How Can a Good God Allow Suffering? | Aug 6 – Aug 12, 2017

Series Big Idea

Even when facing big questions that don’t have easy answers, we can find solid reasons to move forward in faith, believing that the message of Christianity is true.

Message Big Idea

While God does not provide the reason for each experience of pain, through Jesus he does provide a way to face suffering with hope and courage rather than bitterness and despair.

Scripture – Matthew 27:46

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

Scripture – Revelation 21:1-4

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Ice Breaker and Opening Thought

  1. What bones, if any, have you broken?
  2. is week we are wrestling with the difficult question of why a good God would allow suffering in his world. Who do you talk to about difficult questions like this?
  3. In what ways have you wrestled with this question of suffering in our world?
  4. What has been helpful/unhelpful to you when considering this question?

Bible Discussion

  1. Read Revelation 21:1-4. What words or phrases stand out to you? Why?
  2. Why do you think God still allows suffering to exist, even though his plan is to do away with pain and the “old order of things?”
  3. Read Matthew 27:46. The Bible doesn’t give us a simple answer to our questions about suffering. How does the suffering of Jesus make a difference in this conversation?

Life Application

  1. Think back to a time of suffering. How has that experience changed your life? How would your life be different if you hadn’t undergone that suffering?
  2. In what ways can we find comfort in Jesus in our current pain and suffering?
  3. The next time you know someone who is experiencing suffering, how could you come alongside them?


Close the group by encouraging the group to think about how they might be prepared to bring encouragement to those they meet this week who are experiencing suffering. You may choose to end by sharing the quote by John Stott in the leader’s guide. Finish by praying for God’s presence to be known when we suffer, and that we might learn to put our hope in God’s ability to redeem our pain.