HOPE IS HERE
Someone (OK a Russian called Fyodor Dostoevsky if you must know) once said 'to live without hope is to cease to live' (Dostoevsky is now dead, but I don't think it's because of a lack of hope). We get that to go without food is to eventually cease to live. And that to go without oxygen is to very soon cease to live. But is it right that to live without hope is to cease to live? Well clearly we can live without hope, and many do. And many are hopeful about some things, whilst having no hope about other things. We can feel hopeless about much that goes on in the world; our impact upon the environment, the hurt we humans inflict upon one another. We can also feel hopeless at a far deeper and more personal level about things that are much closer to home. But we are still living...sort of.
Research resonates with Dostoevsky's quote, claiming 'that hope can help us manage stress and anxiety and cope with adversity. It contributes to our well-being and happiness and motivates positive action. Hopeful people believe they can influence their goals, that their efforts can have a positive impact. They are also more likely to make healthy choices to eat better or exercise, or do the other things that will help them move toward what they are hoping for. Hope does not necessarily fade in the face of adversity; in fact hope often endures despite poverty, war and famine. While no one is exempt from experiencing challenging life events, hope fosters an orientation to life that allows a grounded and optimistic outlook even in the most challenging of circumstances.'
Jesus promises to give us 'life to the full' not a 'sort of' life, and to be a follower of Jesus is to be a person of hope...not a blind, misplaced, wishful-thinking, delusional hope, but a living hope rooted in Jesus. As followers we know that the ultimate source of our hope, as with everything we need for a full life, comes from and through Jesus. Hence, HOPE IS HERE. In Jesus.
In this series of talks we look at what hope is (and what it isn't), where hope is to be found (and where it isn't), how to move from hopelessness to hopefulness, and we will hear stories of hope as well as encourage one another.
12/01/20 Hope Is Here Launch. 1 Corinthians 15:19
19/01/20 Why Hope? Ps 39:1-7, Colossians 1:15-23
26/01/20 Reclaiming Hope, Ps 33
02/02/20 What are you waiting for? Malachi 3:1-5, Luke 2:22-40
09/02/20 Helpless, but not Hopeless. Acts 9:1-19, Mark 14:32-42
16/02/20 Hopeful Foundations: Hearing & Doing, Matthew 7:24-27
23/02/20 Hope in Jesus' Glory, 2 Peter 1:16-end, Matthew 17:1-9
01/03/20 Hope in Temptation Psalm 32:1-2, 8-11, Matthew 4:1-11
08/03/20 International Women's Day, Acts 9:36-42, Gal 3:26-29
15/03/20 If hope is 'here' - where is 'here'? John 4:5-42, Exodus 17.1-7, Romans 5:1-11