Experiencing Hope, Part 1

During this tumultuous time in our world, the best thing we can do is to not lose hope! But it’s so easy to drop the ball, isn’t it? I have been doing pretty good with it until yesterday. I realized that if someone dies, family and friends can’t come together to celebrate them. This is heartbreaking. I talked with my sister-in-law to see how my brother and her are doing. My brother is 73 with health issues. This virus could do him in. I have other siblings who are over 70 too. This is very real.

I have been blessed with 7 siblings. This photo was taken 20 years ago.
I can’t get over how everyone has aged. Not me though! 🙂 Cherish every moment.
My mom and one of my brothers are already up with Jesus.

My dad is too but he was already gone when this photo was taken.

My daughter started her first big-girl job on Monday. Yesterday, she was told she is being put on furlough until this pandemic ceases. They said she has a job when this settles down. We are thankful that she lives at home and has no responsibilities at this time. She can wait it out. This isn’t the case for so many others. This virus is wreaking havoc everywhere!

Prayer. Thank God we have this in our arsenal. Prayer is what leverages us up to the Rock of our salvation. Mighty things happen when many of us pray and as we stand together on the Rock. God will move on our behalf. I know He does. I have seen it.

What’s another thing we can do to help us stay hopeful? Study God’s Word. Now, more than ever, we need to fill our minds and hearts with God’s truths. Truth is another weapon in our arsenal. We’ve been studying who Jesus is in the book of John. Let’s continue, read John 8:31-47.

In last week’s study, we ended on a great note! Many were finally seeing that Jesus was the Messiah. Hallelujah! I know that Jesus’ heart was filled with elation! People were finally understanding. Can you imagine what goes on in heaven when a person believes Jesus? Think of the biggest gala ever held, the party in heaven is so much greater! The inauguration of a president or the Oscars pale in comparison.

We are proof that God hears prayers! Our marriage can attest to it.
Prayer caused God to move on our behalf.

In this past week, God moved and healed our marriage, 30 years in the making!
Never lose hope!

Jesus continues explaining who He is.

QUESTION: What do we have to do if we are His disciples, look at verse 31? What happens when we do what Jesus is saying, look at verse 32?

We truly want to know. Our hearts are made to seek God and know Him. And when we position ourselves to receive Christ, we become free! Free from the penalty of sin. The Holy Spirit will enter into our hearts where are souls come alive.

Again, we see the struggles within our human nature. People question what Jesus meant by being free. And again, we see His gentle love in action. He leads them with more truths.

QUESTION: What do we become because of sin, according to verse 34?

Jesus goes on to explain how slaves are not a part of family but a son is a part of a family forever. With Jesus, we go from being slaves to sin to being free as sons and daughters of the King.

QUESTION: What is the amazing promise Jesus gives to us in verse 36?

Freedom from the trappings in this world are ours when we choose
to believe and receive the love of Christ. He lifts us up so we
can stand on the Rock; Jesus Himself!

If we truly understood the freedom that Jesus is offering us, we would all be pounding on His door to let us in! But Jesus understands how confused we are because of sin. We have self-righteous blinders on. If only we would stop and see. If only we would give Him a chance to show us. But we hide, like Adam and Eve did after they ate the apple. Read Genesis 3:8-11.

QUESTION: Where do you hide? What keeps you from walking in His ways?

Jesus continues with how they understand that they are descendants of Abraham. Yet, He tells them some troubling news about themselves.

QUESTION: He says that some of them want to kill him. Why, see verse 37 and 38?

You could say Jesus gives them a dose of reality in verses 39-41. He tells them that if they were really Abraham’s descendants, they would live the same way He did but they don’t.

QUESTION: Why do they want to kill Jesus?

They state that God is their real father. Again, Jesus speaks candid. He certainly doesn’t sugar-coat truth, heh? Jesus tries to help them understand, from verses 42-47, how they are missing the point. He points a pretty strong finger at them!

INSIGHT: This might seem callous but when it comes to our salvation, we need to deal with our sin with a one-two punch in the gut! We need to stomp our foot on the enemy’s face and say, “Not today Satan!”

QUESTION: From verse 42, if God is really your Father, how do you treat Jesus then? Does your actions and thought life reveal that you love Jesus?

QUESTION: What is the cause for them misunderstanding the words of Jesus, see verses 43-44? What do you learn about the devil?

Verse 45 tells us how we naturally don’t believe Jesus.

BONUS QUESTION: Why don’t we? What have we learned so far in Bible Study?

Jesus gives us the answer to our troubles. If we belong to God, then we will gladly listen to the words of Jesus. If spending time in His Word is a struggle for you, Jesus states it’s because you do not belong to God.

Investing time in God’s Word is vital to having hope. The kind of hope
that can endure whatever this world throws at us.

We really do want to belong. Our hearts know it. But sin keeps tripping us up. We need to pray. This is what we must do. Pray and be bold enough to tell God that we are scared; scared of change or the unknown. Be honest enough to tell God that you really don’t want to give anything up. “I struggle with trusting you.” Pray and let God show you who He is. Pray and let go and let God. You won’t be sorry. I promise. You will experience everlasting hope!

Wash your hands and let’s meet up again next week!

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