God’s Plans Are Good – Children’s SS Lesson

Raise your hand if you’ve ever gone to a party. What kinds of things did you do at the party? Touch your nose if you had cake. Touch your ears if you played games. Touch your head if your friend opened presents. Put your hands on your hips if the party lasted six months! slide It probably didn’t last six months, did it? The Bible tells us about a party that lasted six whole months. What a party!
King Ahasuerus (ah-has-you-EH-rus) was king of the Persian Empire—one of the largest empires in the world. He and his beautiful queen, Vashti (VASH-tie), lived in a grand palace in the capital city of Shushan (SHOO-shan).
After King Ahasuerus had been king for three years, he decided to have a celebration for his princes and other leaders who worked for him. For six months he showed them his riches—gold, silver, precious jewels, and other expensive items—to impress them. Then at the end of the six months the king had another party that lasted for seven days. Everyone in Shushan was invited. Some of them were probably Israelites. The Israelites, also known as the Jews, were God’s chosen people. They were in Shushan far from their home in Israel because many of them had turned away from God to worship idols (false gods). God had allowed Israel’s enemies to capture them and take them away from their homes. The people of Israel had sinned against God.
You also sin against God by turning from His way and going your own way. You were born wanting to do wrong things like getting angry and pouting when you can’t have your own way or disobeying your parents and teachers. God says, (read Romans 6:23). The punishment you deserve for your sin is death— separation from God forever—because He is holy (without sin). But God, who created you, also loves you! He sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus, to take the punishment for your sin and mine. As God had planned, His perfect Son bled and died for you. (Read 1 John 1:7b.) It is through Jesus’ death that our sins are forgiven. Jesus willingly took your place when He gave His life’s blood so you could be made clean from your sin. Jesus was buried, but on the third day He came alive from the dead! He is alive in Heaven today, ruling as Lord over all. Because of what Jesus did, you can have your sin forgiven. You sin against God by turning from God’s way.
The people of Israel had sinned against God. Because they turned away from Him and worshipped idols, God allowed their enemies to capture them and take them to Persia. Many of them lived and worked in Shushan. Now all the men in Shushan were enjoying a grand banquet with the king. Queen Vashti and the women were also having their own party in another part of the palace.  Then on the seventh day the king had an idea—he would show off his beautiful queen! “Bring Vashti to me!” the king commanded
How do you think the queen felt when she heard the king’s command? 
The queen refused. The king’s servants returned and told Ahasuerus that Queen Vashti refused to come. The king was furious!
The king gathered his most trusted advisors and asked them, “What should I do about the queen because she has disobeyed?” His advisors suggested that he make a new law, banishing Queen Vashti forever. A law in Persia could never be changed—not even by the king. King Ahasuerus liked the idea and sent messengers all over the empire to tell about the new law. People all over the kingdom must have been surprised to hear that Vashti would no longer be queen.
After a few years, the king wasn’t angry at Vashti anymore and wished he hadn’t banished her. The king’s advisors told him it was time to find a new queen. “Let the most beautiful, unmarried, young women from throughout the kingdom be brought to the palace,” they said, “and let the king choose the one that pleases him. She will be queen instead of Vashti.” The king liked this idea. He told his officers to find the most beautiful women and bring them to the palace.
Esther was a beautiful, young woman who lived in Shushan. She lived with her older cousin Mordecai, who had raised her since her parents had died when she was a little girl. Esther was one of the beautiful, unmarried women who was taken to the palace. Before she was taken to the palace, Mordecai told Esther not to tell anyone she was Jewish. What a big change for Esther! We don’t know if she was excited or afraid. How would you feel if you were Esther? 
Why did God allow this to happen in her life? What was God doing?
Maybe sometimes you wonder what God is doing in your life. Many changes can happen in families—a parent might lose a job, a grandparent may die, or a brother or sister may become very sick. You don’t understand what God is doing or why He allows these things to happen. But if you have believed on Jesus as Savior, God wants you to trust His plans are best. (Read Isaiah 55:8.) You can never know all that God knows. God’s thoughts and plans are great because God is great. Let’s consider why God is so great. God is sovereign—He is in control of all things. He is all-powerful—He created the whole world, including you! He knows everything and nothing surprises Him. He knows about lost jobs, sickness, and even death. God knows what is happening to you and your family. God is love and He cares about what you think and how you feel. He wants to help you.
 “God’s plans are good!” God wants you to trust His plans are best even when you don’t understand what is happening. Sometimes things happen in life that don’t make sense. That’s what happened to Esther. She didn’t know why God was allowing this to happen.
After months of preparation, she would meet the king. If he chose her, she would remain in the palace as the queen. If he did not choose her, she would go to live in a different part of the palace with the rest of the women the king did not choose. She would live there the rest of her life, never to return home, get married, or have a family of her own. This was probably all very scary to Esther. She must have wondered what would happen to her. God’s plan seemed hard to understand. But God knew what was happening to Esther and His plans for her were best. God caused the king’s servant to like Esther best of all. He gave her the best of everything! For a whole year the servants prepared Esther and the other women by softening their skin with sweet-smelling lotions and oils, perfuming their hair, dressing them in beautiful robes, and giving them sparkling jewels to wear. Esther had never been treated like this before! She remembered her promise to Mordecai. (Read Esther 2:10-11.) Esther had kept it a secret that she was a Jew. Because Mordecai was one of the king’s servants, he was able to visit the palace every day and find out how Esther was doing. Although Esther didn’t understand all that was happening, God provided others near her to encourage her. Esther waited and wondered as one by one the women went to King Ahasuerus. Finally it was Esther’s turn. Although Esther was probably nervous and maybe even afraid as she went to meet the king, she could trust God’s plans are best.
If you have believed on Jesus as your Savior, God wants you to trust His plans are best. You may never understand why God lets hard things happen in your life. When your mom or dad lose their job, your grandparent dies, or your brother or sister become very sick, you can trust God.
He is sovereign, all-powerful, and all-knowing. God’s thoughts and plans for you may not make sense at the time. But because He loves you and cares about what you are feeling, you can trust His plans are good and right.
Say with me, “God’s plans are good!” (Say with children.) Whenever you don’t understand what God is doing, remember to say and pray. Say Proverbs 3:5. (Quote Proverbs 3:5 with children.) And pray to God. Thank Him that He loves you and knows all about what is happening to you, and ask Him to help. You can also talk to an adult you trust. Sometimes God uses other people to help us when hard things happen. God wants you to trust His plans are best, even when you don’t understand.
Although Esther was probably nervous and afraid as she went to meet the king, she could trust that God’s plans are best. She went to the king and the Bible says he loved Esther more than all the others!
The king chose Esther to be the new queen!
He placed the sparkling crown on her head. She was now Queen Esther! King Ahasuerus invited his officials and servants to a banquet in Esther’s honor. God planned for the king to choose Esther as queen. This amazing true story of God’s sovereignty and love is not over yet! Actually, the book of Esther is the only book in the whole Bible (hold up Bible) that doesn’t even mention God’s name!
But as we learn more about Esther, we will see God’s sovereignty—His control over everything that happened. God was working out His plan, but at this point in our story Esther did not know what would happen next.
You cannot know what will happen next in your life, but you can trust God no matter what. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus as your Savior, God wants you to trust His plans are best.
Whenever you don’t understand what God is doing, remember to say and pray. Say Proverbs 3:5. And pray to God. Thank Him that He loves you and knows all about what is happening to you and ask Him to help. Remember you can talk to an adult you trust about any hard thing you are going through. God can use them to help. When you get home, draw a picture of a hard thing you’re facing. After you draw the picture, tell God what you drew and thank Him that you can trust Him. Every time you think of the hard situation you drew, say this week’s memory verse and pray to God. Thank Him that He loves you and knows all about what you drew, and ask Him to help. Will you remember to trust God’s plans are best?

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Proverbs 3:5
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