Introduction: Last week we looked at the central role that Jesus
plays in our hopes for the future. Hope looks to the future, but
lives in the “now.” How can our hope in Jesus help us today? This
week? This month? How will hope in Jesus help us to cope with the
stresses of today? That is part of our study this week. Let’s jump
into God’s Word and find the answers to these questions!
- Practical Living – Trusting in “No?”
- Read 1 Timothy 4:1-3. Why would Satan inspire people to
teach that certain activities are sinful when they are
- Let’s use the two examples given to Timothy. Someone
tells you that it is better to remain single so that
you can work more fully for God (see 1 Corinthians
7:1). Would it seem this advice came from Satan?
- What if someone told you not to eat certain food?
Would this advice appear to come from God or Satan?
- Don’t we assume that if someone tells us NOT to do
something, that originates with God?
- Where is the sin in that – according to our text
in Timothy? (Paul points out two problems here.
First, the people teaching us to refrain, do not
refrain themselves. They are liars, hypocrites
and have no properly working conscience.
Second, God gives us good things. It is itself a
sin to say that something God gave us to enjoy
- Read 1 Timothy 4:9-10. What other reason does Paul give
Timothy for not always assuming that “NO” comes from God?
(The most important point, according to Paul, is that we
trust in Jesus instead of our ability to “say no.”)
- How about your church? Do you teach people to trust
in “NO” more than to trust in Jesus?
- Read 1 Timothy 4:11-12. Wouldn’t you expect a young person
to say “Trust in Jesus more than “NO?”
- Does verse 12 moderate that advice?
- If so, how? (Paul gives Timothy the instruction
that his life is to be an example to the
believers. Our lives are to reflect our belief
and trust in Jesus. Paul does not suggest that
we forget obedience or our daily walk in God’s
- Practical Living – Hope for the Heart
- Read John 14:1-3. What does it mean to have a “troubled
- What kind of trouble for the heart is Jesus
- What does the context suggest? (It seems to be
heart trouble arising over a lack of trust.)
- What does getting a room ready for you have to do
with trusting Jesus? (Our worries are generally over
what is happening here. Jesus suggests we look at the
“big picture” – that everything here is going to burn
and we will be heading to heaven.)
- What would you think if someone you met mentioned
that the President of the United States had invited
him to come stay in the White House? (You would
conclude that they were friends or that he was a big
contributor to the President’s election campaign.)
- Just because Jesus prepares a room for you, why
should you conclude He will come back to get you? (He
is not going to waste His time. He says I’m preparing
a place because you are my friend and I intend to
come get you.)
- Does this promise calm your heart troubles?
- Read John 14:4-5. Thomas needs directions. Do you know the
way to heaven? Or, like Thomas, are you uncertain?
- Why would you need to know directions if Jesus is
coming to get you?
- Read John 14:6. What is the way to heaven? What is the
basis for our hope of eternal life? (Thomas misunderstood
Jesus. He thought Jesus was speaking of geographical
directions. Jesus was giving spiritual directions to
heaven. There is no other way to heaven but through Jesus.
That is the only direction we need to know. He promised to
come and get us and that gives us hope!)
- What impact does that hope have on your daily living?
- Practical Living – Hope Through Groaning
- Read Romans 8:22-23. If you are groaning about something,
what are you feeling?
- What kind of a mood does groaning suggest?
- Is the groaning described in v. 22 different than the
groaning described in v. 23? (Yes. Verse 22 tells us
the entire creation is in pain. Verse 23 talks about
Christians groaning for another reason.)
- Why is the Christian both groaning and eager at
the same time. How can that be? (We are groaning
because we are anxious to “get it over” and have
Jesus take us home with Him.)
- Read Romans 8:24-25. Do you find that you are “wishing
your life away?” Do you look forward to the future instead
of looking to the present?
- Is your main “wishing” that the weekend would come
- What wishing does Romans suggest? (Verse 24 says
people do not wish for what they already have. They
wish for what they do not have.)
- Don’t we already have redemption? Our redemption
as God’s children? Why would we hope for that?
- How does groaning help in our redemption? (It
makes you realize that you want to be somewhere
else. You are not satisfied with your current
- Let’s back up a few verses and look at the source of the
problem. Read Romans 8:18. What does it mean that our
“sufferings are not worth comparing?” Why not compare
where your life is now with where it will be through faith
in Jesus? (Romans is simply telling us that whatever our
current problems may be, they are nothing compared to how
glorious our future will be. You would never say, “Well,
I guess this suffering was worth it, maybe.”)
- When we discussed the difference between the groaning
of the creation in Romans 8:22 and the groaning of
the Christian in Romans 8:23, we decided they were
groaning for different reasons. Does Romans 8:18
suggest this is not completely true? (Yes. Romans
8:18 suggests that Christians will have real
- Read Romans 8:19-21. What is the hope of the entire world?
- What cycle do we want to break out of? (The cycle of
bondage and decay. Instead of things getting worse,
instead of things going wrong, instead of us being
limited, God promises us freedom and a world where
things do not naturally get worse.)
- Practical Living – When Kingdoms Fall
- Read Daniel 2:44. In the time of what kings? (The earlier
verses recount Daniel’s explanation of the dream of the
great image. This dream is an account of the succession of
future kingdoms on the earth.)
- What time does the rock appear? (If you compare
Daniel 2:34 with Daniel 2:44 you will see the rock
hits during the time of the “feet.” This is during
the last years of earth’s history.)
- When Daniel says in v.44 that the kingdom will never
be destroyed or “left to other people” what is being
- What, especially, would be meant by a kingdom
being left to others? (The promise is that at
the end of earth’s history, God will destroy the
kingdoms of the earth and set up His heavenly
kingdom that we never be defeated by another
power. We do not have to worry about either
destruction or exile. It was when you were
conquered and exiled that your “stuff” was left
to other people. This is not a worry for us.)
- Friend, our hope in Jesus is a hope for a better future –
a future in God’s heavenly kingdom. Looking forward to a
better world helps us to be able to cope with today’s
- Next Week: The Hope of Our Hope