04 Jul Sermon Recap | Christianity | Suffering and a Fallen World
Suffering is integrated into the life of every person, both believers and nonbelievers, because of the broken world we live in. Instead of being surprised by suffering, we should root our perspective in the truth of the Bible–that this world is broken by the presence of sin and what we experience is unnatural to God’s creation. If we put our hope in the world rather than Christ, we will find that it is frustrating, unfulfilling, and futile.
Overcome | Elevation Worship | iTunes
The Greatness of our God | Vertical Church Band | iTunes
Deuteronomy 32:1-3 • Romans 8:38-39 • Isaiah 40:26-31 • Jeremiah 10:6
Set My Hope | Grace Church Worship | iTunes
Sovereign Over Us | Aaron Keyes | iTunes
Genesis 50:20 • Jeremiah 29:11 • Isaiah 55:8-9 • Romans 8:28
Fully Devoted | LifeChurch Worship | iTunes
Romans 12:1 • 1 Corinthians 6:19 • Philippians 1:20 • Deuteronomy 6:5
1. We all experience futility in the small and big things of this world. What is a recent situation in which you have experienced life not working out “the way it should”? What was your response to this situation? Based on what we know to be true about the world, how should we respond to suffering?
2. Romans 8:28 is often quoted for stating that all things work together for the good of those who love God. How have you interpreted this verse? Understood in the context of the Holy Spirit pleading for us in line with God’s will, how does that change your view of what is our ultimate “good”? In what way does this affect your perspective of how God uses suffering in the life of one of His children whom He is conforming into the likeness of Jesus?
3. A common tension when we undergo suffering is to question why God doesn’t free us from the hardship and pain. However, we know that God is already working on our behalf because He is in the process of making all things new. When you think back to times of suffering, did you trust God’s work in the midst? If you are experiencing suffering now, are you hoping in the security and goodness of eternity, or have you placed hope in this futile world? Why is this difficult for us to do, and how can we fight to believe these truths?
Thoughts to consider
– Every living thing experiences groaning, a longing for God to deliver us from the brokenness of this life. Groaning and hoping go hand-in-hand because groaning is a part of the process of hoping in the assurance of something bigger and better.
– The Holy Spirit is given to us as a foretaste of what is to come. Although we are decaying and dying on earth, we are also being renewed day by day, and while we are laboring and enduring in this broken world, the Holy Spirit is laboring on our behalf.
– God does not cause us to suffer, but He allows it for our good. Our highest good is to commune with God, and He can allow anything, even suffering, to draw us back to Him.
– Through grief and suffering, God uniquely equips us to walk with others experiencing the same type of pain. At Grace Church, we offer an opportunity for community and discipleship alongside others who may be in a similar season of loss and grief—click here for more information on how to get involved with GriefShare.
“Suffering is about who God is and what He has done—not about our freedom from it.”
“Just as we are laboring and enduring in this broken world, the Holy Spirit is laboring on our behalf.”
“We have an assurance of Christ in our suffering—His presence is our ultimate good.”
“What we believe about the future has everything to do with how we handle suffering in the present.”
“There’s a nearness to God you can only experience through suffering.”