SIMPLE FAITH Where is God in the Midst of Suffering? Conversation Starters

Sep 30, 2018 | Life Groups, SIMPLE FAITH

  1. What stood out to you in the sermon? (Missed it? Try vancouverchurch.org/sermons)
  2. Read John 11:1-44. List your three favorite phases in this passage and explain your choices
    __________     __________     __________
  3. In this event, what do we learn about suffering from the following people? Even if your thought is not complete, jot down a few words that describe the various ideas floating in your head.
    Lazarus           Mary & Martha           Jesus
    __________     __________              __________
    __________     __________              __________
    __________     __________              __________
  4. Describe the timeline of your life as it relates to joy and suffering. Starting as a kid, just roughly draw your own roller-coaster of high and lows. Looking at your pencil-sketch little graph, how would you describe your experience of suffering in life? You may also want to discuss the Viktor Fankl quote on the front of the bulletin.
  5. Listed below are three statements that were presented as shallow compared to the Bible’s account of suffering. Give your thoughts on these statements and how they differ from a solid, biblical view of suffering. 1) Everything happens for a reason. 2) It’s part of God’s plan. 3) What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  6. Read Isaiah 43:1-5 and Psalm 34:18, then describe a way in which you’ve recognized God’s presence in the midst of your suffering.
  7. End your time together in prayer. Set a timer for 2 minutes of silence before the first person prays, so that each person can quietly ask God, “What are you wanting to develop in me through my suffering?” 
  8. Discuss your willingness to take the steps you’ve defined and pray for each other. Be sure you give a few moments of stillness and silence before you start praying, to listen for any subtle promptings the Spirit may have for you in your time of prayer!
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