Josh Haltom - Lead Pastor

Suffering: How Do We Comfort Those Who Are Experiencing It?

Dig In Questions:

Read Job 2:11-13

1) Can you think of a time when someone helped to comfort you in a time a suffering? What did they do that made a positive difference?

2) Read Psalm 34:17. How should God’s attentiveness to our suffering inspire us to be attentive to the needs of others?

3) Read John 15:12-13. Jesus’ willingness to lay down his life for us should serve as an example of how we should love others in their time of need. What do you struggle to “lay down” in your life for the sake of those who are hurting - your time, schedule, money, energy, etc? How can you begin to release this?

4) Read Romans 12:15. Why is it important that we weep with those who weep? What impact does this have on someone who is hurting?

5) In his book “Being There”, Dave Furman writes, “There is a kind of ministry that is without words.” How can our presence and our silence minister to those who are suffering?

6) In light of this week’s topic, who can you bring comfort to this week?

Suffering: Does It Serve A Purpose?

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Dig In Questions:

Read Job 2

1) Has there been a time in your life when suffering has caused you to doubt your faith? Has there been a time when suffering has encouraged your faith? What caused this reaction?

2) Read Romans 5:3-5. Why should we “rejoice” when running into problems or suffering? What does this teach us about how God views our problems?

3) Read Romans 8:28- Has there been a time where you have seen God take something bad, (such as suffering), and work it out for your own good?

4) Read James 1:2-4. Why do you think our suffering has a better chance to grow through bad times as opposed to a good season of life?

5) On Sunday, we talked about how “The grace and power of Jesus not only makes suffering manageable, but it makes it purposeful.” What do you need to do to continually remind yourself of this?

Suffering: When We Don’t Know Why

Dig In Questions:

Read Job 1

1) Can you give some examples of “deserved” and “undeserved suffering” from your life?

2) Read Proverbs 9:10. The Bible describes Job as a man who “feared God and stayed away from evil.” How can fearing God help us stay the course in our spiritual lives?

3) Why do you think Satan would want to attack those who are faithfully committed to God? What are some ways that you can protect yourself from his tricks and temptations?

4) On Sunday, we discussed how “we must experience life just as Job did - without complete answers to all of life’s questions”. How can this reality cause you to trust and lean into God during difficult times?

5) How do you typically respond to unfortunate circumstances or moments of suffering - with a “Why me, God?” attitude or an “I trust you, God!” attitude?

6) Let’s say that someone you know is going through a season of undeserved suffering. How would you begin to encourage them?

Roll The Stone

Dig In Questions:

Read John 11:1-44

1) Have you ever had a problem that you thought was too great for Jesus to handle?

2) Have you experienced a time in life when you felt that you had no hope, or that hope had been lost? How did Jesus come through?

3) In his teaching, Josh said that we often grieve the losses that Jesus is still able to repair. When it comes to your messy past, reputation, experiences, mistakes, shame, or guilt, how do you find that to be true in your life?

4) Josh reminded us that it’s never too late for Jesus. When it comes to the hopeless areas in the lives of your family members, your friends, or yourself, how does the account of Lazarus’ resurrection help to give you hope?

5) Before Jesus would heal Lazarus, he asked them to show him where his body was laid. Before Jesus will heal our situation, he wants us to show it to him - he wants us to take him to it. What situation are you dealing with that you need to lead Jesus to?

6) Mary said to Jesus, "If you’d been here, you could have done something"...but they forgot that Jesus was with them. We need to remember that he is always with us. If you’ve never rolled the stone away to allow Jesus access to your life, what’s holding you back?

Remembering God's Faithfulness

Dig In Questions:

1) Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt that your circumstances were a reflection of God's love for you? What was that season of life like for you?

2) What would you say to someone who truly believes their unfortunate circumstances are a reflection of God's love for them?

3) Read Exodus 14:14. What do you need to do in order to remain calm in the midst of poor circumstances?

4) When was a time that God showed up for you in a hopeless situation? Does that memory help you to trust God with your momentary circumstances? Why or why not?

5) What is one lesson that you can take away from this series on Esther?