Journey (Wisdom for the Way) – When We Suffer (Book of Ruth)

Written by admin on May 20, 2019 in - No Comments

When we experience suffering, we have a unique opportunity to examine our lives, just as Ruth did when she was faced with her husband’s death and the choice to remain in Moab or follow Naomi to Israel. In this sermon, Ian shows how suffering can help us connect in new ways with God and gives us a glimpse of His redemptive hand at work, even in sorrow.

Sermon Discussion Questions

Ruth (Ian’s sermon, 5/19/19)

  • Suffering offers us an opportunity to examine our lives, Ian argued. When Ruth’s husband dies and her mother-in-law, Naomi, returns to Israel, Ruth has the opportunity to examine her life and future—whether she will stay in Moab and re-marry of go with Naomi to Israel. Have you ever experienced a circumstance that prompted you to (re)examine your life?
  • To go to Israel with Naomi, Ruth has to leave her home, family, and culture. Have you ever had to leave something behind in order to embrace something new? What was this like for you in the short term? In the long term? Is God inviting you to leave anything behind in order to embrace his path forward for you?
  • There is no “right” response when it comes to suffering, Ian argued. (We might feel hopeless, frustrated, or mad at God). Likewise, there is no “right” pace to processing the emotions of suffering. How do you see Ruth and Naomi responding to suffering differently in chapter 1? What are different ways and paces you have noticed people around you experience suffering?
  • Naomi asked to be called Mara (bitter), but there is no evidence her community called her this. It is important when a person is suffering to have a redemptive community that will not allow them to be defined by their suffering. How have you seen community help redeem suffering? What role has community played in helping redeem your own suffering?