James 1 - Faith and Suffering

Sermon Study Notes

  • What was this week’s sermon about?
  • Did anything surprise or challenge you?

Faith and suffering

  • Has the question ‘why does bad stuff happen to good people?’ been one that has been a struggle in your journey of faith?
  • How do we, as a society, fail to prepare us for the inevitability of suffering?

Mark spoke about two ways to suffer - suffering that leads to bitterness and death verses suffering that leads to joy and life.

  • Where have you seen suffering lead to bitterness and death?
  • Where have you seen suffering lead to joy and life?

Read James 1:1-18

  • Is facing trials with joy the same as facing trials with happiness or good feelings?
  • What is James’ logic in verses 2 – 4?

We can respond to suffering with   _________________

Because suffering (testing of our faith) produces _______________

Which then makes us ________________

  • In what way is suffering a testing of our faith?
  • Does James’ logic make sense to you and to your experience of suffering?
  • Think back to a time where you went through a time of suffering that resulted in you growing spiritually. What helped you grow during that time?

Verse 6 says that when we ask for wisdom we should not doubt. ‘Doubt’ in this context is not about the psychological certainty of knowing that God will answer our prayer, but rather it is about where you put your trust.

  • What things other than God could we trust in times of suffering?
  • Is this saying we should not have operations, buy insurances, save money etc?

Read Hebrews 12:1-2

  • ·When you have experienced suffering in the past, has anyone close to you been able to say they truly understand what you are going through? Did you find this helpful?
  • Does it help you to know that Jesus has persevered through suffering? If yes, in what way? If no, why do you think this is?

Pray

Spend some time praying in solidarity with members of your group who are currently suffering, or spend some time in prayer focusing on Jesus’ perseverance through suffering for your sake.