No matter what kind of problems and struggles you are facing right now, no matter what kind of season of darkness and pain you might be in, do not abandon hope. As Christians, our hope is still alive because…Immanuel, God is with us. - Pastor Dave
Open: Describe a time you felt absolutely helpless: How did you respond? In what ways did you attempt to fix the situation?
Read: Isaiah 6-9; Matthew 1-2; Colossians 1
1. We have all had moments when we have felt helpless and hopeless. Why does the Christmas season seem to exacerbate these feelings? In what ways should these feelings actually connect us all the more to the Christmas story?
2. Describe the hopeless situation in Isaiah 7: What is Ahaz’s, King of Judah, reaction? How does “trembled like trees of a forest shaking in the wind” beautifully describe hopeless situations?
3. How did Ahaz attempt to fix his situation? In what ways do we freeze, fade or fix our situations? What is your natural default? Despite knowing God's promises to take care of us, why do we look to others and to ourselves instead of God? How have you seen this in your life or in the lives of those you know?
4. God calls Isaiah to bring a message of hope. How does God, through Isaiah, taunt the enemies of Judah? Describe the four loaded words in Isaiah 7:4: Why is it so difficult to believe at times that God is bigger than our fears? How should the presence of God cause us to stand firm in our faith regardless of the situation?
5. God graciously offers a sign to Ahaz. What does the fact that he rejects the sign tell us about Ahaz’s character? Describe the sign: How is this sign connected to the Christmas story?
6. How should “God with us” and “God in us” transform our perspective of life? In Colossians 1:27 Paul says, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” What is the hope of glory?
Pray: Pray that in the most difficult moments of your life, you will stand confidently in the hope of Christ’s presence with you and in you.
Memorize/Meditate: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:22-23