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Week One: How to Get Through Hard Times

Isaiah 40:1-5

  1. What do you enjoy the most during Advent? What do you dread? 
  2. In verse 4, the imagery lends itself to four categories of suffering: the valley (a hopeless, dark place); the mountain (a powerful obstacle to overcome); rough ground (a destructive situation); and rough places (places of danger). Which of these four categories speak to you the most and why?
  3. Take a moment to read and discuss Comfort and Joy: Good Tidings for Hard Times by Jeanne Harrison in the Grace magazine, or listen to the audio version together. 
  4. Read Revelation 21:1-5. When the Lamb says He is making all things new, what does that include? 
  5. What would you like God to “make new” in your life this Advent? 

Week Two: The Surprising Strength in Your Weakness

Isaiah 40:5-10

  1. Read Isaiah 40:5-10. In this passage God calls Isaiah to preach boldly. When God says, “Cry out,” what is Isaiah’s response? 
  2. Think of a time in your life when God called you to something. Did you respond like Isaiah? Why or why not? 
  3. What are some of the reasons we resist God’s call on our lives? 
  4. Read 2 Corinthians 12:9. How does our weakness demonstrate God’s strength? 
  5. What is broken in your story that God is using for His glory right now? 

Week Three: Fighting Spiritual ADHD

Isaiah 40:11-14; 17-20

  1. Take turns reading through Isaiah 40:11-14; 17-20; and Psalm 115:2-8. What are the major and recurring themes in these verses? 
  2. In these passages, we’re shown the surpassing power and love of God. He is unrivaled in authority and wisdom, yet leads us in gentleness. With a Father like this, why do we seek to follow lesser things that can never really satisfy us or make us whole? 
  3. Take a moment to read and discuss Finding Contentment at Christmas by Mike Standish in the Grace magazine, or listen to the audio version together.
  4. Where in your life do you need a bigger view of God?
  5. What are some practical ways we can keep our eyes on the Father?

Week Four: What to Do When You Are Tired of Everything

Isaiah 40:25-31

  1. Read Isaiah 40:25-31. What’s the difference between “weary” and “weak”? 
  2. God offers to renew our strength. Where do you need that most in your life right now? 
  3. What promises of God do you cling to when you find yourself weary or weak? 
  4. Take a moment to read and discuss Counselor’s Corner: Why Self Care is Biblical by Julie Hotalen in the Grace magazine, or listen to the audio version together. 
  5. Close by discussing your biggest takeaways from this Advent series. How can you pray for one another?

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