When the Young Suffer
YOUNG PEOPLE and SUFFERING
There is an ancient formula that God has used to help both men and women become change agents for His glory.
Young person + suffering = good.
The GOOD in SUFFERING
No one instinctively feels like going through a tragedy, but there is no doubt that those who go through trials at a young age learn certain attributes that are often lost upon those who have an easy road to adulthood. What are the two main characteristics developed in a young person who suffers?
Silence produces patience.
Licking dust produces humility.
The PROMISE in SUFFERING
When we are stuck in a trial and we start to doubt God’s genuine interest in our well-being, we must hold onto this truth:
God’s love will never let you go.
1. Did you go through a trial when you were younger (15-30 years old)? How did it shape you? What lessons did you learn during this difficult time? Can you think of a time when you ran away from a problem instead of facing it? If you ran, do you have any regrets?
2. Why is silence important when things are not going right in our life (Psalm 37:7; 62:5-8; Zephaniah 1:7)? What and Who does God want us to focus on when we are silent in the midst of a trial?
3. Jesus often left the presence of others to be silent in solitude (Mark 1:35). If Jesus needed to listen to the will of His heavenly Father, then how much more should we take seriously the habit of silence?
4. Jesus was also quiet when placed on trial before His death (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 26:63; 27:14; Mark 14:61; 15:4-5; John 19:9; Luke 23:9). Could Jesus be teaching us how vital it is for us to spend time in silence with God so that we develop the strength to keep our mouth shut and allow God’s will to be done even when we want to make things right on our own? Discuss how silence shows trust in God.
Applying the Bible
5. Discuss what it is like to lick the dust? Why is it good to be disgraced every once in a while? Decide that, the next time you’re offended by someone’s words, you lick the dust instead of lashing back at them.
6. Why do so many Christians doubt the love of God? Why do we allow despair to creep into our hearts? What step can you take this week to show God that you believe in His unfailing love? Or, what can you do to help someone who is struggling believe in God’s compassion?