God’s promises in Scripture can bring us hope and comfort even when we are discouraged or cannot see past our hopeless situations.
Read each passage of Scripture; taking time to answer the following questions for each Scripture read:
- What does this passage of scripture say about God?
- What does this passage of scripture say about humanity?
- What does this passage of scripture say about the relationship between God and humanity?
Scripture One – Revelation 22: 1-5 (CEB)
Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life, which produces twelve crops of fruit, bearing its fruit each month. The tree’s leaves are for the healing of the nations.There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.Night will be no more. They won’t need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine on them, and they will rule forever and always.
Scripture Two – 1 Peter 3:15 (CEB)
Instead, regard Christ the Lord as holy in your hearts. Whenever anyone asks you to speak of your hope, be ready to defend it.
- Chris quotes Peter Berger who said that transcendence is, “…phenomena that are to be found within the domain of our ‘natural’ reality but that appear to point beyond that reality and toward a new reality.” How would you describe transcendence? Do you think a new reality is possible?
- Chris defines Christian hope as, “a confident expectation that what God began to do in Jesus Christ will one day be made complete or made whole.” What do you think God began to do in Jesus Christ?
- What do you think Chris means when he says that, “Jesus has given us a picture of the new future and this new future is the only thing that really matters?” Why does hope matter for the Christian?
- What do you think it means when, according to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Christians “must accept infinite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope?”
- In what ways do you look forward to experiencing a Revelation 21 and Revelation 22 future?
- According to I Peter 3:15, we must be ready to explain or defend our hope. In what ways might you explain the hope that you live with?
- What is the best way to live with confident expectations?
Hopelessness is the inability to envision or imagine a better future. We go to scripture, studying it, to better understand God’s vision for a better future. This allows us to imagine the world as God desires it so that we may in turn model it in our own lives.
- Read Revelation 21 and 22 this week and ask yourself, in what ways do you look forward to experiencing a Revelation 21 and Revelation 22 future? Consider how you can model this future in your life now?
- Begin every day this week by praying the first part of Psalm 40:1: "I put all my hope in the Lord." (CEB)