Metamorphosis (part 3): How Not To Waste Suffering

TO START

What are you bad about wasting? Consider the following list and then share which of the items on the list you’re most likely to waste:

  • Time
  • Food
  • Opportunities
  • Money

 

TO DISCUSS

We said on Sunday, “If you want God to redeem your pain, you have to let Him.” What would it look like to stop God from redeeming our pain? How might we get in His way?

Share a time when you think you made it hard for God to shape you.

Consider the following list of ways we show up in suffering: Grieve, Pray, Celebrate, Live, Connect.

Which of these is easiest for you? Why?

Which is hardest? Why?

Which one have you seen done well? Share an example.

Do you usually embrace your suffering or do prefer to run away or distract yourself from it? What do you turn to as a distraction? What could you do to better and more consistently confront your feelings?

Do you usually turn to God in suffering? What kinds of prayers do you pray when you’re hurting?

Celebration doesn’t always come naturally in suffering. Think of a time you were able to celebrate in the midst of suffering (or watched someone else to celebrate in a season of suffering) and share with the group.

When you’re in the middle of pain, do you tend to shut down or over-focus on the hurt? How do we purposefully pursue an abundant life in the middle of suffering? What do you want to be sure you keep doing, even when life gets hard?

What role does connection play in our transformation in suffering? Why does it matter whether or not you’re connected to a community?

 

TO READ

Read Philippians 3:7-14.

What sticks out to you as interesting or moving?

What do you think this passage adds to our discussion of suffering?

How do we become like Christ in death? What is the reward for becoming like Christ in death?

What metaphor does Paul use to describe participation in the suffering of Christ?

 

TO PRAY

As a prayer and meditation, consider listening together to Andrew Peterson’s “Sower’s Song”

https://open.spotify.com/track/07xaSkTKPpG2S2u7g1ZpSJ?si=WCbiZko9SuCrUI1qqBFBAA

Consider the lyrics:

"Oh God, I am furrowed like the field

Torn open like the dirt

And I know that to be healed

That I must be broken first

I am aching for the yield

That You will harvest from this hurt

Abide in me

Let these branches bear You fruit

Abide in me, Lord

As I abide in You"

  • In what current hurt are you hoping for harvest?