Sermon Follow-Up Study
We at times feel like grace is not sufficient in our suffering. As if grace was a cheap, weak gift. We ask, “How could such a gracious God, leave me with such tremendous pain?” Could it be that we are looking at suffering wrongly? Could it actually be that life with sufficient grace and sustaining endurance is better than life without suffering? Why…because grace brings a greater awareness of God’s purpose in our suffering.
Open: Describe a time you experienced a difficult situation: What was your reaction? Why?
Read: 2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10; Romans 5:1-5; James 1:1-4
1. Describe Paul’s painful experiences (2 Corinthians 11:24-28): Which ones stand out to you the most? Describe some of the most difficult trials you have experienced: How do the rhetorical questions, in verse 29, comfort you to know that Paul understands our experiences?
2. What have been your normal responses to pain? In what ways do you see grace used as an escape from suffering? In other words, how do you see weak grace used in human reactions to pain?
3. Why do you think that Paul’s experience of the heavenly revelation with Christ necessitated a “thorn in the flesh?” What do you think the thorn in the flesh might have been? It says that Paul pleaded with God to take this thorn away. What are things that you have pleaded for God to take?
4. Describe how God’s grace is sufficient in our sufferings: In what ways does our weakness prove God’s strength? Knowing this truth, how should our response to grace and suffering be different?
Pray: Pray that you would find God’s grace sufficient in your most difficult circumstance. That you would endure instead of attempting escape.
Memorize/Meditate: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9