These studies do not tell you what the Bible says. The scriptures given direct you to specific topics. The questions are intended to help you focus on the study. No answers are given. You have to read and search the scriptures for the answers. We encourage you to use Bible helps such as concordances and commentaries. However, scholars and theologians often disagree on interpretation and application. The best study help comes from God. Pray. Allow yourself to be honest with your reactions, but don't jump to conclusions. It takes time to read and meditate on all the Bible says on various topics. Feel free to ask questions in your prayers. You will be amazed to discover that God does answer the sincere seeker. You will also be surprised that the Bible may not say what you might think it does on many subjects. Keep a notebook. A loose leaf one would make it possible to add thoughts and additional information as you learn more about different subjects. Welcome to an exciting search.

Hope Not Yet Seen

by Scarlett Stough

To prepare for this study, please read the Women in Christ commentary, Naomi.

Part I Naomi's Example

1. Ruth 1:1-5 What solution did this family find for their economic problem? How well did it work for them?

2. Ruth 1:6-13 How did Naomi cope with her loss and grief? What all did Naomi believe she had lost? Why did she encourage her daughters-in-law to abandon her? Though well-intended, do you think this was wise?

3. Ruth 1:14-19 What kind of character do you think Naomi had to have to be able to build this close relationship with Ruth and Orpah?

4. Ruth 1:20-21 What do you think was Naomi's greatest loss?

5. Ruth 1:22-2:1-3 Why was the timing of their arrival important for their survival? (See: Leviticus 19:9-10; 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19-22.)

6. Ruth 2:2, 22;3:1-5, 16-18; Titus 2:1-5 How did Ruth and Naomi help each other?

7. Ruth 2:17-23; 3:1, 18 What do you see God gradually restoring to Naomi throughout this story?

8. Ruth 4:13-17 Naomi felt abandoned by God, but how does this story illustrate God's provision in times of loss and grief?

9. What coping attitudes and actions did Naomi take that could be applied in any circumstance involving feelings of abandonment, loss and grief?

Part II Wait Patiently

1. Romans 8:24-25; I Peter 1:13; I Corinthians 13:13; Hebrews 11:1 What is the value of hope when everything else seems lost?

2. II Kings 6:15-17; Habakkuk 3:17-19; Psalm 31:1, 21-24; 39:12-13; 40:1; 71:1-5, 9, 14; 42:5, 11 The prophets did not deny the severity of the difficult circumstances they experienced. How did they sustain their hope? What can you keep in mind and do to sustain your hope?

3. Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:10-14; Hebrews 12:1-5; 13:5-6 How does God encourage those who love and seek him? How does your love for God sustain you during difficult times?

4. Hebrews 3:12-19; 10:23-25; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:1-5; II Corinthians 1:3-11; James 5:13-16 In what ways can those who hope in God help sustain the hope of others who are going through tough times?

5. John 14:16-21; Psalm 27:10; Isaiah 66:13; Deuteronomy 31:6; Philippians 4:6-9 Even if you are left to cope alone, God has promised to be with you. How can you be sure the invisible Creator God is with you when you have no tangible evidence for it?

6. What have you learned from these Scriptures that will sustain your hope through the joys and sorrows of your life?