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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 12/10/15

Christmas Giftings: Hope

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STORY: The Gift of Hope

This Christmas season I’m grateful for the gift of hope. What life is worth living without it? Hope keeps me going when no other motivator will. Hope illuminates even the darkest of days with glimmers of possibility. Hope tells me there is another day ahead—a better day. Hope whispers “it’s okay” when my heart is heavy. Hope screams out “enjoy life!” no matter what the circumstances tell me.

– I have an unwavering hope of eternal life. That’s stability.

– I have hope of a life filled with purpose. That’s responsibility.

– I have a hope of fulfilling relationships. That’s accountability.

Hope fills my life with beauty. It tells me I will have my needs provided, alleviating worry. It comforts my soul with peace when the world tells me all is lost. Hope is not dead. Hope is alive and well.

The best thing of all: there is always enough hope to go around. Never a shortage. To create more, share your hope with someone who feels hopeless. Some say, “Hope floats.” I’m not sure what that means, but I do know one thing—hope multiplies.

Hope is made possible because of the very one we celebrate this Christmas season. Hope in Him and He will never disappoint.

Let in hope and fears subside. Give away hope and you give the best gift.

To have this gift, you must embrace it. A beautiful gift-wrapped package of hope sits at your feet. Untie the ribbons. Rip off the paper. Open the box!

STUDY: Hope is Available Today

The thing I like about hope is, that it’s bigger than my own limitations. Why? Because it’s from a God with no limitations.

Doubt and Discouragement calls for Hope

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:11 NLT)

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” (Psalm 94:19 NLT)

  How can hope help you when you’re discouraged and sad?

  How does hope motivate you to praise God over and over again?

The Source of Hope

“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.” (Jeremiah 17:7 NLT).

“You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.” (Psalm 119:114 NLT)

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NLT)

• How might believers be blessed because they trust in the Lord?

• How can you make the Lord your hope and confidence?

• What is the source of hope?

• Who is the source of hope?

• When will you overflow with confident hope? How?

Hope helps the Wait

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” (Psalm 62:5 NLT)

• None of us like the word “wait.” And few like to be told to “be quiet.” But when we have h____ in God, we can wait quietly before Him.

• How can hoping in God help you wait quietly?

God is Trustworthy

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:23 NLT)

• Why can you trust in God?

• How does trusting in God help you hope?

• What does it mean to hold tightly without wavering? What do you think happens when you can handle your hope that way?

STEPS: Try Hope on for Size

The best way to be filled with hope is to learn how to place your hope in the right place. God’s Spirit has enough power to make it happen in your life when you feel completely hopeless. God is both the originator of your hope and the fulfillment of your hope.

1. Put your hope in God by trusting Him to take care of you despite the discouraging news you’ve received recently. Evaluate what takes up your time and thoughts. It could be you are placing your hope in that for your happiness. Trade your empty hope, which is little more than wishing, for the deep hope of God.

2. Look for hope in Scripture. Don’t just read the Bible to get in your obligation as a good Christian for the day. Read it until you find words of hope to cling to as your safe place.

3. Let your overflowing hope splash on someone else. Often the best expression of hope is when others experience your joy and peace and want what you have. It is when you see your hope reflected in the eyes of others that you can be confident that your hope is effective, enough to get you through the day.

4. Focus on hope while you wait for that answer to prayer. The holding pattern won’t seem nearly as impossible to endure. Think of why you can trust God while you wait.

5. Learn how to hold tightly to hope by not allowing fears to cancel out your hope. Don’t let doubt cause your hope to waver. Practice biblical self-talk to shoo away the fears.

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