Episode 207: Hope Is A Big Deal

December 7, 2021

Last week as we began our journey of advent, we started exploring why God with us, the incarnation, is a big deal. And, in turn, asking the question, what is the truth and consequence of this season for Christ-centered leaders? 

This week, explore why hope is a big deal for Christ-centered leaders.

There are at least three reasons hope is a big deal, especially this time of year. 

First, hope is a big deal because it encourages us.

Explore Isaiah 40:29- 31 and be reminded that our hope comes from Christ. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that hope is meant to encourage us and there is no greater encouragement than what we experience in Jesus Christ. 

Read this passage from Isaiah with that in mind:

He gives strength to the weary

    and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

    and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the Lord

    will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

    they will run and not grow weary,

    they will walk and not be faint.

-Isaiah 40:29-31

Second, hope animates our actions.

Explore Hebrews 6:10-12 and consider what the writers of Hebrews might have experienced as young believers. Consider how their hope-filled action creates the space for us to experience the love of Jesus today.

I’m sure that won’t happen to you, friends. I have better things in mind for you—salvation things! God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them. – Hebrews 6:9-12 (MSG)

You’ve heard us talk about the hope cycle before, but it bears reviewing. There are three essential parts to the hope cycle. The late Dr. Shane Lopez did groundbreaking research around hope. You can learn more here. 

Finally, hope is a big deal because it gives us confidence in what’s not yet a reality.

The wolf will romp with the lamb,

    the leopard sleep with the kid.

Calf and lion will eat from the same trough,

    and a little child will tend them.

Cow and bear will graze the same pasture,

    their calves and cubs grow up together,

    and the lion eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens,

    the toddler stick his hand down the hole of a serpent.

Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill

    on my holy mountain.

The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive,

    a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide.

10 On that day, Jesse’s Root will be raised high, posted as a rallying banner for the peoples. The nations will all come to him. His headquarters will be glorious. – Isaiah 11:6-10 

Those words from Isaiah are a reminder that we need hope to believe the future will be better and to work at it to make it better. 

Big Question for the Week