Text: Hebrews 11
This last Sunday Pastor John shared a Mother's Day message focused on the importance of hope. Studying Hebrews 11 we looked at what we hope "for" and what we put our hope "in". Pastor John shared his own story of wrestling with hopelessness and also focused in on the life of Sarah from Hebrews 11.
Target time: 5-10 minutes
What are a few things in life that you are hoping for (ex. a promotion, someone to come to faith, a good marriage, etc...)?
Target time: 45-50 minutes
Small Group Leaders, please always make an intentional effort to have each person engage in the discussion. Remember, all small group discussions are meant to “…[build] others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29b).
Also, as with every week, don't feel pressured to go in-depth on every question, or complete the entire outline. The purpose of this outline is to enhance your group time, and to encourage people to seek a deeper personal relationship with God. Do not let the pressure of thorough completion of the questions distract from what God might be doing in your group, at a deeper level.
- Think of a vivid example of a hopeless situation (it doesn't need to be from your own life). Share it with the group.
Read Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-6, 16:1-5, and 17:1-4, 19
- There is a significant amount of time that passes in between each of these passages. Think about Sari(Sarah) in this situation. God had promised to Sarah and Abraham that they would be the parents of a great nation. They had no kids during the first years of their marriage. Moreover, by the time they are both very old they still had no children. They have a promised from God that they will have many descendants, but they are well past child-bearing age. Discuss how difficult it must have been to wait for decades and see no progress forward in God fulfilling His promises to Sarah and Abraham. What did Sarah/Abraham try in order to hurry God's promise along? What impact did that have?
- Have you had a situation in your life that required great patience and maybe tried your hope and trust in God?
- How did that whole situation play out? What impact did this situation have on your hope and trust in God?
- What can you do when what you've been hoping for seems hopeless?
Read Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-12
- Sarah hoped for children, and she placed her hope in God to fulfill His promises to her (occasionally taking the situation into her own hands) . At the beginning of the group time you mentioned some things you were hoping for. Who or what are you placing your hope in to bring those things to fruition? Explain what this looks like in your daily life.
- How do you place your hope in God?
- By choosing to believe that: My God will prevail, even if it looks impossible and even if it isn't immediate.
Live It Out:
Read Lamentations 3:20-26.
- What can you do on a daily basis to reaffirm/strengthen your hope in God regardless of the situation?
Thinking back to those hopeless situations you discussed, how can you pray for change in those hopeless situations? Pray also for God to reveal to you ways that you can be part of the solution (if appropriate).