I HAVE QUESTIONS
Let’s be honest, life isn’t easy.
In times of loss, grief, pain, or doubt, it’s normal to have questions — and it’s okay to ask them.
If you’ve ever tried to make sense of your circumstances, or wished life didn’t have to hurt so much, or wondered why God won’t fix what you’re going through, you’re not alone.
In this 4-week series, we’ll hear about a few people from Scripture who know exactly what it’s like. With Esther, David, Peter, Amos, and John, we’ll explore hard questions you thought you weren’t allowed to ask, like “When people are hurting, where is God? When I’m hurting, why does God feel far away? If God is good, why do bad things happen? And when life hurts, is God listening?”
WHEN PEOPLE ARE HURTING, WHERE’S GOD?
If you’ve ever tried to make sense of your circumstances, or wished life didn’t have to hurt so much, or wondered why God wouldn’t fix what you’re going through, you’re not alone. All throughout human history, people have asked big questions like this one: “When people are hurting, where is God?”
A long time ago, God’s people, the nation of Israel, were hurting. They were divided, conquered, and about to be killed. So where was God? That’s what a young woman named Esther was probably wondering, until she decided to do something about it. With God’s help, she risked her life to save her people. So where is God when people are hurting? God’s still at work behind the scenes — and like Esther, God might be inviting you to get to work too.
Week 1: 9/8 & 9/12 – Palmer Dill
Scripture: Esther 4:11-16, 7:1-10; I John 3:17-18; Proverbs 29:7
WHEN I’M HURTING, WHY DOES GOD FEEL FAR AWAY?
Think for a second? Does life kind of hurt right now? Maybe it’s a broken relationship, the loss of a loved one, or all the chaos going on in the world. In these moments, you might wonder things like, “Why is this happening to me?” Or even, “God, have you left me?”
We actually see this question asked twice in the Bible. First, by King David, who wanted to know if God had abandoned him. But then it’s asked again by someone else, hundreds of years later. The second time, it’s asked by Jesus, who is preparing to die for you and me. Jesus, God Himself, asks, “God, have you abandoned me?” So if you’ve ever wondered, “When I’m hurting, does God leave me?” the answer is no. In our pain, Jesus is more present than ever because He understands. In our pain, He’s not absent. He’s actually reaching for us.
Week 2: 9/15 & 9/19 – stallion
Scripture: Psalm 22, 42:9-11; Matthew 27:39-46; Hebrews 1:1-3a; II Corinthians 1:3-4
WHEN LIFE HURTS, IS GOD LISTENING?
Sometimes, when we’re really hurt, or upset, or sad, or stressed out about something, we feel like we don’t have anyone to talk to about it — at least, not anyone who’d really get it or really care. Pain does that. It makes you feel alone, and isolated, and afraid that no one else could possibly understand what you’re going through.
When things are really painful, you might even ask questions like, “When life hurts, is God listening?“ You and I aren’t the only people to ever ask that question. It’s actually in the Bible. A lot. Especially in the book of Psalms, which is a collection of poems and songs, the psalmist writes a lot about his own pain. Here’s where he lands (and what God confirms): yeah, life hurts sometimes. But even when our prayers are full of anger, hurt, doubt, or accusations, God’s still there and — yes, still patiently, lovingly listening.
Week 3: 9/22 & 9/26 – Palmer Dill
Scripture: Psalm 91; I John 5:14; Lamentations 3:55-56
IF GOD IS GOOD, WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN?
Have you ever played Jenga? You know, that game where you stack a bunch of blocks and try not to make them fall? Of course, they always fall. Sometimes, it happens out of nowhere. In life, that’s kind of how tragedies happen too. One minute everything seems great. The next, everything has fallen apart and we’re asking, “God, how could You let this happen?”
To answer that, we need to look at Scripture — from the ancient prophets like Amos all the way to the very last page of the Bible. Over and over, we see this is true: God loves us, God has a plan to make wrong things right, and God’s people are part of that plan. So if you’ve ever wondered, “If God is good, why do bad things happen?“ maybe it’s time to ask a new question. Like, “If something is wrong in the world, what can God’s people do to help make it right?“
Week 4: 9/2 & 10/3 – stallion
Scripture: Amos 5:10-15; Revelation 21:1-5a; Psalm 32:5