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?

God Rewards Our Faithfulness

Dig In Questions:

Read Esther 8

1) Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you felt like God gave you a fresh start or a new lease on life?

2) At FCC, we often say that “We are a bunch of imperfect people seeking after a perfect God”. How have you seen that demonstrated in the Bible? How have you seen that demonstrated in your own life?

3) In the sermon, it was said, “Rewards aren’t something we deserve - they are not something we earn.” If you are a Christian, how has God rewarded your faithfulness? If you are not yet a Christian, how have you been rewarded by doing life with believers?

4) Think of someone who you see as a person of great faith. What sets them apart from all the other “nice people”? Are there places in your life that need changed in order for people to see your faithfulness?

5) Read Psalm 84:10. Has this been your experience in life? How so?