In the Middle

2015 Linger Conference


In this 50-minute session from the 2015 Linger Conference, Randy Alcorn explains how God uses suffering for our good and future glory.

Randy is founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and author of over 40 books including Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and Safely Home


Romans 8:28 (ESV)

28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Randy said, “We are never going to linger in the presence of a God who we believe does not love us wholeheartedly, does not work for our good, and does not have the power to make it all work for our good.” How has this been true in your life? When have you doubted the love and sovereignty of God and how did that affect your worship and prayer life?
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Randy described two reasons why suffering exists:

  1. We are in the middle of a redemptive story.
  2. God is making us more like Christ to prepare us for future glory. 

How does the story of the Bible offer the best explanation for pain and suffering? How does the thought of an eternity with Christ encourage you?
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How has suffering shaped your character? How do you think God has used suffering for your good? How have you seen Him use suffering for the good of others around you?
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2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV)

17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Randy said, “There is a direct connection to our present suffering and future glory. God uses this life to prepare us to be the people we are to be in eternity.” What did you learn about eternity in this teaching? How does this concept of preparation for future glory change your perspective of suffering?
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Randy used a cake analogy to call us to trust God: “Most of the ingredients that go into a cake, in an of themselves, isolated from the mixture with the others, do not taste good. But what happens when the master comes comes in, and puts the ingredients together, mixes them, puts them in the oven, at the right temperature for just the right length of time? Out comes this incredibly delicious cake.”

When do you struggle to trust God with all of the "ingredients" of your life? How does this analogy remind you of His faithfulness?
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We may be in the middle of our story, but we know the ending:

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21:3-4 


For more information on the Linger Conference and how you can attend the next event, click here.