A Lie From Our Kids’ Book to Laugh at:
God is Far Away
by Steve Backlund
with Brendon Russell, Janine Mason, Julie Heth, and Melissa Amato
Here’s a excerpt from our first kids book, Let’s Just Laugh at That for Kids, from the chapter “God is Far Away!” Whether you’re a kid, a kid at heart, or a parent, we pray meditating on this truth and dispelling the lie that God is distant and far away will bring you close to God who is so very near.
GOD IS FAR AWAY
You are having one of those days. You know which kind of day — ”a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” Everything feels bad, and all you need is someone to be your friend, to love you, and to tell you it is going to be okay. But today, to make things worse, no one is around, and you feel painfully alone. “At least Jesus loves me,” you think to yourself, and a warm feeling starts to touch your heart. Then an icy blast rushes through. “But He’s so far away,” you hear. Your head drops, and your heart begins to ice over. Then you think, “No. I’m not falling for that lie.” As you grab your Laugh-machine Gun, you shout aloud, “Your time is up, stinky lie! I’m going to demolish you!”
The Bible says that God will never fail you or abandon you (Deuteronomy 31:6,8; Joshua 1:5).
Do you know what never means? It means not ever. Not once. It’s not going to happen! That’s good news. It means that even when things are super tough, and it feels like God isn’t there, He is still by your side. He is closer than the air you breathe.
Psalm 139 is a great part of the Bible for when it feels like God isn’t near. It says that even if we were to try and hide from God, we couldn’t! He is always near, and His thoughts towards us are always good. If you need more proof that there is nothing that can keep God away from you, Romans 8:38 tells us that nothing can separate us from His love.
God is called many different names. Each of them teach us something about who He is. One of the names of God is Emmanuel, and it means God with us. It’s who He is and it doesn’t change. He is God with you.
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20
What Can I Say?
• God is with me all the time.
• Nothing can separate me from God and His love.
• God loves to be with me.
What Can I Do?
• Practice being aware of His presence –
We sometimes feel like God isn’t with us because we don’t believe He is. The more we believe He is with us, the more we will experience His presence and goodness. To remind yourself He is close, you can write a card that says, “God is with me” and put it in your pocket. You can also find something God created in nature to look at or hold. Choose something that reminds you of a promise God made to you. When you feel the card or the hold the object, you can remember He is with you.
• Grow an attitude of thankfulness –
Being thankful helps us think like Jesus. Thinking like Jesus builds our faith and draws us closer to God. You can always find things to be thankful for. As you begin to praise and thank God, you will find that you become more aware of how close He is.
• Build a friendship with God –
God is a good Father. He wants to be with you in every part of life — the good and the bad. Building a friendship with Him and talking to Him about everything makes it easier to know He is with you when things become difficult. Tell Him when you are happy and when you are sad, just like you do with other friends. Friendships take time to grow. Investing in your friendship with God will be the best thing you ever do.
Let’s Just Laugh At That For Kids
LJLAT For Kids takes the book, Let’s Just Laugh at That, and adds engaging stories, practical steps, and “laughter weapons” to teach children how to recognize and beat the lies the enemy tries to tell them. This is an interactive journey for adults and children to learn to “take every thought captive” to reinforce truth and hope in their lives. All the lie-defeating weapons of this book are laughter activated, because we believe laughing at what the enemy is saying and planning is key to helping us overcome the power of lies (Psalm 2:4).
Best for ages 6-10. Great as a devotional for parents, children, and groups!
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.