The power of hope

The power of hope

In 1950, foremost American psychobiologist Dr. Curt Richter conducted the “Rat Experiment” to measure the endurance and survival limits of rats.

He placed rats in water, observing them swim. Around 15 minutes, they become exhausted and drowned. In a second trial, he rescued the rats just before they gave up, allowing them to rest and dry before placing them back in the water.

The rescued rats swam for nearly 60 hours (2.5 days), emphasizing the power of hope when one knows help is on the way. Similarly, WW2 hero Louis Zamperini endured 45 days adrift in open water and survived to face more challenges, but he was “unbroken.”

DISCUSSION (10 minutes):

  1. Why were the rats able to survive for 60 hours when, at first, they could only do so in 15 minutes?
  2. Can you survive for 45 days in open water? If yes, how?

After faith comes hope

Life is hard, but hope helps us survive. For example, you can survive school because you hope to graduate soon, or you can endure a difficult job because you look forward to buying a home.

Christians have greater hope than unbelievers.

As a child of God through Christ, we know God will rescue us, so we have hope. But hope only comes when we have faith in Christ, and faith comes only by hearing His words (Romans 10:17).

Philippians 4:8
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

DISCUSSION (15 minutes):

  1. Why is it important to “fix our mind” on only good things?
  2. What happens when we entertain or verbalize negative thoughts? (Read Proverbs 18:20-21)
  3. What negative thoughts do you constantly struggle with, and how can you overcome them?

The promises of Jesus

Jesus never promised life would be good or we would be rich and always happy. This is not heaven. But God promised never to leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We are able to overcome when we remain in Jesus.

John 15:5-6
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me, you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire, and burned.

DISCUSSION (10 minutes):

  1. Do you feel God has never left you? Share your experience.
  2. How do we remain in Jesus?


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