Why Hope?

Scriptures: 
1 Peter 1:3-5
Romans 5:1-11
Romans 12:12
Luke 1:18-25

It doesn’t take long to look around the world, into the present darkness and evil that surrounds us, and conclude that we have little reason to hope. We all experience pain and suffering. Peace and safety are hard to come by. Injustice, sorrow, sickness, poverty and violence are all alive and well.

But The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). When Jesus stepped onto the scene, hope was made possible. The advent of Christ ushers in hope.

When we trust the work of Christ on the Cross for salvation, we are saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8). Given that hope is faith in the future tense, we, as believers, have hope, we possess it and it is ours for the taking. It is at the root of our saving knowledge, understanding and belief in Christ. And if we believe that Christ bore the weight of our sin on the cross and defeated death in His resurrection, Peter says that we are born into a living hope, a hope in Jesus’ victory on our behalf, no matter the trials and tribulations of this world.

Having been justified, we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory, even in the midst of suffering. In fact, as believers, suffering produces hope, because we know that despite our present troubles, God’s love has been poured out on our behalf in Christ. As His followers, life will be difficult, but our hope is not at the mercy of our circumstances and our perspective is not limited to what is seen, but is wrapped up in the truth of the Gospel for all eternity. We have hope and can hope because it has been given to us in Christ.

Families With Young Children

KIDS, Looking around at the world today there is a lot of hurt, pain, and suffering. How do you think having hope helps with this? When our hope is in Jesus how do we get through suffering? What are some ways that you put your hope and trust in Him? How can we help others who are going through difficult times?  (encourage them to put their hope in Jesus)

Read Romans 5:1-5. KIDS, What is it that we can boast/ brag about? (our hope in the glory of God) In Jesus we have access to God's grace through our faith in Him and we stand at peace with God. What are some things you have been through or seen others go through that have caused suffering? What does suffering produce? (perseverance) What does perseverance produce? (character) What does character produce? (hope) What can we gain by going through times of suffering? (perseverance, character, and hope)

Read Luke 1:18-25. KIDS, After hearing the news that he was going to have a child even in his old age, how did Zechariah respond to the angel? (he questioned the news) What happened to Zechariah? (he was forced to be silent until the birth of the baby) Elizabeth was very thankful to God for giving her the opportunity to have a baby after she had waited for so long. Have you ever hoped for something for a long time? If so, what? How did that make you feel? Ask your parents what they've hoped for and how it made them feel.

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