Introduction: When we think about what we have studied so
far regarding suffering, we might get the impression that we
are to hunker down, take it, and resist giving up on God. Is
there a more positive view of this? Are we empowered by
“the invisible” to fight back? Should we refuse to meekly
take suffering? Or, should we “grab it by the horns” and
throw it to the ground? Let’s jump into our study of the
Bible and learn how we can best respond to suffering!

I. Conquering Suffering

A. Read Romans 8:28-29. When we consider the
suffering of Jesus, did He end up being the
victor, the hero? (Read Matthew 28:18. Jesus says
after His crucifixion and resurrection that all
authority in heaven and earth had been given to

1. When Romans 8:29 says that we are predestined
to be conformed to the image of the Son, does
that mean our post-suffering future is very
bright? (Yes! Our future is linked to Jesus.)

B. Read Romans 8:31-32. What is God’s attitude toward
us? (If God was willing to give Jesus to provide a
future for us, what is He unwilling to give? What
a positive message!)

C. Read Romans 8:33-34. When you think of suffering,
is suffering the condemnation of others part of
what you have experienced? (Suffering has
historically been considered to be the result
of sin. Romans tells us Jesus is arguing on our
behalf and God justifies us. We do not have to
worry about condemnation because we have the best
Lawyer and God as our Judge.)

D. Read Romans 8:35. This verse asks a question, but
I think it is a rhetorical question (one which
answers itself). What is the suggested answer?
(Nothing can separate us from Jesus. As we have
discussed, the primary purpose of suffering is
that Satan wants to separate us from Jesus. This
text tells us that we cannot be involuntarily
separated from Jesus.)

E. Read Romans 8:36-37. Can those two statements
exist in the same room? How do we reconcile the
idea that we are being slaughtered like cattle and
that we are “more than conquerors?” (The way to
reconcile them is to say that we are in a battle
with evil. Satan and his minions are out to hurt
us. But guess what? We are going to do more than
beat them. We are better than conquerors!)

F. Read Romans 8:38-39. Notice that we now have the
answer to the rhetorical question found in Romans
8:35. Nothing can force our separation from God.
Why would angels want to separate us from God?
(These are evil angels. No power of any kind can
separate us from the love of God.)

II. The Promise

A. Read John 14:1. Do you have a “troubled” heart? If
so, what is the solution? (Believing in God and

1. What, specifically, are we supposed to
believe? (We come to that next.)

B. Read John 14:2. Are you troubled by being promised
a “room” instead of a mansion? (Read Revelation
21:16-17. The Bible gives the dimensions of the
New Jerusalem. What we find is that the city is a
cube – all the sides are the same length! The
closest thing we have to compare is a huge
condominium – one reaching into space! Describing
a condo as “many rooms” seems exactly right. And,
what a series of rooms we will have! I imagine
them all fronting on the River of Life that flows
(down) through the New Jerusalem.)

C. Read John 14:3. What logical argument is Jesus
making to His disciples? (If He is going to go to
all of the effort to make us homes, He will
certainly come to get us and take us to the place
He has prepared. For that reason we should not
live with a “troubled” heart. We have a future
with Jesus!)

D. In John 14:5-11 the disciples get into a
discussion with Jesus on directions to the New
Jerusalem, Jesus’ nature, and Heaven itself. We
will skip reading this.

E. Read John 14:12. What works did Jesus do? Which of
His works would you like to do?

1. When Jesus premises His promise with “Truly,
truly,” what does that mean? (Jesus is telling
us that the words that follow are extremely

2. Do you think that Jesus means that we will do
more dramatic miracles? Greater healing? More
people raised from the dead? Greater teaching?

a. And, why should our greater works have
something to do with Jesus going to the

F. Let’s jump ahead to answer these last questions.
Read John 14:26. What is different since Jesus
left? (The Holy Spirit has come to help us.)

1. How does that help us to do greater things
than Jesus? (I don’t think Jesus is saying
that the quality of our miracles or teaching
is better (how could it be?), but rather the
power of the Holy Spirit makes it more

2. Let me give a rough parallel. Many decades ago
when I taught my Sabbath School class twenty
people heard me teach – and then it drained
out of their memory. Today tens of thousands
are exposed to my teaching because of the
universal potential of the Internet. What I
teach will last as long as the web
site. Jesus’ work was specific to His
location. But, the Holy Spirit has the ability
to touch every mind at once.

G. Let’s go back and look at a couple of important
texts we skipped over. Read John 14:13-14. Is
Jesus promising to give us anything that we
request? Is this like the story of the lamp and
the genie, except that we can make unlimited
requests and not just three?

1. Let’s examine Jesus’ promise in detail. What
does it mean to ask something “in My name?”
Do we simply add Jesus’ name to the end of our
prayers? (John MacArthur’s commentary provides
great insight. He says that our request
“should be for [Jesus’] purposes and kingdom,
not selfish purposes.” Our request should be
based on Jesus’ “merits and not any personal
merit.” That is what it means to ask for
something in Jesus’ name.)

2. What does the final phrase, “that the Father
may be glorified in the Son” teach us about
this promise? (The promise is to give us what
we want if it is for the purpose of giving
glory to God – not to us. This is unlike the
genie story because those requests were all
for selfish reasons.)

H. Read John 14:15. Is Jesus making a unrelated
statement? He has been talking about giving us
things and now He is off on a different topic,
obedience? (I don’t think He is off topic. The
purpose of Jesus’ prior promise was to advance the
Kingdom of God. We show love to God by obeying
Him. It brings glory to Him and to us.)

I. Read John 14:16-17. Is this related to obedience?
(Absolutely! This is our Helper in doing great
work to bring glory to God.)

J. Consider the texts in John that we have just
discussed. Are these “hunker down and suffer”
texts? (No. These texts tell us what we can
aggressively do to promote the Kingdom of God.)

III. Destroying Suffering

A. Read Psalms 55:18. Is the psalmist patiently
taking a beating? (No. He is in battle against
many opponents. The verse speaks of safety for the

B. Read Psalms 55:19. What will happen to those who
want to cause us to suffer? (They will be

C. Read Psalms 55:20-21. Who is causing the problem
here? (A companion who speaks graciously, but has
war in mind.)

D. Read Psalms 55:22. What response should we make to
those who would create trouble for us? (Cast our
burden on God. He will not allow us to be

E. Read Psalms 55:23. What happens when we cast our
burdens on God? (He in turn casts them “into the
pit of destruction.”)

F. Friend, we need to fight against suffering by
turning to our invisible God who will destroy our
enemies. Will you trust God?

IV. Next week: A Life of Praise.

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.