WHAT DOES “HOPE” LOOK LIKE? – Introduction Lesson 2 – January 21 – 28

Who is your favorite character in the stories about Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends?  While most of us would likely name that friendly bear or Christopher Robin himself, there’s something about Eeyore that draws us to him, isn’t there?  Could it be that we identify with his outlook on life all too often?  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very optimistic and 10 being pessimistic, how would your family and friends rate your predominant disposition?  If #1 means you are cheerful, energized, and positive and 10 means you are grumpy, dissatisfied and often negative, how would you describe yourself?  Perhaps you should make a list of all the synonyms and antonyms which come to your mind to help you grasp what it looks like to be hope-filled person.  How does it manifest itself in your attitudes and the messages you preach to yourself?  How is it evident in your conversations, choices and actions?

As Paul wrote his letters to believers through a very wide geographical area, he wanted them to understand that God’s gifts of peace and joy, which come through trusting Him, will produce in you and me genuine and confident HOPE not only for eternity but for today.  In I Corinthians 13, he described 3 things which will last forever.   Do you remember what they are?   Faith, hope and love.  Why do you suppose hope is included with the obvious components of faith and love?  It has been said, “hope is the fuel which energizes our faith and our desire to love God and to love others.”  It’s one of the reasons we pray, we ask, we acknowledge our complete dependence on our Savior and Redeemer, our Almighty God.

Are you willing to acknowledge one area of your life where you feel discouraged, defeated, or hope-less?  Perhaps this is the day to let God reassure you of His greatness and His love for you and let the “God of Hope” fill those empty places in your heart with His joy and peace as you choose to trust in Him.  What do you think?

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