How Do We Live Out Hope?

Readings
Psalms 42:1-11
Psalms 43:1-5
1 Peter 3:13-17
Colossians 1:27
Luke 1:26-45

If we know that hope comes from God and that it is possessed by the believer upon salvation, why is it so difficult to live out? Why are so many of us, as Christians, hopeless?

As we take a closer look at hope, Scripture not only gives us the source of hope and the reason for hope’s inhabitance, but also the way in which we can abound in hope. Hope is made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). When we put our faith and trust in Christ for salvation, He graciously gives us His Spirit. His Spirit is Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). God has given us hope, but we must abide in Him and His Spirit in us, in order to experience and live out hope.

The beauty of the hope ushered in through Christ and made alive in us through His Spirit, is that it gives us the ability to have abiding hope, that transcends earthly circumstances and uncertainty. We begin to hope not for a certain result or outcome, but in the love of God displayed in Christ on the Cross. This makes our circumstances a wash, which can prove a powerful testimony for those that don’t know Christ. In fact, Peter foresees our hope as something that sets us apart, something that we should be ready to give a reason for in order to point others toward Christ (1 Peter 3:15).

So is it ok to hope circumstantially; for a new job? for a relationship to flourish? for a kid to do well in sports or in school? for a business deal to succeed? Yes. However, our hope is rooted in Christ, no matter and sometimes despite the eventual outcome.

Is the focus of your hope for something or in the person of Jesus? Who can you share that with today?

Families With Young Children

Read Colossians 1:27. KIDS, according to this verse what is the hope of glory? (Christ living inside of you) In order to receive His hope, we must have a personal relationship with Jesus. We cannot live out hope apart from Him. The great thing about hope in Christ is that even when your hope in other things falls through, your hope in Christ Jesus will remain. It is a constant type of hope that doesn't depend on your situation or circumstance. Let's say you have been hoping for something but you don't get it or it doesn't happen. You can still have hope because Jesus stays the same no matter what happens. How can your hope be in Jesus, instead of for something?

Read Luke 1:26-45. KIDS, What did the angel of the Lord tell Mary? (that God was very pleased with her and that she would have a child) Mary learned that her cousin, Elizabeth, was also expecting a child, even in her old age. Have you ever heard news that was shocking or hard to understand? How did you respond? How did Mary respond when she heard this surprising news? (she knew she was the Lord's servant) How was Mary's response to the angel different than Zechariah's response? (Mary believed and Zechariah doubted) What can you learn from Mary's response?

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