Title: ”Jeremiah: An Introduction to Hard Times"
1. The message began with the thought that we’re all attracted to certain books of the Bible more than others. Name some that you find yourself going back to again and again. Which biblical books do you tend to avoid? How well do you know Jeremiah? How are you feeling about this sermon series: excited or apprehensive?
2. One thing Jeremiah illustrates well is the principle that we often invite hard times for ourselves through our sin and foolishness. Recall the slide Andy used to show our relationship with God’s law. How is it actually a sign of his love for us? Share a time when you invited “badness” into your life through your own poor choices. Why is this principle so important?
3. As we’ll see in this study, Jeremiah’s life and ministry were very hard. What are some ways you think Jeremiah was tempted to respond to his pain? How does Isaiah 45:5-7 lend insight into why we sometimes experience suffering? What about Philippians 1:12-13? How might asking, “Lord, what are you up to in this?” the next time suffering comes your way prove helpful?
4. Recall the slide showing the list of kings of Judah who ruled while Jeremiah was a prophet. How did most of them respond to Babylon’s threat? Why was their response perfectly natural? In contrast, why does God call us to respond supernaturally to the threats in our lives? Read Jeremiah 17:7-8. How does Jeremiah model for us both honestly about his pain and a Godward view?