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Summary: God wants to put a smile on your face.

That’ll Put a Smile on Your Face

Jeremiah 29:1-13

Sermon by: Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church, West Monroe, LA

Originally preached January 25, 2004

*Wade Hughes tells us that the average child laughs 400 times a day...

--But the average adult only laughs 15 times a day. (1)

*Have you lost the laughter in your life?

-Sometimes we do

--But that’s not good.

*Pro 17:22 tells us that

-A merry heart does us good like a medicine...

--And as we look into the Word of God today, we see that God wants to put a smile on your face.

1. He cares about your pain...

-(We see this in vs. 4-9)

*The people who got this letter from the Lord were in great pain...

1-They were in pain first of all because of losing...

*They had gone through a terrible loss to the Babylonian Empire.

*Think for a moment about the splendors of ancient Babylon. Melvin Newland helps us see with these words:

-"In 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army captured Jerusalem. The invaders took the King prisoner, plundered the temple, & carried off 10,000 captives to spend the rest of their lives in a foreign land along with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego who had been taken in an earlier invasion.

-Three months later, following a 600-mile journey around the Arabian Desert, the Jewish captives entered Babylon, the largest & most magnificent city in the ancient world. Its walls were so thick that 4 chariots could race side by side around its top. Three-hundred sixty-five guard towers & a moat fed by the River Euphrates made the city virtually impregnable.

-Entering through the Ishtar Gate, the Jewish captives were led down Processional Street, whose light blue brick walls displayed 120 white enameled lions with manes of yellow & red. The street ended at Nebuchadnezzar’s palace & the Temple of Marduk, which stood, taller than the pyramids, on what some scholars believe was the ancient site of the Tower of Babel.

-Babylon was a cultural & architectural wonder. But in the 6th Century B.C., it was no place for a devout Jew. It was foreign, idolatrous, & the home of the pagans who had plundered Jerusalem & taken them captive." (2)

*Babylon was a cultural & architectural wonder, but that was no comfort to God’s people.

-All of the splendor just reminded them of the strength of their enemy, their godless enemy who had plundered their city & carried them away as slaves.

-The Jews had lost the most precious things in their lives.

2-They were in pain because of losing, but also because they had been lied to.

*Vs. 9 mentions the false prophets that were telling the people that it would all be over in 2 years, but that was a lie.

*And it hurts to be lied to.

-By the way: Don’t deceive people!

-You are doing far more damage than you know.

3-They were in pain because they had been lied to, but also because they had left the Lord.

-Not all of them of course...

--But most of them had turned away from God.

*Time after time the Lord had warned them about their sinful rebellion, but they wouldn’t listen.

*And it brought great pain not only to their lives, but to the lives of their children, and to the innocent people who had tried to follow the Lord.

4-Sin always causes pain.

*Your pain might be from your own sin or maybe from somebody else’s sin...

--But God cares about your pain.

*Even when it’s your fault, He cares.

-He cared enough to tell these people the truth about their 70 years of captivity.

-He cared enough to send them this letter of ultimate comfort & hope from the Lord.

-He cared enough to send His Son to die on the Cross for this sinful world.

*Jesus Christ went through immeasurable physical & emotional pain for us, because He cares about our pain.

*King Duncan tells about a bridal shower, where the card on the last gift said:

-"May this always be so...

--Much love, Mother & Dad."

*The bride opened the gift, and inside a frame was an old, yellowed piece of paper with a little girl’s handwriting on it.

-It was the bride’s handwriting from years ago.

*On that long ago day she had written:

-"Today we had a test in history

-I had to go to the dentist too.

-We did not win the paper drive.

--This is the worst day I have ever had in my life."

*Mom & Dad wanted that to always be the worst day of her life.

-They wanted the best for their daughter. (3)

*And though some bad days will come to us, our Heavenly Father surely wants the best for us!

-He even wants to put a smile on your face.

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