July 15, 2018
Summary: Pain is intensified in hopelessness; God has answered our pain through our hope in Christ
Key Scripture: Psalm 38
“Why do we experience pain, and is there an answer?”
“What is the best response to pain?”
DESPERATION (38:15, 21-22)
What one thing spoke to your heart the most from the Word of God in these Scriptures? Share an experience of feeling hopeless in the midst of suffering. How did God bring you through pain?
What is the purpose of an ‘alphabetic psalm?’ Think of a song, movie, story, or poem that addresses the problem of human suffering. How does art help us process the experience of pain and suffering? Why are the Psalms helpful in this area?
Read Psalm 38:1-2 – What would be the benefit of seeing pain as being ordained by God rather than ‘managed’ by Him? Does God discipline us because He is angry with us? How do other Scriptures help us understand these verses?
Read Psalm 38:3-9 – Is anyone ‘undeserving’ of experiencing pain and suffering? Why/Why not? How does the Psalmist’s pain draw his attention toward God?
Read Psalm 38:10-20 – What are the parallels between King David’s lament and the sufferings of Christ? How does this Psalm point us to Jesus? What does it mean that Christ provides us with a ‘perfect repentance?’
Read Psalm 38:21-22 – Why doesn’t David resolve this Psalm triumphantly? What can that tell us about how to handle our pain and suffering? What is the urgency presented in his request?
Why are we always trying to escape pain and suffering? How can our pain deepen our trust in Christ? How does it change suffering to know that God is not punishing believers through discipline, but loving them? How can we help other believers see their pain as a tangible expression of God’s love for them?