Faith, Hope and Love: Part 2 - Go in Hope
This Sunday, Steph Littlejohn brings us the latest of our short video talks. Once you have watched the video, we encourage you to reflect on the bible text and join us in the prayer that follows below.
To listen to the talk click here.
Steph talked about the importance of hope.
When we lose hope, we can slip into depression and despair.
Hope is “a confident feeling about what will happen in the future."
If we are to have hope, it can’t be based solely on faith in ourselves and our abilities, or things and people around us.
Isaiah chapter 40: verses 28 – 31 (NIV)
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Our hope is inextricably linked to our faith – that is, our “hope in the Lord”.
When we lose hope it can drain our energy.
Proverbs chapter 13, verse 12 (NIV)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
Isaiah chapter 42, verse 3 (NIV)
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
God promises that we will not be broken or snuffed out. He wants to encourage us at these times. The only thing that can give us that confident hope, is God.
Psalm chapter 33, verse 18 (NIV)
The eyes are on of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.
A few weeks ago, we filmed ourselves holding candles. They are symbols of hope: Light in the darkness. We need to be people of hope not just for ourselves but for others.
William Brodrick wrote this:
“We have to be candles,
burning between hope and despair,
Faith and doubt,
Life and death.
All the opposites.
That is the disquieting place
where people must always find us.
And if our life means anything,
If what we are goes beyond the monastery walls, and does some good,
it is that somehow by being there,
we help the world cope”
If, as Simon said last week, we are to be a people of faith, we have the wonderful gift of hope that is rooted in God’s great love for us!
Prayer & Reflection
A Prayer for Hope
God of hope help me to find hope in you despite my circumstances and my feelings.
I want to be a person who puts all my trust and hope in you, because you love me.
Develop and grow that trust in me dear Lord.
I want to be unshakeable and resilient, rooted in your unfailing love.
Spirit of God reveal afresh your unfailing love for me
So that I can stand firm and be a beacon of hope for others, standing between hope and despair, Faith and doubt.
Spirit of God fill me with your fire.
Today I declare that hope is in me because you are in me. AMEN
Questions to Consider
1. What are the chief things that you base your hopes on? Be honest!
2. Can you think of examples in your own life when you have been physically impacted when your hopes have been dashed? What helped to change this?
3. How do we know that we can trust God?
4. Psalm chapter 33, verse 18 tells us of one aspect of God’s character that we can we base our hope in? What does this phrase “unfailing love” mean? List some other reasons to trust God.
5. At this moment in time are you able to be a candle of hope?
If so, who is it that you able to bring hope to? How are you able to do this?
6. If you feel in need of a candle of hope, who is it that you can reach out to, to support and encourage you?
Romans chapter 15, verse 13 (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Can you find the words Faith, Hope and Love in this word search?
This is a clue… they are connected!
How many other words can you find?
Can you beat my score of 45?
I am sure you can.
Stay safe, stay well, stay connected!