EXPLORE GOD Discussion Groups

We all have questions, and we all wonder. Our Explore God Discussion Groups
create a space to ask hard questions about life, God, and Jesus.


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Session Number

<h3> <font color="#ffffff">Session 3: Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?<!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></font></h3><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><h6><font color="#ffffff">++ WEEK OF 1/27/2019 ++</font></h6><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><h6><font color="#ffffff">(1 hour session)</font></h6>

Why does God allow pain and sufering? This is a very common question and is possibly the most difcult to answer. It is undoubtedly one of the most significant obstacles for many people who are questioning whether God exists or whether they should trust him. So if this has been a hard question for you, know that you’re not alone.

Video 1: Pulse of the World: Pain And Suffering

The question “Why is there pain and suffering?” is one of the most common and most difficult questions people face in this life. We asked people around the world this question and captured their perspectives on film. Watch what others have to say about pain and suffering.

Questions to Consider and Discuss
  • Did you identify with anyone’s expressed views in the film? If so, who and what resonated with you?
  • Was it surprising to learn that the top question people would ask God is, “Why is there pain and suffering in the world?” What would be some of the questions you’d ask God?
Video 2: The Curiosity Collective: Why Does God Allow Pain And Suffering?

The Curiosity Collective is a collection of subject matter experts discussing the question “Why does God allow pain and suffering?” It displays the various questions, struggles, and perspectives of these individuals regarding this session’s topic. See what they have to say and discuss it.

Questions to Consider and Discuss
  • In what ways can you identify with any of the stories in The Curiosity Collective? What did you find intriguing or compelling?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult is it for you to reconcile the existence of both suffering and God (1 = easy; 10 = impossible)? Why?
  • One of the Pulse speakers noted, “Some of the best lessons I’ve learned in life . . . came from very painful times.” In what ways might good come from bad? Do you have any experience with this?
  • If there’s a God, why do you think he allows evil in the world?
  • In the video, what did you think of James’s suggestion that God “understands our suffering . . . [and] is seeking to heal it”?
Scripture Focus

In Romans 8:18, Paul says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

  • In what ways might your pain and suffering reveal something good and beautiful in the world one day?
  • If you keep a journal, take some time to note your responses.
Wrap Up

The Problem of Evil states that an all-powerful and perfectly good God would not allow evil to exist in the world. Responses to this argument vary within Christianity and other faiths. Maybe it’s a test of our faith. Or perhaps God is simply unable to change our circumstances. Romans 8:18 says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” In this passage, the Apostle Paul suggests that something good always comes of something bad. Indeed, a few verses later he affirms that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Scripture proposes that, despite the painful circumstances in which we often find ourselves, God can somehow use them for his and our good.

Explore More on Pain And Suffering

The following resources are designed for deeper exploration of the topic of pain and suffering.

What Is the Source of Pain and Suffering?
Why Does a Good God Allow Pain and Suffering?

Why Is There Pain and Suffering?
Does God Care When I Hurt?

Recommended Books
The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis
Evil and the Justice of God, N. T. Wright

Additional Content on Pain and Suffering
Pain and Suffering