Week of December 6, 2020

SERIES: Advent
Week #1: Hope
Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

This week we kick-off our ADVENT series for this year. Advent is a word that means, “coming.” It
is a time of the year when followers of Jesus look back to the first coming of Jesus at Christmas.
It’s also a time when we look forward to Jesus’ promised second coming. It’s a season of
anticipation where we focus on four themes: Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love. Over the next weeks
together, we will take one of these themes each week and study how we can better understand
and experience greater hope, joy, peace, and love this Christmas season. Pastor Zac will begin
our series this Sunday by looking at “hope.”

A. “Biblical hope is a confident expectation and desire for something good in the future.” –
John Piper

  1. Biblical hope is unique in that it is more than just desire…it is certainty and
    confidence in what you are hoping for.

A. Why is hope so important?

  1. We are hardwired for hope.
  2. We need hope to get through the challenges, uncertainties, and set-backs in life.
  3. We will all choose to put our hope in someone or something.
    a. The question is: can what we put our hope in actually give us the hope we are
    looking for?

Bottom Line: Advent reminds us that our ultimate hope, our confident expectation, is found

in Jesus and all He promises.

HOPE DESCRIBED: Why Can We Have Hope? (Isaiah 9:1-2)
A. Isaiah shares a message to return, repent, and be renewed.

  1. In the midst of judgement and difficulty for the people of God, there is a hope that is
  2. This “great light” that was to come was the Messiah – the Savior.
  3. We know this Messiah is Jesus.
  4. We can have hope because Jesus, the Messiah has come!

HOPE EXPLAINED: Why Can We Have Hope in Jesus? (Isaiah 9:6-7)
A. We find hope in the promise of…

  1. His Coming and Returning Again (9:6)
    a. Luke 2:10-11 / Matthew 1:22-23 / 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
  2. His Authority and Power (9:6)
    a. Ephesians 1:19-23
  3. His Character and Attributes (9:6)
    a. Wonderful Counselor
  • Mark 6:2, Colossians 2:2-3
    b. Mighty God
  • John 1:1, 14, Colossians 2:9, John 10:30
    c. Everlasting Father
  • Revelation 1:8
    d. Prince of Peace
  • John 14:27
  1. His Eternal Rule of Justice, Righteousness, and Peace (9:7)
    a. Hebrews 10:28
  2. His Zeal to Fulfill All That Has Been Promised (9:7)
    a. Psalm 33:4

A. Advent reminds us that our ultimate hope, our confident expectation, is found in
Jesus and all He promises.
B. Max Lucado: Because of Bethlehem:
a. “At Advent, we are invited to immerse ourselves in hope. Biblical hope is not wishful
thinking. It is unshakeable confidence that God is always at work for our good. It is

the assurance that God’s promises are true even while we wait for their fulfillment.
Because our hope is certain, we wait patiently, not fretfully, trusting that God is
already at work to provide the light we seek, the help we need, and the deliverance
we long for…The manger dares us to believe the best is yet to be. And it could
all begin today.

A. Do you need hope today? Where are you needing hope?
B. Where are you looking for hope?

  1. Does the person or thing you are putting your hope in have the ability to give you the
    certain hope you are looking for?
    C. Turn to Jesus and find hope!

Use the following questions/discussion to get the conversation started…
Christmas season is here and for many, it’s a time for different traditions and ways of celebrating.
Advent is one example of a tradition that many families, individuals, and churches observe as a
way to celebrate this season. To get the conversation started this week, talk through these ice
breaker questions:
Q: What was your favorite Christmas/holiday season tradition you had growing up as a kid?
Q: What is your favorite Christmas/holiday tradition you observe now?
Q: What is it about these traditions that make them so memorable and significant?
This Christmas season, look for opportunities to bring Faith Talks into your holiday traditions and
observances. Grab the Advent devotion the church is using, use our KidMin resources, or find your
own tool and make this Advent season one where you and others grow in faith together!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Ask and discuss the following questions.

Q: What is the importance and meaning of Advent? How can this time be an encouraging
one for our faith? How do you celebrate and observe this season?
Q: What is the difference between a general definition of hope and a biblical definition of
hope? Why is it important to not confuse the two?

Q: How can hope or the lack of hope make a difference in our lives?
Q: Read Isaiah 9:2. How does this passage give us a sense of hope? What is significant
about the pictures of “light” and “darkness”?
Q: How can remembering the birth of Jesus help bolster our hope in God and in His
Q: Read Isaiah 9:6-7. Which of the four names for Jesus the Messiah is most significant to
you and why?
Q: What are you most tempted to put your hope in apart from Jesus? How can we be
reminded and work to keep our hope in Jesus this Christmas?

Q: What is your personal “take-away” from this week’s message? What is one specific thing
the Lord spoke to you this week?
Q: What is one specific “action step” you are going to take this week to apply what Jesus
has taught you today?

As you conclude your session this week, take a minute and ask your group to reflect on these

Q: Where do you need hope today?
Q: Where are you looking for hope today? Do you need to turn back to Jesus for your
ultimate hope?
Q: How can we pray for you today, that God would renew, restore, and refresh your hope in
Ask group members to share their answers to the first and third question with the group. Listen to
hear where people need hope today. Take time not only to pray for them, but think about practical
ways the group can help encourage them and possibly work to meet needs that are expressed.
Sometimes the hope of Jesus is found through the working of Jesus through others in the church.
How can your group be peace dealers this Christmas?
End your time praying for your group and for the things that were mentioned.

§ Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 / Luke 2:10-11 / Matthew 1:22-23 / 1 Thessalonians 4:16 / Ephesians 1:19-
23 / Mark 6:2 / Colossians 2:2-3 / John 1:1,14 / Colossians 2:9 / John 10:30 / Revelation 1:8
/ John 14:27 / Hebrews 12:28 / Psalm 33:4

12/6/20 Advent: Hope Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
12/13/20 Advent: Joy Matthew 2:10-11
12/20/20 Advent: Peace John 14:27
12/24/20 Advent: Love John 1:14, 1 John 4:10, John 3:16-19