Lesson 6 – Intro – May 17 – May 24 Comforted by HOPE

            Comfort comes from many different sources, doesn’t it?  The smile of a child or a note from a friend.  An encouraging word from a stranger or the lyrics of a song.  The silent beauty of a flower or the pounding sound of the ocean waves.  The recollection of answered prayer or the assurance of God’s protection through a friend.  Ultimately, though, our greatest comfort and solace comes from promises that God has given to us through His Word.  These are promises that give us real hope, increase our faith, and assure us of His unfailing love for us.

            One of the main reasons that Peter wrote to believers who were scattered throughout the region was to give them a sense of hope, a deep and real assurance that what Jesus had done for them on the cross and through His resurrection and ascension was enough.  Now that they had a “living hope”, they could  focus on that hope and live a holy life because of their confidence in God.  As he concluded this letter to these friends, his words of reassurance must have been a real consolation to them: “In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.  So after you have suffered a little while He will restore, support and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.  All power to Him forever!” – I Peter 5: 10 – 11.

             Do the comforting words of Scripture, either spoken or sung, give you hope or does your hope in Christ bring you comfort?  Perhaps it depends upon the day and the circumstances.  We need them both, don’t we?  Then when we feel hopeful, we can join with the songwriter as she wrote more than 100 years ago, “Why should I feel discouraged?  Why should the shadows come?  Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home?  When Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is He.  His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.  I sing because I’m happy.  I sing because I’m free, for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”  Words of comfort and hope for you and me!

Summer Series – “Be Strong and Very Courageous” – begins Friday, June 14


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