The Thrill of Hope



Each Sunday I'll be sharing notes, insights and thoughts about lessons from our Church, Preston Trail, which we try to attend in person each week but always online. Preston Trail is a "newer" church (18 years young) and very new to me as I've only been attending for a few months now. My girlfriend, Angel, introduced me to it online and I immediately liked the senior pastor, Jim Johnson (it may have helped when he referenced golf and star wars in the first sermon I watched him give).


Each week the sermon has a prepared lesson (good for my engineer mind) that comes with fill in the blank notes and sometimes study guides. I'm a big believer in diving deeper and reviewing what I learn so it actually gets used in my life at some point, even if it's on an sub-conscience level.


So, since we are in December these next few lessons are focused around the Christmas season. For Sunday, December 6th, we tackled the Thrill of Hope (see the full sermon below). I'll share the fill in the blank notes along with a few of my own (can be seen in blue) - I "hope" it's of value!


Fill in the blank notes:


The Hope of Peace: December 6 with Jim Johnson

Part of The Thrill of Hope December 2020 Series


What is the thrill of hope?

  • it is the palpable excitement that comes from having a confident expectation about a future reality

  • Our prayer is that you will discover that Jesus is your best hope to find the peace that you so desperately need.

I found this piece extremely helpful with the current circumstances we are all facing during this time. Jim used the analogy of having no belief the Dallas Cowboys would be able to turn around their season since there has been zero proof since Jerry Jones has the ability to actually put together a winning Super Bowl Team. So there is no expectation for hope as there has been no proof it would be fulfilled. Versus a soon to be groom waiting for his soon to be bride to come down the aisle as Jim has officiated hundreds of marriages he's seen them be nervous, excited, twitching, crying, etc but they always expected the outcome to happen. The grooms had expectant hope as in the past their soon to be brides had shown up for dates, said yes to marriage and shared their feelings with them. So, the grooms had "proof" of hope. Right now, we may all be going through a time of little hope as most of us have never faced something like what's going on but history has gone through things ten and one hundred times worse, making it through no matter what. Just like having belief in Jesus Christ who has proven he is always there for us, even if we have our backs turned to him. All we need do is having hope and expect him to be there when we need him.


What is peace?

  • Peace as a noun refers to the state of being ____ (whole), fulfilled, or ____ (serene)

  • Peace as a verb means to ____ (restore) something to wholeness or completeness

We struggle to find peace when:

  • Something is ____ (broken)

  • Something is ____ (missing)

  • Something is out of place

Here’s the big picture when it comes to peace—

"Life is incredibly complex. It is made up of a multitude of moving parts, relationships, and changing situations. When any of these are broken, missing, or out of alignment, our shalom breaks down… Life is no longer whole. It needs to be restore" - The Bible Project

Jesus is our peace! (Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 2:14; Colossians 1:19-20)


During Christmas many "hope" the holiday will bring peace, love and joy. We've been going Christmas light sightseeing over the past few days seeing these words plastered everywhere so it would only make sense that these "feelings" would be expected during this time. In reality peace, love and joy can only be found by having faith in God through our savior, Jesus Christ. We tend to seek out those feelings from things we can see, touch or reference but it's in the "unseen" where they become a reality, not "needing" something to generate them for us. Turn to Jesus Chris as your default for peace instead of seeking it elsewhere.


How does Jesus bring us peace?

  • Jesus makes peace with ____ (God) possible (Romans 5:1 NLT)

  • Jesus ____ (gives) us peace in circumstances beyond our control

  • At times he gives us peace in the present by promising that all things will be restored in the future (John 16:33 NLT)

  • At other times he simply gives us the kind of peace which God himself has (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

  • He ____ (models) how to live a peace-full life (John 1:14 NIV)

How can you find peace today?

  • God offers to give us peace in the circumstances of life we cannot control. Therefore, some peace can be found only by ____ (trusting) Jesus for it. (Isaiah 26:3; Romans 15:13)

  • Finding peace in the circumstances of life we can control is up to us. Therefore, some peace can be found only by ____ (working) for it. (Matthew 5:9; Romans 12:18)

Control is a big topic when it comes to peace. We often allow external circumstances to break our peace, causing us to doubt our situation. The only thing we can actually control is our reaction to something that happens. We tend to give ourselves, myself included, too much credit that we can control our feelings when someone hurts them. In reality the only thing we can control is our faith that no matter what it will work out for us, even if what's happening is perceived as a loss or negative. Our faith will always be tested as we have been programmed to sin because of our mothers and fathers before us. The best news is we can overcome and be restored by turning to Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself for all of our sins.


We all are in need of peace … what kind of peace do you need today?


Full sermon...


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