Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
In a very basic sense, the word hope means desire, yet the true meaning is not nearly as weak as the world presents. The word hope in scripture is associated with the word expectation (Proverbs 10:28; Proverbs 11:7). Hope is not simply some type of wishful thinking; it is something that someone trusts in dearly (Jeremiah 17:7). This type of hope is not something visible to the naked eye of man (Romans 8:24), but it is believed and held firm by faith (Hebrews 11:1). All men live their lives based upon hope; however, not all hope is the same. One man’s hope might be that there is no life after death. Another might place his hope solely upon the payment for sin provided by the Lord Jesus Christ.
• (For children): Our hope is in God and His word (Psalm 71:5; Psalm 130:5). Read these examples of people who had hope: Paul (Acts 24:14-15); Abraham (Romans 4:17-20); Job (Job 19:25-27). What can you learn from their examples?
• (For everyone): In what is your hope placed? What will happen if you are wrong? What will happen if you are right? How does this affect the strength of your hope?
• Look up some Bible verses that contain the word hope. Write out a definition based upon your findings in scripture. How have your findings helped change your perspective on the importance of hope?
• Ask the Lord to teach you about hope.
• Ask God to help you have the right hope.
SONG: OUR GOD, OUR HELP