Both Ruth and Naomi experienced seasons of famine, departure, harvest and return – but one returned full of faith, the other full of bitterness. The mystery of pain and suffering in the hands of a sovereign and good God should lead us not to bitterness, but to greater faith in Him.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What is one thing from this message that you hope to discuss as a group?
- If God is good and sovereign, why does He allow suffering? Have you ever had a season in life where you clearly felt the tension between the sovereignty/goodness of God and the suffering of a painful circumstance?
- Read and discuss Ruth, chapter 1. With whom do you relate to more – Ruth or Naomi? How would you describe Naomi’s spiritual state? How would you describe Ruth's?
- What role does suffering and pain play in the life of a Christ-follower?
- Read and discuss 1 Corinthians 13:12. How might this verse encourage Naomi? What other verses can you think of that would encourage her away from bitterness and toward deeper faith?
- How does the Gospel of Jesus Christ provide context for our pain and redeem our suffering?
- Is there an area of pain in your life that has lead you to bitterness toward God or others? What would it look like for you to rest in God's grace in that area? Spend some time in prayer with your group about that.