Holding onto Hope Bible Study

Here are the Bible passages we will consider today in our online Bible study. You are welcome to join us for this live Zoom video conference call at 9:15 AM today (March 29, 2020)  https://us04web.zoom.us/j/784014271

Click here for a PDF version of this Bible Study

Hope is one of the “Big Three”

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

– 1 Corinthians 13:13

Questions to ponder:
Am I living in faith, hope, and love during these difficult times?
Which is most important to me? 

Hope is closely related to “waiting” and trust.

Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

– Isaiah 40:28-31

Questions to ponder:
Am I willing to wait for God during these difficult times?
How does trusting God help me to face these challenges?
What am I hoping for?

Christian Hope is secured by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The outcome of your faith is the salvation of your souls.

– 1 Peter 1:3-9

Questions to ponder:
Is Jesus’ resurrection front and center in my Christian faith and life, or simply a nice sentiment?
Is Easter more about Jesus’ resurrection or about bunnies, Easter eggs, and chocolate rabbits?

Survivors hold onto hope even as they face the brutal facts: The Stockdale Paradox

Examples

 

The Lord has made me chew on gravel.
    He has rolled me in the dust.
17 Peace has been stripped away,
    and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
    Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”

19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness
    is bitter beyond words.
20 I will never forget this awful time,
    as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”

25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
    to those who search for him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly
    for salvation from the Lord.
27 And it is good for people to submit at an early age
    to the yoke of his discipline:

28 Let them sit alone in silence
    beneath the Lord’s demands.
29 Let them lie face down in the dust,
    for there may be hope at last.
30 Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them
    and accept the insults of their enemies.
31 For no one is abandoned
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion
    because of the greatness of his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.

– Lamentations 3:16-33

Questions to ponder:
Which is more challenging for me: holding onto hope, or facing the brutal facts?
How am I balancing these two tensions?

Hope is a forward-looking, fear-assuaging, Spirit-inspired outlook on life now and into eternity.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

– Romans 8:15-25

A question to ponder:
How patiently and confidently am I waiting for the Great Last Day?

Habits of Hopefulness

  • Hold
  • On
  • Pray
  • Expectantly

Habits of Hopefulness

  • Healthy Habits
  • Observe what you observe
  • Patience toward yourself and others
  • Exercise appropriate rhythms

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