Dec 20, 2020 | Categories: The Thrill of Hope.

THE THRILL OF HOPE: Persevering in Hope | Matt Conrad

A Thrill of Hope – Persevering in Hope

Luke 2:1-7 | Matt Conrad

Review & Introduction

  • Christmas is a time where we should experience a “Thill of Hope.”
    • Week 1 – Waiting in Hope (Jeremiah)
    • Week 2 – Unexpected Hope (Luke 1:26-28)
    • Week 3 – The Thrill of Hope (Luke 1:39-56)
    • Today – Persevering in Hope (Luke 2:1-7)
  • The story of Christmas is a story of perseverance.
  • Perseverance = The quality that allows someone to continue to do something even though it is difficult.
  • Perseverance is about trusting deeper not trying harder.
  • “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

We learn to trust deeper when we embrace God’s plan (Luke 2:1-5)

  • “For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 8-9)

We learn to trust deeper when we accept God’s timing (Luke 2:6)

  • “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
    “You cannot judge God by your calendar. God may appear to be slow, but he never forgets his promises. He may seem to be working very slowly or even to be forgetting his promises, but when his promises come true (and they will come true), they always burst the banks of what you imagined.” – Tim Keller, Hidden Christmas

We learn to trust deeper when we pursue God’s Son (Luke 2:7)

  • “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
  • “The unexpected setting of Jesus’ birth also anticipates the unexpected way in which Jesus would go about putting things right in God’s creation. His life and death did not match people’s expectations. He wasn’t born like a king; he didn’t live like a king; and he certainly didn’t die like a king. He was nonetheless God’s promised and long-awaited King.” – The First Days of Jesus (Andreas Kostenberger & Alexander Stewart)

Conclusion – “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does perseverance look like to you? How does it change your view to think of it as trusting deeper instead of trying harder?
  2. When is a time in your life when you needed to embrace God’s plan for your life? What helped you do this?
  3. Describe a time when you’ve really had to wait for something. How did the waiting impact you? What does it mean to you to wait of God?
  4. What is one way in which you would like to pursue Jesus differently?
  5. Share some specific ways in which you have experienced God’s faithfulness this past year. How can these reminders help you trust Him now and in the future?