Bible study 3: Building Hope

“For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end.” (Hebrews 6:10-11)

The opposite of fear is hope

As Christians, when we speak of hope, we don’t just mean wishful thinking. Christian hope is something much broader, deeper and stronger. In Scripture, hope is not just a vague desire that something good in the future will turn up somewhere. Rather, the biblical understanding of hope is a confident expectation that good in the future will come. It is an assurance based on our existing experience of God’s goodness and love and the faithfulness that God already has shown towards us.

Scripture also contains the idea that, while hope is something that comes primarily from God, it is also something in which human beings have a part to play and a contribution to make. In the letter to the Hebrews, we find the following words: “For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end.” (Hebrews 6:10-11)

As Christians, we are graciously called by God to join in the work in which God brings hope into the world. Our work, our love and our diligence matter. The contribution we make is important in bringing into being the future that God wants for us and for which we trust and pray. At this time we are called to dig deeper spiritually, to stay connected with others, to witness to the hope founded in Christ, and to use this time together, with God’s guidance, to reimagine our world for the better.*

Questions for discussion

Read Hebrews 6:10-11

  1. What is this text about?
  2. How do we understand the term “hope”?
  3. What are our hopes in this situation of COVID-19?
  4. What might be the hopes of those among us who are in vulnerable groups in our church and wider society? How can we learn about their hopes and fears?
  5. How do we respond to the idea that hope is something in which both God and we have a part to play?
  6. What sustained actions can we take to build hope in our church and wider community while keeping ourselves and others safe?

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,

You called us to love one another as you love us.

You called us to care for one another as though we were caring for you. In this time, help us to bring your hope to one another,

to calm the fearful, to reassure the lonely, to bless the sick and comfort the bereaved,

assured of your loving presence in our midst. In your precious name we pray. Amen.