Down, Not Out :: YouVersion Event
StoneBridge Community Church
Associate Pastor Jonathan Lusche
Locations & Times
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  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:15 PM, Saturday 6:01 PM

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Worship With Generosity

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This week in worship, one Biblical strength will be explored that is arguably the most significant in mitigating adversity and stress and can be learned and sustained. This strength is hope.

The Text In Context

... Our hope is not in a trouble-free life, but rather in a glorious, trouble-free eternity. To exult in our present trials, we have to keep our focus on the hope of the glory of God, which we will experience in heaven. Paul put it this way (2 Cor. 4:16-18): “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day... 

https://bit.ly/3oRrjNW

The Science of Hope

Hope is the belief that our future can be better than our past and that we play a role in making it so...
... (hope is the) strength most significant to (1) buffer adversity and stress, (2) predict adaptive outcomes, and (3) be learned and sustained... hope is the pathway to resilience.

https://bit.ly/3bUvT8Y

Anchor Cross

The anchored cross, or mariner's cross, is a stylized cross in the shape of an anchor and is one of the earliest symbols in Christianity.

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2. Our hope is found in God's word.
Promises of God Found In The Bible
(Only 7 of 7,487)

Promise #1: I am your strength.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13). God will never call you into something that He is not fully willing and able to support you in. YOU alone may not have the strength but if you take your focus off of you and put it on the source of your strength (God), you will see that all things are truly possible with Him.

Promise #2: I will never leave you.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Even during the darkest, most tumultuous times of our lives, we can rest assured that God is with us, even when we can’t feel His presence.

Promise #3: I have plans to prosper you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11). This promise was made to the nation of Israel but, it's principle is applicable to us. God did not create us just to leave us to live a mediocre lives. God sustains life and provides a way.

Promise #4: I hear your prayers.
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14). God promised that if we ask anything that is in line with the character of God and His purpose, He will answer.

Promise #5: I will fight for you.
“The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm” (Exodus 14:14). Just like the Lord fought for the Israelites, He will fight for you. Even during the times that He calls for you to take action, HE will be the one to give you the strategy and still be right there with you, fighting for you.

Promise #6: I will give you peace.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). Our Lord Jesus gave us His peace before he departed. This peace is not something you have to earn or even pray for, it’s yours through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Promise #7: I always love you.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). God's love for us is not shallow and superficial, nor does it EVER change and He proved it through the sacrifice of His one and only Son.
3. Our hope is found in God's grace and mercy.

More about Eugene Lang

Thanks to Eugene Lang’s impulsive promise at a grade-school graduation, 90% of the Class of 1981 at East Harlem’s P.S. 121 now has graduated from high school. Half have gone on to Bard, Swarthmore, Barnard and other universities, spurred by the millionaire’s vow to pay the college tuition of each of the 61 students if they got high school diplomas.

https://lat.ms/3wEoCSy
NEXT STEPS:
- I’ve been despairing and need to return to God.
- I will make a renewed commitment to worship, my growth group or reading the Bible at least 10 minutes a day.
- I accept God's grace and I will seek to behave more graciously with others.
GROWTH GROUP / PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS

1. What did you appreciate about the message? Did anything in the message challenge or confuse you?

2. Is hope at the core of your spirituality? If not, why not? If not, what is?

3. Reflect over the past 2 years and score your inner sense of hope. Are you satisfied with your score? Why did you score it the way you did?

4. What's your outlook for the future? Is it optimistic or pessimistic? How does your outlook reflect your faith?

5. Pastor Jonathan mentioned "... like a muscle, exercise hope..." How do we exercise or express hope? What might that look like? Why might this be important?
QUESTIONS FOR FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN

1. Does thinking about thepast make you happy or sad? Why? Does thinking about the future make you happy or sad? Why?

2. Name 3 good things about the future that you're excited about? Is there anything that you can do now that will help you achieve/accomplish these 3 things?

3. Because of the hope we have in Jesus, the Bible teaches that it's not the past that defines us, it's the future that defines us. How can you exercise or express hope, (What can you do)?
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