drawings.
2. Have your students trace a template of a coat of arms onto construction paper. (Or have pre-cut shields ready.)
3. Encourage them to illustrate how God helps us through our fears.
4. Have them draw pictures that represent their unique personalities.