(Message 2) “I want a God who will end suffering!” Why doesn’t God do something about all the suffering in the world? Why does He allow evil to exist in the first place? No theological answer can take away our pain when suffering strikes. However, knowing the answers to these questions will help us understand why the world is the way it is and what God is going to do about it. #searchingforabettergod
” For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.”
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
Does anyone in your group remember the 1975 movie (remade in 2004) “Stepford Wives”? How did you feel when you figured out that the wives were being turned into robots?
Think of a time when you experienced disappointment or were offended by a friend whom you thought had your back. How did it make you feel?
Start thinking and sharing. Ask a question to get your group thinking and to create openness.
Troy shared a quote from C. S. Lewis. Read the quote found on the PDF 2nd page. Have you had a similar experience during difficult circumstances? Share with the group.
Read Genesis 1:27. What is the significance of God’s creation of man in “his own image?” Now read Genesis 2:8-9 and Genesis 2:15-17. Troy shared his thoughts about why God gave man freedom of choice, placed him in a beautiful garden, and then told him he could eat of any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Do you agree with what Troy shared? Why or why not? What would you have done differently? Would freedom of choice have played a role?
Read Genesis 6:5-6. What was God’s reaction to the result of Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden? Do you believe that God shares some of the blame for suffering in the world? Why or why not?
What 2 things happened as a result of Adam’s and Eve’s sin?
Read Romans 8:22-23 in the NLT version. What does the phrase ‘foretaste of future glory’ mean? Read and discuss the key thought found here: God’s Holy Fire: ‘A Foretaste of Future Glory!’ . If you have further questions, set up a time to touch base with your leader.
Read the Romans Road verses (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10-18; Romans 5:8; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:9; Romans 10:13; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:1; and Romans 8:38-39). Use those verses and the passage and verses on the back of this sheet from Why Does God Allow Suffering? to determine God’s provision for sin and suffering.
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
Read 1 Peter 4:8. Think of and discuss steps you can take to exercise your free will to choose to love, when you find yourself in difficult circumstances this week.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
Praise God for everything that He has made. Thank him that, even though our world is full of brokenness and difficult circumstances, we have the Holy Spirit to give us a “taste of our future glory” awaiting us in heaven.
Pray through the requests in your small group prayer journal.