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The Bible reminds us that God is good, that he created a good world, that he loves us—and that pain and suffering are a pervasive part of the human experience. Beyond this, pain and suffering largely remains a mystery. Therefore, one of the most unhelpful words of consolation to someone facing adversity is, “Everything happens for a reason.” Sure, everything happens for a reason, but often the reasons are evil and have nothing to do with God. What we believe about pain and suffering can have deep consequences and affect what we believe about God. It is critical to evaluate what we believe about suffering in light of Scripture’s testimony so that we can walk through personal adversity with integrity and offer the kind of consolation to others that makes a positive difference.
Download this one page discussion guide to use in small groups or Sunday School. You may make unlimited copies for local use.