Skip to content

Suffering Stories

What is the big story of God all about and how do all these things we read across the Old and New Testament link together? More importantly, what does it all mean for us today as we seek to follow Jesus? All around us we are inundated with an abundance of opinions, influences and beliefs; they are at our very fingertips and changeable in an instant. It’s more important than ever to know what you put the weight of your life on. Over this year we want to go on a journey through the whole of Scripture, asking questions together of how we live in the light of this big story and what our place in it is.

  • Why Does God Allow Suffering?

    Scripture:
    Job 1 & 2
    Speaker:
    Andy Harding
    ,
    Date:
    5th Nov 2023

    Job was just a normal, faithful man and then his whole entire world implodes. How much is this many of our own stories, maybe not to this extent, but suffering does not give us fair warning, it comes and raids our ordinary, faithful lives. The opening of Job, as with many of these wisdom writings, asks the questions about the just-ness of God and those are the questions we often ask in times of suffering ‘why God, how God etc’. Jesus told us that in this world we would know trouble but he also is the Good Shepherd who is with us in our troubled times.

  • Relating to those who are suffering

    Scripture:
    Job 2:11-13
    Speaker:
    Don Palmer
    ,
    Date:
    12th Nov 2023

    Job's friends begin well, weeping with him, sitting with him, seeing the depth of his suffering, not trying to make it better. But that fades and like all of us, they go into problem solving mode, offering a multitude of advice and options for Job as to why this may have happened. How do we relate helpfully to those who are suffering? Do we know our own tendencies and defaults to fix and offer advice or are we able to sit in the tension. Learning how to be family together means learning how to rejoice and how to weep together. Jesus wept with his friends and Paul told us to weep with those who weep. We are to enter into each other’s sufferings as much as we are meant to enter into each other joys.

  • Hearing God’s voice amidst suffering

    Scripture:
    Job 38:1-18
    Speaker:
    Naomi Black
    ,
    Date:
    19th Nov 2023

    When we are suffering, many questions about God can arise - we question his love and we question his power, does he care, and can he help? God’s solution to suffering in Job’s life is to offer himself, to reveal his glory and greatness, to show Job that he has been there all along. Suffering changes so many perspectives in our lives and creates many ‘new normals’, so what perspective does God offer us of himself in our places of suffering, how could we allow God to be the ‘lifter of our heads’ (Ps 3), to lift our heads towards him?