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Up Part II

Up In and Out Part 2

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Summary

We have been looking at three dimensions of relationship that shaped Jesus’ life; his UPWARD relationship with the Father, his INWARD relationship with his followers and his OUTWARD relationship with the world. Jesus’ core relationship was with his Father. Jesus wasn’t rushed or pushed into anything. He wasn’t manipulated into doing what others wanted him to do. Even when he was pressed in the most intense and difficult situations, he did not retreat. We want to pattern our lives like Jesus and that begins with our UPWARD relationship with the Father. 

Our UP relationship orients our eyes in a direction that builds our hope and increases our capacity to see God working around us. 

John 1:14 NIV

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:18 NIV

No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Matthew 5:3 The Message

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

Matthew 3:16–17 NIV

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Matthew 17:5 NIV

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

Tiqvah (teek-vah): expectation; something yearned for and anticipated eagerly; something for which one waits. It comes from the verb qavah, meaning “to wait for” or “to look hopefully” in a particular direction. 

Its original meaning was “to stretch like a rope.” 

One of God’s promises from scripture is that he will “…transform the Valley’s of Trouble into a gateway of hope.” (Hosea 2:14-15 NLT)

2 Corinthians 4:7–10 NIV

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

God redeems our troubles, our brokenness, our pain, our grief, even our sin and He injects HOPE right smack into the middle of that place. And just like a stretched rope, we can feel the pull of His hands, His promises, reminding us that He is our rescuer.

He transforms the Valley of Trouble into a door of hope!

Our intimacy and depth of relationship with the Father has significant impact on our outlook 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • How would you rate your current level of hope?
  • Do you make enough space for prayer?  
  • Are you obedient to God’s promptings?
  • What valleys of trouble have you seen God transform into gateways of hope?
  • What do you sense God might be saying to you right now?
  • What do you need to do about it?