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?

      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

        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

  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

        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

        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

    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

    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

    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?

      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

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

    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.