Lesson: Hope

Imagine a life without:
1. hope for an improvement in your grades
    - Would you study hard?  Or would you just quit?
2. hope for your siblings to grow up
    - Would you get very impatient?
3. hope for a better tomorrow
    - Would you give up on working hard?  Would you rather just die?
4. hope that we can make a difference in this world
    - Would you try to help?
5. hope for afterlife
    - Even dying doesn't look that attractive, doesn't it?

What is hope?
    - Belief that things can be better (that doesn't mean things will automatically 'get' better--'getting' there involves some efforts)
    - Belief that justice will one day be served

How can we have hope?
    - We have a God who loves us and promises us to do great things for us.  His past deeds are proof that He will do what he promised.
    - God promised that they will be justice (rewards & punishment) for things that people do.
    - We can work to bring about the better future.
    - Our brothers and sisters in Christ love each other and work together to bring a better tomorrow even for non-Christians.

What can we do with this hope?
    - We can be motivated to do the right things even though we may not be appreciated or rewarded now.  Sometimes we see the evil-doers prosper, but we know that one day justice will be served and so there's no need to complain now.
    - We need to tell others about the source of this hope--God.
    - We can be more patient with others.
    - We can look forward to a better tomorrow, and do things to bring that into reality.

What can we do to bring hope to others?
    - Tell them about God and Jesus' salvation for them and encourage them to see beyond the difficulties they have now
    - Work to improve ourselves and help others
    - Take action to bring forth a better tomorrow--learn about what you can do and do it
    - Our sponsoring children--brings them love and hope

Sometimes the efforts we need to do is very small, but the difference it makes is huge...
    - Saying a word of encouragement to someone depressed--maybe that person would have killed himself if you hadn't talked to him.
    - Giving part of your lunch to a classmate who doesn't have the money for lunch can help him learn about the love of God and those who follow Jesus.
    - Donating your unwanted books to raise money for our sponsored child can bring hope for the parents and maybe even lead the whole family to Christ.

    There are many times when I feel totally discouraged about teaching, especially when my students just torture me.  But when I look at those who have graduated from my class a few years ago and how they are now serving the Lord, I realize that they do grow up and what I taught them might have made a small difference.  Perhaps one day they'll do more for God than I could ever do.  That hope gives me the strength to go on.
    It is often useful to think about those lives that you have touched with the things you do.  It's not to be self-congratulatory but to help you go on.  A good movie to help you see this is It's a Wonderful Life, which is used in another lesson.

Supplementary materials: Hope Changes Everything CD by World Vision (you can find this from our Store page)

This lesson was developed by George Huang.  Got a question or want to publish this lesson?  E-mail me.

Last updated: 9/23/2000