Lamentations 3:19-24 (NLT) The thought of my suffering and homeless-ness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
Romans 7:18-19 (NLT) …I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
James 4:8 (NLT) Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Philippians 2:13 (NIV) For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Proverbs 14:9 (NIV) Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.
Psalm 31:24 (NIV) Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
Psalm 27:3 (NLT) Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
James 1:22 (TEV) Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his work; instead, put it into practice.
John 11:40-44 (ESV) Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So, they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
Romans 15:13 (TEV) May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Before hearing today’s message, what were your ideas about recovery? Did any of that change for you? How do you see recovery now?
How would you describe what it means to have sense of everlasting hope versus hoping for certain outcomes in life or hoping for things to work out the way you’d like?
Which of the scriptures from this message hit home the most for you? Why do you think that is?
Read Romans 7:18-19 again. Share with your group what this looks like in your life. What does the Apostle Paul mean when he talks about his ‘sinful nature’?
Be honest with yourself and your group. Have there been areas of your life where you’ve tried to operate under your own power? Areas in which, as the CS Lewis quote stated, you have not had the ‘capacity to receive’?
James 1:22 says this about God’s word: Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. What is the best way to do this? How will you do this?
Set aside some time this week for some interactive play with your family. Find an activity that encourages conversation, something the whole family can participate in. Listen for clues about what your family members look forward to or “hope” for. Enjoy your time together and take note of how you, as a parent, can help steer your children toward a sense of everlasting hope when life disappoints them.
Elementary parents, today our bottom line is trusting God gives you the courage to do BIG things. We learned we can trust God to give us the courage we need to do whatever he’s asking us to do. Ask your kids: who had to trust God in order to accomplish a big thing? (Gideon) What did he do? He defeated an army of more than 120,000 with only 300 men. Gideon didn’t think he could accomplish what God said he should do. And he was right. On his own, he could not. But, with God’s help he did. We can trust God and know he is with us just as Gideon did.
It is clear from Mike’s direct style that he is an unapologetic, but loving, truth-teller who uses his own life experiences to show others that life is not meant to be lived on your own, but with a Savior and a community.