StoneBridge Community Church
Facing Down the Fear of Suffering
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 12:00 PM

Online "Connection Card"

Thanks for joining us today! Follow this link to a simple online "Connection Card" where you can let us know you were here and share any prayer concerns.

The Text in Context

Bob Deffinbaugh, "Distinguishing the Contents From the Container" from the series Religious Affections: A Study of Pauls 2 Corinthians Correspondence.

The Value of Suffering

Pico Iyer, "The Value of Suffering" Sunday Review, The New York Times, September. 7, 2013
1. Suffering is…
1. Suffering is a universal fact of life.

Tim Keller Wants You to Suffer Well

Matt Smethurst, "Tim Keller Wants You to Suffer Well," The Gospel Coalition, October 1, 2013.

Getting Stuck in Suffering

Tim Keller, "Getting Stuck in Suffering" Timothy Keller website, November 27, 2013.
For Reflection/Discussion: Why is suffering a universal problem? What are some of the different kinds of suffering? Which kinds of suffering, in your judgment, are the worst? What are some of the causes of suffering? What are some of the unhealthy ways people respond to suffering or the prospect of suffering?
2. Suffering poses…
2. Suffering poses a puzzling problem.


Article on "Suffering" in Wikipedia describing philosophical and religious analyses and responses to the problem of suffering.

Ilya Repin, "Job and His Friends" 1869. State Russian Museum.

What Is Theodicy?

Article "What Is Theodicy?" from the Got Questions? website.

The Problem of Pain

Complete text of C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (originally published in 1940). OCR by van Wingerden. Footnotes and punctuation by Pogo. Ebook Samizdat February, 2016 (Public Domain under Canadian copyright law) .

A Grief Observed

Complete text of C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed. (Initially published in 1961 under the pseudonym, N. W. Clerk). Edition used as base for this ebook: London: Faber & Faber, 1964. Ebook Samizdat 2016 (Public Domain under Canadian copyright law)
"It is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.” —C.S. Lewis.
For reflection/discussion: What are some of the ways different religious and philosophical traditions have understood and sought to explain the problem of suffering? What are your thoughts on the Buddhist belief that suffering is an illusion? On the Hindu belief that all suffering is deserved? On the atheist belief that suffering is a result and byproduct of random natural processes, and thus meaningless? How do you understand the Christian response to the problem of suffering and evil?
3. Suffering serves…
3. Suffering serves a positive purpose for followers of Jesus Christ.

100 Bible Verses About Suffering

What does the Bible say about suffering? An encouraging list of verses from the OpenBible website.

Salvador Dali, "Christ of St. John of the Cross" 1951. Oil on canvas. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

“Afflictions are light when compared with what we deserve. They are light when compared with the sufferings of the Lord Jesu Christ. But perhaps their real lightness is best seen by comparing them with the weight of glory which is awaiting us.” —Arthur W. Pink
“The Lord did not create suffering. Pain and death came into the world with the fall of man. But after we had chosen suffering in preference to the joys of union with God, the Lord turned suffering itself into a way by which we could come to the perfect knowledge of God.” —Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island.
For reflection/discussion: In what way(s), if any, does suffering serve a positive purpose for followers of Jesus Christ? Has your own experience of suffering taught you any valuable lessons or helped you to grow?
4. Suffering equips…
4. Suffering equips us to care for others when they are suffering.
How To Help the Suffering
1. Be there for them.
2. Listen.
3. Avoid mansplaining.
4. Offer to pray with and for them.
For reflection/discussion: Who do you know who is suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually? What can you do to help them in their suffering? What, if anything, holds you back from being present with people who are suffering?

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