Redeeming Suffering

We don’t always know why bad things happen, but we do know the One who brings good from them.

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Overview

Followers of God have long wondered why he—omnipotent and completely good—allows evil and suffering if he can stop it. The New Atheists have thrown this argument at Christians in recent years, with varying degrees of success. And of course the issue of theodicy—the branch of theology that defends the ways of God—is of perennial interest to students, clergy, and the laity. But the existence of suffering in God’s world is much more than an academic question or an intellectual conundrum. Just ask someone who’s faced unjust suffering—like Wess Stafford, president and CEO of Compassion International.

“The story was so painfully confusing that I did not speak of it for 35 years,” Stafford writes in “A Candle in the Darkness,” an article in CHRISTIANITY TODAY. “Where did my prayers go, my cries for mercy and rescue screamed into my pillow? Did I have the laziest guardian angel in all of heaven?”

Table of Contents

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 37:12–36; 50:15–21; Psalm 44:1–26; Isaiah 55:1–9; John 9:1–7; Acts 3:11–21; Romans 8:18–39

LEADER'S GUIDE

    • Identify the Current Issue

    • Discover the Eternal Principles

Teaching point one: God brings good out of the evil done to his people.
Teaching point two: Sometimes we will feel that God has forgotten us.
Teaching point three: God calls us to seek him and promises that we will find him.
Teaching point four: God can display his glory and purposes in our suffering.
Teaching point five:God redeemed the suffering of Christ for the world.
Teaching point six: God’s promised blessings will far outweigh any suffering we experience.
    • Apply Your Findings

    • Recommended Resources

ARTICLE FROM CHRISTIANITY TODAY

    • "A Candle in the Darkness" by Wess Stafford

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