Anticipate: Free to Hope Again

Written by admin on Dec 10, 2018 in - No Comments
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When John the Baptist lands in prison, he has a faith crisis. Have you ever had a faith crisis? When you have doubts, what do you do with them? In this second sermon of Advent, Adam  reminds us that Jesus, not our circumstances, has the last word. When we understand and accept Jesus’s lordship—that he has the last word—we are freed to live with expectation and hope.

Sermon Discussion Questions

  • At the beginning of his sermon, Adam pointed out that anticipation creates appreciation. Have you seen this dynamic at work in your life or the world around you? What is something you appreciated more because of a period of anticipation leading up to it?
  • One of the reasons we crowd out anticipation with distractions, Adam said, is because we are afraid of being let down. “If we’re not careful, we can spend our lives avoiding anticipation & expectation as a means of self-protection, and lose out on the joy that comes with appreciating all God is doing in our lives.” Do you agree?
  • John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus and baptized him—and whom Jesus called greater than all the Old Testament prophets—ended up in prison and had a faith crisis. What do you think was going through his mind in prison? Have you ever had a faith crisis?
  • John the Baptist’s doubts pushed him to ask questions and seek answers. How do you tend to respond to your doubts?
  • Doubt doesn’t always discredit faith. Rather, it tests faith and can even strengthen it, Adam said. Do you agree? Has your faith been strengthened in any way by your doubts?
  • “What John needed more than anything else was simply to be reminded that Jesus is Lord,” Adam said, because “If Jesus is Lord, then imprisonment would not have the last word.” What in this life do you fear having the last word?
  • Read Romans 8:15–25. What images of expectation and anticipation do you notice?
  • A fresh revelation of Jesus’s lordship—of his having the last word—gives us the freedom to hope again. Take a moment to bring your doubts before God and ask him to remind you of his lordship, as he did for John, so that you might be free to fully anticipate his goodness again.