Waiting on the World to Change… Third Sunday of Advent

Waiting on the World to Change… Third Sunday of Advent

Waiting on the World to Change… “Tidings of Comfort and Joy…” Jer. 31:1-14, 31-34 December 11th, 2016


Service canceled due to heavy snowfall. No service audio available for this week.


I. WHAT God is GOING to DO… (v.1-6,31-34)

A. A Renewal of JOY. (v.4)
B. A Renewal of PEACE and PROSPERITY. (v.5)
C. A Renewal of WORSHIP. (v.6)
D. A new LEVEL of RELATIONSHIP. (v.31-34)

The section of Jeremiah (Chap. 30-33) where we find today’s text has often been called
the “Book of Comfort.” It brings a lot of hope to the situation the Jewish people found
themselves in. God is not finished yet, He has not forgotten them. He is going to begin
to renew things in an amazing way…pointing toward the ultimate renewal of all things.

1. The last two weeks we’ve looked at the difficulty in the world around us. How does
that help you to better appreciate the birth of Jesus?
2. When have to experienced a sense of “renewal” in your own spiritual life? What was
that like?
3. How is the promise of a new covenant going to make life different for us than it was
for Jeremiah’s original audience? What does it mean, “they will all know me”? (v.34)

II. WHO God is GOING to do it FOR… (v.7-9)

A. THOSE in broken RELATIONSHIPS. (v.1,31)
B. THOSE without a HOME. (v.8)
C. Those who get LEFT BEHIND. (v.8)

The beauty of what God does is that it touches all levels and areas of society. God will
bring together those who have built walls of separation between them, those who are
lost with no where to go, even those that the rest of the world often leaves behind. He
is opening a new way for all who are willing to come.

4. In what ways has God brought healing to your relationships, given you a “home”, or
looked out for you when others weren’t?
5. Do you tend to have an optimistic or pessimistic viewpoint on life? Does that impact
the amount of joy that you live with?
6. If you had to explain to someone what the difference was between joy and
happiness what would you say? Illustrate with examples from your own life?

III. Past WORDS bring PRESENT Joy. (v.3-4)

A. Joy is ANCHORED in God’s CHARACTER. (v.3; Rom. 15:13)
B. “Hesed”: A LOYAL love that LASTS. (v.3; Ps. 90:14)
C. The gift of a RENEWED IDENTITY. (v.4; Rom. 8:1)
D. LIVING with ANTICIPATORY Joy. (v.31; II Cor. 4:18)

Just as the Jews were to hang on to these words as they waited for the coming renewal,
we are to hang on to them as well. The God who came to Bethlehem that night has
changed everything for everyone. And He will return for a final fulfillment, an ultimate
renewal that will make all things new. In that hope we are called to live with joy.

7. Describe three things that are true about God’s character and how they impact your
life on a daily or weekly basis?
8. Who, in your life, has loved you with “hesed”? What did that teach you about the
love of God?
9. What does it mean to you to have a renewed identity as a “holy, blameless, deeply
loved child of God”?
10.What are some specific ways that you can practice living with anticipatory joy in the
coming weeks?