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How to Not Lose Hope - Study Guide

Posted by Sara Goetz on

We are so glad that you are digging deeper into this week's conversation, "How to Not Lose Hope,” week 4 of our series in the letter of 1 Peter. This guide was written to help you process, better understand, and connect with the message. Feel free to answer some or all of the questions. Maybe you'll focus on one aspect from this study guide that speaks to the group. Think of this guide as a resource to help you and your group listen to the Holy Spirit and respond to His calling.

Did you miss the sermon? Click here. Looking to download a PDF version of this week's study guide? Click here.  


This week we will explore the question: How do we plant our hope in God’s grace, specifically as we continue to observe this season of Lent?


Opening Questions:

Do you have any gardeners in your group? Do you have a green thumb or a brown thumb? What comes to mind when you hear the word/s “plant” or “planting?” Do you have a gardening success story? Maybe you have a gardening epic fail story? Make a list of things/conditions that are essential to successful planting or gardening. 

Avid gardeners are quick to explain that successful planting requires a combination of preparation and care. As you work through this week’s study, think about the preparation and care God is calling you to make in the practical and spiritual places of your life so that, as skilled gardeners, we can plant our hope in God’s grace.


Study Questions:


Read 1 Peter 1:13-2:3

Pastor Steve and Pastor Christaan were lengthy in elaborating on the definitions of key terms in this passage. Take a moment to review your notes and fill in the definitions of the key terms below. (OR - skip to the next table and review the definitions as they were highlighted during the message.) 

Key Terms

Definition

Alert

I Peter 1:13

Sober

I Peter 1:13

Fully

I Peter 1:13

Holy

(related: integrity)

1 Peter 1:15, 16

 

 

Reverent Fear

1 Peter 1:17

Redeemed

1 Peter 1:18

 

 

Deeply

1 Peter 1:22

Crave

1 Peter 2:2

-OR- 

Use these working definitions given in the weekend message:

Key Terms

Definition

Alert

I Peter 1:13

Awake, aware. Not dull and distracted

Sober

I Peter 1:13

Clear, thought through, clear-headed, well educated, fully aware, your mind in full gear, cobwebs cleared out, fully present

Fully

I Peter 1:13

Don’t hedge your bets; put all your Easter eggs in one basket, go ALL in

Holy

(related: integrity)

1 Peter 1:15, 16

Set a part of God’s purposes, not in action; rather, a state of being only God can establish


Undivided, without separate parts, whole

Reverent Fear

1 Peter 1:17

Appropriate awe

Redeemed

1 Peter 1:18

Being set free because our freedom was bought at a very high price

Deeply

1 Peter 1:22

Earnestly, constantly, intensely, diligently, fervently, mightily, with perseverance

Crave

1 Peter 2:2

Deeply wanting something deep and rich, wanting a daily experience with Jesus and with each other

During this season of Lent and our study of 1 Peter, we are exploring the tension between the work only God can do in our lives and how we either prevent or make space for that work to be accomplished.

  • Consider the terms above. Which ones refer to things that can be created and generated only by God? Which ones require discipline or a conscious effort on our part to carry out?

  • The past 12 months have presented us with significant challenges. Can you articulate the types of challenges you and your family faced/are facing? When you find yourself hopeful, what are you hoping for? What do you hope will change in your life in the next month, six months, 12 months? 

  • Reflect for a minute on the strategies - both conscious and unconscious - that have gotten you to March 2021. Consider these questions: 

    • Over the past 12 months, when I felt anxious, I ______________. 

    • Recently, I have begun to __________________. 

    • This year I started _______________. 

    • My friendship(s) with ____________ have strengthened/weakened. 

    • I am glad I started _______________. 

    • I’m proud of ______________. 

    • My walk with God changed so that now _________________.

  • In 1:13, Peter implores us, “therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” Pastor Christiaan reminded us that it’s not wrong to hope that things will return to normal, but we must evaluate our hopes to make sure they reflect a deep hope in Jesus and not in the things of this world. How can you tell if you are hoping more in the things of this world than in Jesus? What is an example of placing more trust in something superficial or temporary than in our hope in the power of God? How can you check to make sure that what you are hoping for is divine and not temporal?

  • What does it mean to hope in Jesus? How does this shift your perspective of the challenges that you are currently facing? When we hope in Jesus, what do we believe will happen?

  • Let’s reflect on the life changes we’ve consciously and unconsciously made this past year. Some of the habits we’ve adopted likely align with the principles laid out by Peter, and some do not. Being honest will reveal the ways that God has worked in our lives and the ways we have stumbled & prevented the work God wants to do as we face our current challenges. In light of this, Lent is an especially powerful time. Pastor Steve reminded us that “Lent highlights the behaviors and attitudes that we are allowing to hurt us. It is intended as a season to let go of unholy things and embrace the cross and the empty tomb.”

    Consider the use and definitions of alert, sober, fully, holy/integrity, and reverent fearThen, consider how you answered the questions above and your responses. What habits, patterns, relationships, thoughts have you embraced that allow God to do His holy work in your life? Which ones do not? Which ones reflect the grace of God? Which ones do not?

  • What preparation and care do you need to make in your life so that your hope is fully planted in the power of Jesus’ resurrection? What habits do you want to change so that you can be more alert and ready for the work of God in your life? What coping strategies are you using that allows God to work deeply in your heart? Which ones are not? How can you retrain your thoughts so that they reflect the grace of God and the hope of His resurrection? 

  • As you walk through your week, remember to reach out to your brothers and sisters - to offer and to receive support in your effort to accept Peter's challenge in 1:13. “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” so that “with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” (I Peter 1:13)


Additional Resource: 
  • Daily Steps
    We encourage you to check out 
    Daily Steps, our companion devotional guide for individual reflection, prayer, and meditation on related Scripture selections throughout the week!

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