Regardless of our circumstances, we all need the refreshment that hope can give. Like a cup of water to a parched soul, hope gives us strength to go on, to slog through difficulties and face the worst the world has to give yet not give up. The biblical narrative is riddled with hope; in fact, without hope, our faith and our very existence is empty and meaningless. Using the examples of those whose story is written in the Bible, the injunctions given in the New Testament, and personal experience, Rebecca has designed this retreat to pour out the hope she herself has been given by God and to lead others to the unshakeable Rock upon which our souls can be anchored during turbulent times. Each session ends with a time of prayer.
This retreat consists of:
- four main sessions
- one personal Bible study devotional
- optional: one monologue (See monologue topics/characters. Monologues suggested for this retreat are From Bitter to Blessed or God Meant It for Good)
Introduction: The God of all Hope
Hope is as essential to us as the air we breathe or the water we drink. God has described Himself as the God of all hope; therefore, we must come to Him. He is the Source. Here the foundation is laid for what biblical hope really is and how it is used in the Bible.
1st main session: Hope and the Faithfulness of God
Hope is based on the character of God. Apart from His reliability we have no hope. This session looks at the promises of God and the trustworthiness of God.
2nd main session: Hope and the Sovereignty of God
If God were not also sovereign, we could have no hope. Through the stories of people whose lives are recorded in the Bible, we come to understand that the sovereignty of God is not something to fear but rather something to rest in. Many have undergone numerous deep trials, but hope enabled them to persevere. Practical application and illustrations are given that help us to lay hold of the hope we have in God.
3rd main session: Hope and the "Terrible Times" to Come
The picture Jesus painted for us of the future here on earth is not a pleasant one. Reading through not only His prophetic words but also those of the apostles and other Old Testament prophets can make us very uneasy. The news of national and world events verify their words, and we are tempted to shrink in fear. But within those prophetic words Jesus also gave us clear instructions—action items, a to-do list, if you will. These are the antidote for fear, and they are grounded in hope.
4th main session: Hope and the Kingdom of God
Jesus taught much about the Kingdom of God. As His eyes were fixed on a Kingdom not of this world, so we too must anchor our lives in the hope of His Kingdom. This session explores what the Kingdom of God is and how it can focus our hearts on something and Someone far greater than any troubles this world may hand to us.
Personal Quiet Time: Hope-Wait-Trust
This study gives each woman alone time with God to study what God's Word says about Hope, Waiting on God, and Trusting in God. Sprinkled with personal reflection and prayer communion with God, it enables women to think through the areas of their own lives that need the water of God's Hope and then take the next step to apply it in practical, though not necessarily easy, ways.