When you were younger, what did you wish for when blowing out candles on your birthday cake?
Gene shared the story of Jesus and the Samaritan women from John 4:1 - 42. Share something from that story that was an encouragement to you.
1. a) Discuss your observations about the video.
b) Share some personal examples of things you might “hope” for during the day (for a parking space, to remember something, for your kids, etc.).
c) What is the distinction between hope and wishing? Is it important?
2. Have different people in your group read the following verses: Psalm 33:20-22; Lamentations 3:21-22; Psalm 130:5, Romans 15:4. What do these verses tell us about hope?
3. a) It’s very important where or to whom we look for hope. Read Isaiah 40:26-31. List all the reasons you find here to place your hope in God.
b) Now read verses 27-28 again, but in place of “Jacob” and “Israel,” say your own name. Does this help or change your understanding?
4. Read Ephesians 1:17-21. What is the real source of our hope, and why? How might this change your view of your day-to-day life?
5. Read John 16:33. What two things does Jesus assure us we will have in this life? What is his encouragement?
CHECK THE MIRRORS
1. Is there someone in your life who you see as living with this conviction of hope? What do you notice about their lives?
2. What are one or two things you could do differently this week when approaching challenges?
3. Share any specific challenges you are facing with the group. Then pray together – in faith and in hope.
[Optional Expanded Discussion]
1. Read 1 Thessalonians 1:3. Discuss the correlation between work/faith, labor/love, and endurance/hope. Compare/contrast with how people inside and outside the church view faith, love, and hope.
2. What might be possible if you prayed Ephesians 1:17-19 over your ministry or volunteer team? As you close in prayer, pray these verses over each other.