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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Hope in life - Romans

 Introduction

Without hope people perish. They may not perish in physical death, but they die on the inside becoming cynical to any initiative and just plodding through life, doing the minimum they can get away with. Into this picture comes Jesus with a hope that is beyond our expectation or understanding.


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God gives hope

Jesus appeals to people to enter into life with Him.  Jesus describes the person who has come into life with Him.

  1. What is the connection between God and hope?
  2. What contributes to our receiving hope?
  3. What difference would it make in your life if you were to receive such hope?


Romans 15:  13 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.



God, source of hope

The Father is the source of hope, not merely by injecting some emotion to lift our spirits, but because He has power to back up the expectations He raises, and the faith of those who trust Him.

  1. Reading to v3, the woman has lost her land. Why would she expect the king to listen to her request for its return?
  2. What did God have to arrange in terms of timing for His will to be fulfilled?
  3. How did God work in the hearts of people to arrange what He desired?
  4. What does God need to do in order to bring about His will in your life?


2 Kings 8: 1 Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought back to life, "Take your family and move to some other place, for the LORD has called for a famine on Israel that will last for seven years."2 So the woman did as the man of God instructed. She took her family and settled in the land of the Philistines for seven years.

 3 After the famine ended she returned from the land of the Philistines, and she went to see the king about getting back her house and land.4 As she came in, the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. The king had just said, "Tell me some stories about the great things Elisha has done."5 And Gehazi was telling the king about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life. At that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in to make her appeal to the king about her house and land.

 "Look, my lord the king!" Gehazi exclaimed. "Here is the woman now, and this is her son—the very one Elisha brought back to life!"

 6 "Is this true?" the king asked her. And she told him the story. So he directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence.


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Jesus’ Purpose

Jesus promises us a rich and satisfying life, a life to the full. This is different from an easy life. A rich experience is one where there is a challenge that is beyond us, and through which we grow to become better people and in which we contribute to a better life for others. In looking back on overcoming in such events there is joy.

  1. How does Jesus describe His care for His people?
  2. What are the motives of others who have had control of God’s people?
  3. How could you work with Jesus so that He is able to bring about His purpose for you?


John 10:7-10  7 so he explained it to them: "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.8 All who came before me* were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them.9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.* They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.10 The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.


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Peace

God’s Peace is not freedom from trouble. God’s peace floods into our lives when we recognise that He is bigger than our troubles and we trust Him to look after us. His peace is the fruit of setting our hope on God rather than our desired outcome.

  1. With what attitudes are we instructed to live in the midst of difficulties?
  2. What are the conditions for receiving God’s peace?
  3. What does it mean that God’s peace guards our hearts and minds?


Philippians 4:4-7  4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

 6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.


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Trust God

Knowing that God is big enough to sort out the imponderables of what is going on in life gives us freedom to live focused on what is really important.

  1. What is the outcome of worry?
  2. What does it mean to trust God for our needs, as against presuming that He will give us what we want?
  3. What does it mean to Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?
  4. What does it mean to trust God


    Matthew 6:25 "That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?   .... Why do you have so little faith?   31 "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?'32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God* above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.   34 "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.


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Hope

We need hope because what we are expecting is not yet in sight. Ultimately our hope is with Jesus in heaven. In God’s scheme of things there is a mix on now and not yet. We see mini versions of hope fulfilled in this life to train us to await the great hope that will be revealed.

  1. How do we work together with God for the fulfilment of His salvation? (Note salvation in the ‘now’ context means God’s rescue from challenging situations.)
  2. What is the purpose of difficulties in life?
  3. What is the result of trusting God through trials till He rescues?


1 Peter1:5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

  6 So be truly glad.* There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

  8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.


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