Week One | When Life Doesn’t Go the Way You Planned
- Let’s start out by brainstorming on what hope means. Here is one definition fresh from a Google search: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Is there more to hope than a ‘wishful thinking?’ What examples of hope come to mind for you?
- Thinking about the opening stories you heard in the video, what did you learn about hope?
- Jon made the point that we are wired to hope. He mentioned folks having families, pursuing further education, investing in a home, as examples. What other examples can you think of that demonstrate our tendency to hope?
- Jon asked a probing question we should talk about for a few moments here at the beginning: “What happens in people’s lives when things don’t go the way they expected them to go?” How do people cope with those kinds of disappointment?
- Jon mentioned that we have two choices when life disappoints us. When we focus on our past we learned that God can give us a ‘new birth?’ [1 Peter 1:3] What does it mean that go can give us a new identity?
- When we focus on our future but with anxiety and fear what does god promise us if we ask him? [Ephesians 4:23]
- Luke 24:12-32 includes the account of Jesus meeting two disciples on the road to Emmaus the same day He rose from the grave. In verse 21 the men tell Jesus about the disappointment caused by His death: “But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third days since all this took place.” What kind of hope were they talking about?
- So far in this session we’ve been talking about hope in general terms and related areas to ordinary life. How does hope affect the spiritual area of life?
- Jon showed us a ‘hope box’ and placed things in there like a trophy representing achievement and a picture frame representing relationships. Can you think of other things in which people place their hope?
Hope is nearer than you think…
Read Luke 24:13-32. This event in Jesus’ life illustrates the significance of hope in our lives. Let’s look at the entire event for even more clued about the importance of others in our lives as part of an active and effective faith.
- Why do you think Jesus held back from immediately identifying himself to these two men?
- Why do you think they recognized Him when He broke bread?
- How do you think this entire event affected the hope awareness of these two men? What did they do as a result?
- Hope is one way of describing what we expect or dream will happen. When those results don’t come about, our lives and outlook are challenged and sometimes crushed. In what situations has your hope take a serious blow?
- What places in your life would you be willing to consider may be “out of control” right now, as a phrase to describe a loss of hope?
- How would you connect your understanding of hope in the largest sense with your understanding of Jesus Christ and his unique role?