Easter / Gospel Hope, A Necessary Hope
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers(sisters), whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt…”
“We have this hope as an anchor for our souls, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.”
Discussion 1: Hope is Fundamental for every life.
Q1: Terry and Christy watched a film about Jesus and Mary Magdalen. Mary was transformed by Jesus. When questioned by a religious leader as to how she had changed so much, she said, “I know who I was before, and I know who I am now, and in between was Him.”
- How, like Mary, has the gospel changed you?
Q2: Aaron was comforted by 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. It was the gospel hope that gave him the strength to comfort others, when he, in fact, felt like he had very little to offer.
- What is it in this passage that gave Aaron strength, and provides us with the strength to stand firm in gospel hope?
Q3: Difficulties are opportunities to have real growth. It’s not the trauma that causes the growth, it’s our response to the difficulties (like what we’re currently going through) that cause growth (PTG/PTSG).
- Read James 1:2-6. What are the things James says that will maximize our resiliency?
- What good are these areas of growth if they’re void the gospel?
- Discuss the following statement: Resiliency is important, but what is of ultimate importance and wisdom now and always is the gospel. The good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as the actual, factual foundation for our hope in this life and beyond.
Q4. Hope as the foundational fact for our lives. (Hebrews 6:19) Christ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave is the anchor, the hope, for our lives. We’re to build our lives on the hope of the gospel. It is the one necessary and foundational hope—the hope that undergirds all lesser hopes.
- How/why does gospel hope allow us to remain faithful when lesser hopes are fading or gone?