RECEIVING CHRIST'S HOPE

RECEIVING CHRIST'S HOPE

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Overview

RECEIVING CHRIST'S HOPE by Sarah Young

After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior’s voice and listen for what He was saying to her. The result was Jesus Calling, a collection of personal reflections based on Jesus’ own words of hope, guidance, and peace found in the Scriptures. Through these messages, countless people have been encouraged to experience a deeper relationship with the Lord as they also learn to listen for His voice in the pages of the Bible.

In Receiving Christ’s Hope, the third study in theJesus Calling Bible Study Series, you will explore the promises God makes to you in His Word about finding your shelter and security in Him. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (John 14:27). As you allow God’s love to seep into the inner recesses of your being, put aside your own plans, and let the light of His presence fill your mind, you will experience His perfect peace that “transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Each of the Jesus Calling Bible Studies include devotional readings from Jesus Calling, selected passages of Scripture for reflection, Bible Study questions, and additional questions and activities to help you apply and live out the material during the week. This study can be used for personal reflection and Bible study or in a small-group setting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718035891
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 07/28/2015
Series: Jesus Calling Bible Studies Series
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 472,806
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Sarah Young, the author of the bestselling 365-day devotionals Jesus Always and Jesus Calling®, has sold more than 25 million books worldwide. Jesus Calling® has appeared on all major bestseller lists. Sarah's writings include Jesus Calling®, Jesus Today™, Jesus Lives™, Dear Jesus, Jesus Calling® for Little Ones, Jesus Calling® Bible Storybook, Jesus Calling®: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence, each encouraging readers in their journeys toward intimacy with Christ. Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years. They currently live in the United States.



Karen Lee-Thorp was a senior editor at NavPress for many years and series editor for the LifeChange Bible study series. She is now a freelance writer living in Brea, California, with her husband, Greg Herr, and their daughters, Megan and Marissa.

Read an Excerpt

Receiving Christ's Hope


By Sarah Young, Karen Lee-Thorp

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2015 Sarah Young
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7180-3589-1



CHAPTER 1

SESSION 1

Our Hope Is Future-Directed


Consider It

Have you heard of the Slow Food movement? Slow Fooders believe good food is worth waiting for. Founded in 1986 as an alternative to fast food, the movement encourages people to cook more traditional fare that takes time and isn't made in a factory.

Slow Food goes against the grain of our microwave culture. We like instant food and instant messages. We hate to wait. This is what often makes hope hard for us, because hope is about waiting. If we hope for something, we are longing for what we don't yet have. Nobody hopes for what they already have.

Biblical hope is a bit different from the way we use hope in everyday conversation. In ordinary talk you might say, "I hope you feel better," or, "I hope I'll have a better job someday," or, "I haven't given up hope for my football team, even though they've lost three games." In these instances hope means a wish; something we want to happen but don't necessarily have confidence about. Or it means positive thinking, with the idea that thinking alone can make something happen.

When the biblical writers use the word, however, they mean something different. They're talking about something they long for and are solidly confident of getting. It's not just positive thinking. It's confidence. Yet even though biblical hope is confident waiting, it's still waiting. And we don't like that.

In this first session, we'll dive into biblical hope and consider whether the hope offered in the Bible is genuinely worth waiting for.

1. Name three things you long for but don't yet have. How confident are you of getting those things? Why? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Experience It

"Softly I announce My Presence. Shimmering hues of radiance tap gently at your consciousness, seeking entrance. Though I have all Power in heaven and on earth, I am infinitely tender with you. The weaker you are, the more gently I approach you. Let your weakness be a door to My Presence. Whenever you feel inadequate, remember that I am your ever-present Help. Hope in Me, and you will be protected from depression and self-pity. Hope is like a golden cord connecting you to heaven. The more you cling to this cord, the more I bear the weight of your burdens; thus, you are lightened. Heaviness is not of My kingdom. Cling to hope, and My rays of Light will reach you through the darkness."

—From Jesus Calling, January 8

2. What do you think it means to say that hope is "like a golden cord connecting you to heaven"? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


3. What are the benefits of placing your hope in God? What has been your experience of these benefits, or how would you like to experience them? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


"Waiting, trusting, and hoping are intricately connected, like golden strands interwoven to form a strong chain. Trusting is the central strand, because it is the response from My children that I desire the most. Waiting and hoping embellish the central strand and strengthen the chain that connects you to Me. Waiting for Me to work, with your eyes on Me, is evidence that you really do trust Me. If you mouth the words 'I trust You' while anxiously trying to make things go your way, your words ring hollow. Hoping is future-directed, connecting you to your inheritance in heaven. However, the benefits of hope fall fully on you in the present. Because you are Mine, you don't just pass time in your waiting. You can wait expectantly, in hopeful trust. Keep your 'antennae' out to pick up even the faintest glimmer of My Presence."

—From Jesus Calling, March 12


4. How does hope connect you to your inheritance in heaven? Why is it important to attach your hopes to that inheritance rather than to things on earth? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


5. What are the present benefits of future-directed hope? How would you like to experience those benefits more fully? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Study It

Read aloud the following passage from Romans 8:18–25. In these verses, the apostle Paul encourages his readers to persevere in living their faith in spite of the sufferings of this life.


I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.


6. The apostle Paul says the creation itself "waits in eager expectation" for something. What is the creation waiting for? In what sense have the children of God not yet been "revealed"? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


7. What are some ways in which the creation is currently in "bondage to decay"? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


8. Paul says we "groan inwardly" as we wait eagerly for "the redemption of our bodies." What will the redemption of our bodies be? What will it be like to have a redeemed body? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


9. Paul says "hope that is seen is no hope at all." What does that mean to you? How does it help you understand what hope is? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


10. Read the passage aloud again. Take two minutes of silence to reread the passage, looking for a sentence, phrase, or even one word that stands out as something Jesus wants you to hear. Ask Him to help you hear Him. If you're meeting with a group, the leader will keep track of time. At the end of two minutes, you may share with the group the word or phrase that came to you in the silence. __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


11. Read the passage aloud again. Take two minutes of silence, asking Jesus what He is saying to you through the word or phrase you selected and whether He would like you to do anything in response. If you're meeting with a group, the leader will again keep track of time. At the end of two minutes, you may share with the group what came to you in the silence if you wish. __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


12. What was it like for you to sit in silence with the passage? Did soaking in the passage like this help you take it in better than before? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


13. If you're meeting with a group, how can the members pray for you? If you're using this study on your own, what would you like to say to God right now? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Live It

At the end of each session you'll find suggested Scripture readings for spending time alone with God during five days of the coming week. Each day of this week's readings will deal with the theme of waiting in hope. Read each passage slowly, pausing to think about what is being said. Rather than approaching this as an assignment to complete, think of it as an opportunity to meet with a Person. Use any of the questions that are helpful.


Day 1

Read Romans 8:26–27. What help do we get from the Holy Spirit during this time of hopeful waiting? Why is this helpful? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Do you ever have "wordless groans" when you pray? Explain. __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


How does the Holy Spirit's activity help you wait with patience? How hard is it for you currently to wait with patience? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Express your hope and your need to the Holy Spirit in a prayer.


Day 2

Read Romans 8:28–30. What do Paul's words in this passage add to your understanding of what you are waiting for? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


What does it mean to be "conformed to the image of his [God's] Son"? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


How does being conformed to the image of Christ help you wait with patience and hope? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Are there any things in your life that cause you to question whether God is working in them for your good? If so, talk with Him about those things. Ask Him to confidently and patiently strengthen your hope as He conforms you to the image of His Son.


Day 3

Read Lamentations 3:19–23. What affliction do you remember? Is your soul ever downcast because of it? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Why does the author of this passage say he has hope despite his bitter memories? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Do his words give you hope? Why or why not? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Think of some examples of how the Lord's compassions are new every morning. Take some time to be honest with Him about your memories and to thank Him for today's compassions.


Day 4

Read Lamentations 3:24–29. What does it mean to say the Lord is your portion? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Is that an abundant portion or a meager portion? Why? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Do you believe the Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him? What evidence do you have? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


What does it mean to "bear the yoke" (verse 27)? How can the author say that is a good thing when it's so difficult? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Do you trust the Lord enough to sit in silence with a heavy weight on your shoulders if He has put it there? Talk with Him about this.


Day 5

Read Lamentations 3:30–33. What reasons for hope does the author offer? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


What does "unfailing love" mean? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


How has the Lord treated you with unfailing love? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Does it help you to know the Lord doesn't willingly (with pleasure) bring affliction on anyone? If He doesn't enjoy it and has the power to prevent it, why does He bring it? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Ask God to strengthen you to endure with patience whatever affliction you have. Also ask Him to help you have hope in His unfailing love.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Receiving Christ's Hope by Sarah Young, Karen Lee-Thorp. Copyright © 2015 Sarah Young. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Session 1 Our Hope is Future-Directed Romans 8:18-25 1

Session 2 Our Hope is in God's Presence Revelation 4:2-11; 5:11-14 15

Session 3 Our Hope is in God's Abundance Isaiah 25:6-9 31

Session 4 Our Hope is in God's Eternal Promises Revelation 21:1-5, 9-12, 18-27 47

Session 5 Our Hope is in the Earth's Transformation Isaiah 35:1-2, 5-20 63

Session 6 Our Hope is in the Resurrection 1 Corinthians 15:35, 42-44, 50-54 77

Session 7 Our Hope Grows in Perseverance Romans 5:1-5 91

Session 8 Our Hope Leads to Strength Isaiah 40:27-31 103

Leader's Notes 115

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