Do you ever feel like life has to be going a certain way for you to be happy? I’ve found that when I hope in God, life is good no matter what. But when I hope in other things—a Covid-free existence, a peaceful world that all likes each other, and a smoke-free Montana for example—life is not always good.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the idea that life has to be great for us to be happy. Yet the Bible tells us we can learn to be content no matter what’s happening. If peace and joy come through walking in the Spirit, we don’t need to have life go a certain way for us to be peaceful and joyful.
Yes, we grieve when hard things happen—and it’s okay and healthy to grieve. But as we grieve, the more we lean into God and learn to trust Him, the more likely our grief will turn to joy. I hope this Bible study will help with whatever hard things you’re going through today.
Hope in God Bible Study
- Think of what’s happening in your life and the world around you right now. What do you think you have to have to be happy?
- If you don’t get what you want, what are you afraid will happen–and why will that be so bad?
- Is there anything you need to accept? (Note: It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes we need to accept that the things we fear may actually happen before we can find peace and joy. When we’re not willing to accept that, we stay stuck in our fear and discontentment.)
- What would hoping in God look like in this situation?
- What would change about the way you think and act if you were to consistently hope in God in this situation? (Note: We’re not hoping in God to give us what we want. We’re hoping in God to be enough even if we don’t get what we want!)
- James 1:2-4 and Romans 5:3-5 tell us that trials have the potential to make us grow. In what ways will you mature if you start hoping in God in this situation?
- Read Galatians 5:16, 22-23. What fruit of the Spirit will you experience (that you aren’t currently experiencing) if you start hoping in God rather than hoping in what you feel needs to happen in this situation for you to be happy?
- Why do you think hoping in God will lead to those fruits of the Spirit?
- What do the following Bible verses have to say about this subject? Try to personalize each verse to your own situation. (For example, with Philippians 4:11-13, you could say, I can learn to be content even if (fill in the blank) happens because I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.)
- What is your biggest takeaway from this Bible study? (I ask this question at the end of each lesson in my new James Bible study which will be out in November, 2021. God often gives me new insight when I answer that question in addition to remembering what I learned in the lesson.)
I hope this Bible study leads to hope. We’re going through a hard period in history, but you may also be going through a hard time in your own life. Always remember that God loves you and wants to help. My prayer is that you’ll feel His love and comfort and hope today. Check out the resources below for more help.
To download a printable Hope in God Bible study, click here:Hope in God Bible Study
More Resources for Hope in God
- Blog series on idolatry The opposite of hoping in God is hoping in other things, which leads to idolatry. This link leads to a series I wrote years ago on idolatry, which also includes an Identify Your Idol Quiz.
- Freedom from Emotional Eating – In a sense, this whole Bible study is about hoping in God. While the first chapter is geared toward hoping in food instead of God, the majority of the Bible study is helpful for anyone, even if you’re not an emotional eater. There is a full chapter in the book on idolatry.
- Printable Bible study: Keeping the Faith in the Storms of Life
- Printable Bible study for today’s study: Hope in God Bible Study