The Comfort of God in Suffering

God Is Present


The question is not whether or not Christians will suffer, but what we ought to do in order to walk faithfully in the midst of suffering. What does it mean to experience God's comfort as we experience the trials that accompany living in a fallen world? Matt and Lauren Chandler sit down with Mark Mellinger to share some of the lessons they learned as they relied upon God to carry them through a bleak cancer diagnosis.

Mark Mellinger is the Indiana Public Affairs Director for Bott Radio Network and talk show host for 1090 Today, a radio program that showcases local ministries and encourages Christian living. Matt Chandler serves as Lead Pastor of Teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Lauren Chandler is a singer-songwriter having collaborated with numerous artists on projects like her most recent, The Narrow Place. She is also the author of Steadfast Love.


What are some ways in which you have experienced suffering? Looking back, how did God care for you in those times? How does His care shape the way you approach both present and future suffering as a result?
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Lauren shared how God deepened her gratitude as a result of facing her husband's cancer. As you look back on your own trials, how has God matured your sense of gratitude for life? In what ways could you continue to grow in your gratitude for all that He has given?
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Matt observed that suffering moved him from having simply a cognitive understanding of God's care to actually experiencing it As you consider your own periods of suffering, what did you learn about God in those times? How did your experiences give you a deeper understanding about the ways in which He works in your pain?
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Both Matt and Lauren shared that they have the ability to empathize with others in their pain today in ways that they could not prior to the cancer diagnosis. How have your trials deepened your ability to empathize with those around you? In what ways do you respond differently to the suffering of others today?
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Suffering requires us to think differently about practical topics such as our relationship dynamics with friends and family as well as those responsibilities we are able to accept. How do hardships affect your approach to relationships? What about your everyday responsibilities? Having watched this conversation, what changes could you make to have a wiser approach to your relationships and commitments going forward?
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In light of this discussion, how has your view of God changed? What about your view of suffering? How will you face the trials of life differently as a result?
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God is not surprised when we suffer. Because He is sovereign, He reigns supreme over our pain and uses it ultimately for our good and His glory. Though we do not need to seek out suffering, we can remain comforted by the truth that God is present with us in the midst of our pain. Take heart in the ways God has faithfully carried you through trials. Spend some time thanking Him for His goodness and look for ways to share His presence with those struggling around you today.


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