Throughout the Anchored: We Have this Hope sermon series, we will explore what it means to find, cultivate, and hold on to Biblical hope no matter what the circumstances are swirling around us. Each week, the study guide will start with warm-up questions designed to help your group focus on the concept of hope. The next section will include various types of questions to help your group dive into the themes and Scripture passages from this week’s sermon. Then we’ll wrap up by discussing how to apply what you’ve learned from the Scripture passages to real life. For more info and ideas on leading your group, visit our sermon series resource page.
Be sure to encourage your group to check out Daily Steps, Cornerstone's companion devotional guide — a resource to help people spend one-on-one time with God throughout the week using daily readings related to this sermon series on Biblical hope.
STUDY SERIES FOCUS
How does a deeper understanding of Biblical hope change our perspective and our actions as we navigate through the waves of uncertainty that we have experienced in 2020?
On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being not at all and 5 being absolute, how hopeful do you feel right now? What is encouraging to you? What is bringing you down?
This week Pastor Clint Rutledge encouraged us to think of the challenges we are currently facing as an opportunity to strengthen our “faith muscle.” Do you think of your faith as something that can be exercised, strengthened, or developed? Or, do you tend to think of faith as a static or fixed amount of spiritual fortitude that you either have or do not have?
How has your perspective on faith changed as you've grown closer to Jesus?
Throughout this series, we encourage you to dig deep into scripture to develop a rich and full understanding of Biblical hope. Using the following passages, answer the following questions. Not all of the questions will apply to each passage, so feel free to focus on the questions that speak most deeply to you. Your group can divide the passages among group members or you can select 2-3 to explore as a whole group. Do whatever you feel is best for your group! You may want to ask for a volunteer to take notes and compile the thoughts and ideas that are shared during your discussion.
- What does this passage teach you about the nature of trials?
- What does this passage teach you about the nature of hope?
- What does this passage teach you about what God’s word says about what we can expect regarding our experiences of trials?
- What does this passage show us about the model that Jesus and our heroes of faith gave for walking through trials?
- What does this passage teach us about how we receive Biblical hope?
- What does this passage teach us about God’s compassion for us when we feel hopeless?
Consider the question from “reflect” concerning faith as a muscle.
- In what ways is God strengthening your faith muscle right now?
- Where do you feel Him stretching you and helping you grow? What things is He asking of you right now that you know are specifically meant to strengthen an area of your spiritual life?
Pastor Clint taught that true perseverance comes from knowing that no matter what is happening, God is still on the throne.
- Are you facing circumstances that seem hopeless?
Right now, is it difficult to believe that God is still on the throne? How would complete belief in this truth change the way that you view your current situation?
- What hope can you glean from knowing that God is in control?
While the importance of spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible study, worship, etc., cannot be overemphasized, God uses the trials and struggles that we face in miraculous ways to make us more like Jesus.
Consider your life right now. What are the areas in which you feel that God is transforming your character to look more like Jesus?
- How can you intentionally use this unique time in history to allow God to transform you? What are the specific situations when you can actively engage with God’s spirit to allow Him to make you into the person He desires?
- For example, are there specific phone conversations, meetings, interaction with your kids, etc. that consistently bring out a side of you that doesn’t resemble Jesus?
- How can you spiritually prepare to take advantage of those situations to allow God’s transforming work to occur in your life?
Paul writes in Romans 4:19-20, “Without weakening in his faith, He faced the fact that His (Abraham's) body was dead...yet He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in His faith and gave glory to God…” In this passage, we can be assured that “faith does not refuse to face reality but looks beyond all difficulties to God and His promises.” (NIV Study Bible notes)
- What are the facts about your current situation?
- What are the promises of God that you can anchor your faith so that you do not lose hope?
- Consider referencing this website for a list of God’s promises.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Grow closer to Jesus each day and explore what it means to experience Biblical hope.
Spend Time Alone with God
Daily Steps is a weekly devotional message designed as a companion to this sermon study guide. You will be guided as you spend time with God through personal reflection, Scripture readings, and prayer prompts.
DAILY STEPS - ANCHORED - WEEK 2
Watch CF Beyond Sunday this Monday!
After each sermon, our pastors and various church leaders sit down for about 20 minutes to have a lively discussion about the weekend's topic. It will be posted on YouTube and the church website on Monday night, July 13!