Tis the Season: Expectations & Hope

 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness   from that time on and forever.                           Isaiah 9:6-7

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.             John 1:9-14

                                                                             

Soak and Share

Soak and Share is a way for you to take Sunday’s teaching to the next level and challenges you to soak in (reflect on) the teachings and share them with others.

 The Soak & Share for this week is to make time for the Word, reflect and pray. It is designed to stimulate conversation and improve your reflective time. You can use this to reflect individually or for group discussions.

READ & REFLECT    Psalm 130

  • The psalm begins with a cry to the Lord from “out of the depths”. What pictures come to mind as you read this phrase?
  • How can guilt lead to hopelessness?
  • Verses 3 and 4 tell us that God forgives. How does the promise of forgiveness contribute to hope?
  • Verse 5 says, “I wait,… my soul waits.” What is the relationship between waiting and hope?
  • What area of life is it difficult for you to be hopeful about?
  • What reasons do you have for hoping in the Lord?

READ & REFLECT     Lamentations 3: 19-24

  • Share with your group how your life has been touched by tragedy. Did you respond in hope, despair or a mixture of both?Read Psalm 86:15, Zephaniah 3: 17 and Ephesians 2: 4-5 and discuss what these verses teach us about God’s love. How does our understanding of God’s love help form the basis for hope even in the midst of difficult times? Is it possible to have hope separate from God’s love? Why or why not?
  • What does Romans 15:13 teach us that hope produces? Why are these things important to us as we deal with tragedy in our lives or even everyday circumstances? Share with your group how you have seen hope change you or your perspective on something difficult.
  • In this passage in Lamentations 3, Jeremiah tells the people that understanding was not enough because they also needed a resolve to hope in the Lord. How is that resolve present or missing in your own life? What is one thing you can do to strengthen the resolve to hope in God regardless of circumstances? Read Psalm 71:5 and Psalm 33:20-21. Pray together as a group using these verses to ask God to help you hope in Him.

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