Start Up

This weekend, we started a brand-new series called, “One Question.” Leading up to this series, the church posed a question on our website and social media, “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?” This series will tackle those questions. A lot of questions fit into a particular category: suffering and pain. If God is good and all-powerful, why is there evil and suffering in the world? For all of us, this question is personal…and challenging. Continue the conversation started this weekend.

  • If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
  • Is it surprising to you that one of the most popular questions was, “God, why do bad things happen to good people?” Is it a question you’ve asked?

Discuss Together

Read John 11:17–44. Since this is a longer passage, consider having multiple people read the passage.

  • What were some of the questions and confusing thoughts Mary, Martha, Jesus’ disciples, and those in the crowd had regarding Jesus prior to Lazarus’ resurrection?

  • Think back to the last time you went through something hard or you suffered. Maybe it’s right now. What questions and confusing thoughts did you have about God in those moments?

  • Why is it significant that Jesus wept?

Greg said, “This story serves as an illustration condensed down into one afternoon what God is doing on a grand human history scale. He allowed their suffering; He entered into their suffering with them, and then in the end, He made things right by bringing about new life. The reason they suffered was not because Jesus lost His power or stopped loving them.”

  • Is this story helpful to you as you think about your own moments of suffering? What else stood out to you from Greg’s message that you found to be helpful?

  • What have you learned about engaging with other people who are hurting or suffering? What is helpful? What isn’t?

  • What have you learned about processing grief, hurt, and suffering in your own life? What has given you hope in the middle of it?

  • Sometimes the best lessons we learn in life come from the worst moments in our lives. Has that been true for you? How?

  • Are you currently going through a moment of suffering or pain? If you are comfortable, share with the group. How can we pray for you?

LIVE BIG

Take a moment to pray for each other. When people share, we need to acknowledge we won’t have a satisfying answer to pain or an answer to the “why” question (“Why is this happening to me?”). While the “why” is difficult to know, God wants us to know who He is: He is a God of love, power, grace, peace, and presence. Point each other to Him as you pray over the challenges of life.