Ice Breaker: Following up on the metaphor from the sermon, if you were a boat floating through the sea of life what type of boat would you be? Why?
Exploring False Hopes
Jeremiah’s Extreme Hope
SKIM over the first two chapters of Lamentations. How would you summarize the historical situation and emotional state of Jeremiah?
Helping Others Hope
Pastor Thomas repeatedly referred to three common people as examples of people in need of hope: your neighbor, your waitress, the teenager trudging through your neighborhood. Apply Jeremiah’s sources of hope to each of these case studies:
NEIGHBOR: Your neighbor is concerned about a pending layoff at his job. It is likely his position will be cut with no severance package. He shares with you that there are no “rainy day” funds in his bank account and he has a growing mental panic. How might you empathize and then relate how the truth that “God’s love never ceases” has given you hope in times of duress?
WAITRESS: You asked your waitress, “When we pray over our food is there any way that we could pray for your?” Initially she hesitated, but a few minutes later she returns and blurts out, “My boyfriend has been drinking more and more. We’ve lived together for 4 years, but I feel like he’s drifting from me and going to end up in trouble.” How might you respond with compassion and then relate how the truth that “God’s faithfulness is great” has given you hope when facing people problems?
TEENAGER: You are friendly acquaintances with a family in your townhouse complex. You had a cookout with them last year. Lately you’ve heard the teenage son and his father arguing frequently which typically ends with the teen bolting out the door to trudge angrily around the complex. This time you feel the Holy Spirit prompt you to gently engage the young man so you grab a couple of Cokes and head out. The teenager is open to conversing. How might you relate the truth that “God’s mercy is new every morning” can offer true hope to this young man?