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Lesson 8: Revelation of Hope *

Introduction: Hope. It helps you get up in the morning, right? In our sinful world, the Bible gives us hope. It gives us hope of a better world and a better life. Is there more to hope than that? Is there a "hope" element for life right now, right here? Let's jump into our lesson and find out more!

  1. Hope in History

    1. Read Romans 15:1-3. What obligation do the strong have towards the weak?

      1. Can you give me an example of this?

    2. Read Romans 15:4. Who is the strongest "person" you know? (God!)

      1. What hope do these texts give us about our weaknesses? (When we are strong we are to help others because of the example of Jesus. But, more fundamentally, this teaches us God's attitude of being strong for us. He believes the strong should "bear with" the failings of the weak, and that is His attitude towards us! That gives us hope in our weakness.)

        1. On what can we base this conclusion - on just what Paul has written here? (Paul directs us to the Bible. Over and over again we see the heroes of the Bible show weaknesses. God works with them through those weaknesses. That gives us hope.)

  2. Hope in Forgiveness

    1. Read 1 John 1:8-10. How many are without sin? (None!)

      1. How does sin make you feel? (Sin has stages. At first we enjoy it. (Why would we sin if we did not like it?) Later, we see the harm it does, we realize that it displeases God, and guilt sets in. Most likely sin does not end up the way we thought it would and we end up feeling rotten.)

      2. Will God forgive us from our sins? (This text says He will.)

        1. Is it hard to accept that we are forgiven? (It makes me so grateful. And, yes, if the sin is serious enough, it is hard sometimes to truly accept forgiveness.)

      3. The text says God is "faithful and just" to forgive us. What is "just" about God's forgiveness? It seems very "unjust" that Jesus suffered and died for my sins instead of me! (This word "just" connotes God's righteousness. God is faithful to His nature of helping us - the weak - by dying for our sins.)

      4. What is God's goal for us? (To "purify" us from our sins.)

        1. Is that also your goal? (We have hope in the fact of forgiveness and the prospect of living a more holy life.)

  3. Hope in the Gift of Wisdom

    1. Read Proverbs 24:13-14. Thought I would also include the verse that says sweetness is good for you! What is like honey for the soul? (Wisdom.)

      1. Why is wisdom so good for us? (It gives us hope. It makes life sweeter.)

      2. Is the converse true, that if you have no hope you are not wise?

    2. Read Proverbs 24:15-16. Why do you think the text mentions the righteous man falls "seven times?" (Seven is the perfect number. It seems to me this is a perfect calamity - a complete disaster.)

      1. Why does the righteous man rise again? (I think this is a continuation of the discussion about hope. A righteous man rises after a perfect calamity because he has hope. A wise man believes in God and trusts in Him. That gives him the ability to move forward after disaster. He is not alone.)

  4. Hope in Trouble

    1. Read Psalms 33:16-17. Does this sound right to you? This seems just the opposite of what we observe.

      1. Read Psalms 33:18-22. What is God's point? (The horse was the cutting edge military weapon. Warriors on these huge beasts (which moved with great speed and had big teeth)were a frightening sight to troops who had not seen them before. God tells us that vast armies and the most advanced weapons are no match for those whose hope is in God.)

        1. Is God's message of hope only about giving us eternal life? (Look again at Psalms 33:19. It tells us that God keeps us alive in famine.)

        2. Look again at Psalms 33:18. Do you want God watching over you?

          1. What is the basis for our hope? (God's "unfailing love!")

    2. Read Psalms 37:25-26. Have you seen the children of righteous people begging for bread?

      1. Are these two verses connected? Or, does God have a separate message for us in each verse? (God seems to say that those who are righteous are generous and lend freely. A person who is generous to others will never be short of food.)

        1. Why are the children of the righteous mentioned? (It could be that wealth is passed on. Or, that people remember the generosity of the parents and are willing to help their children.)

        2. Recall we just learned that God watches over us with His "unfailing love." The generosity of the righteous parents reflects that love to others.

    3. Read Matthew 6:19-21. This is a text which is commonly read, but I'm not sure it is commonly understood. We are told to make our financial deposits in heaven's bank. I don't see those on any corner. How, precisely, would you make such a deposit? (This text is consistent with Psalms 37:26. Righteous people are generous and lend freely. These are deposits in heaven's bank.)

      1. Do you seek out ways to make deposits in heaven's bank?

    4. Read Matthew 6:24. Is Jesus still talking about making deposits in heaven's bank? If so, what additional message is Jesus' giving us? (If you are devoted to increasing your wealth, that is inconsistent with an attitude of generosity.)

    5. Read Matthew 6:25-27. Why do these verses start out with "therefore?" (They follow the statements about money that Jesus previously made.)

      1. Is Jesus saying "Don't worry, laying down and sleeping some more is fine?" (No. Jesus is saying that putting the Kingdom of Heaven first, making deposits in the heavenly bank, will allow you to make heavenly bank "withdrawals" here.)

      2. Read Matthew 6:33. Does this text make "money" sense to you now?

      3. What has this to do with hope? (You deposit your money in your heavenly account because of your hope and trust in God's financial system.)

  5. Hope Eternal

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 15:50. Will our assets here transfer to heaven? (Humans and their stuff do not transfer to heaven.)

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 15:51-55. How do we transfer to heaven?

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 15:57-58. Who gives us the victory? (Jesus.)

      1. What are we doing in the meantime?

      2. Do you see the "deposit in the heavenly bank" theme repeated here? (Being fully devoted to the work of the Lord is not a wasted effort. God gives us the victory, but He expects us to be helping in the effort.)

    4. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13. What does Paul want to give us? (Hope.)

    5. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18. On what do we base our hope of eternal life? (The words and resurrection of Jesus!)

    1. Friend, God's word gives us hope. He gives us hope in our daily spiritual life. He gives us hope in our daily physical life. He gives us hope for life eternal. Will you join those who live in hope?

  1. Next week: The Bible and Health.

* Copr. 2007, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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