Have you ever asked, Why am I going through this? What if this never gets better? Does God really care about me? When life falls apart, it’s easy to feel alone and slip into despair—disillusioned with God, hopeless about the future, and doubting your faith.
In this 7-session study, Vaneetha Risner tackles the hard questions and offers a scriptural framework to help you find hope in your pain. She will be a gracious guide through this difficult topic, walking with you as you meet women in the Bible who suffered loss, and sharing her own experiences of longing and grief. In the end, you’ll find that the answers to your deepest questions can be found in the character, goodness, and sovereignty of God.
- 6 weeks of personal study to be completed between 7 group sessions
- 7 inspiring, story-driven teaching videos, approximately 10–20 minutes, via redemption code printed in the Bible study book
- Leader helps for group discussion
- Gain confidence to bring your hard questions to God.
- Find strength and hope through Scripture when all hope seems lost.
- Be equipped to come alongside others who are suffering.
- Rest in the presence, purposes, and promises of God.
- Reframe your circumstances in light of the bigger story.
- Session 1: Introduction (20:32)—In this introduction video we get to know Vaneetha and her heart and direction for this study. This video features bonus footage previously shot and produced by Desiring God on Vaneetha’s life and the suffering she has walked through.
- Session 2: If God Loves Me, How Could He Let This Happen? (12:52)—In Session Two, Vaneetha deals with the question If God loves me, why would He let this happen? She affirms that though the suffering you experience may cause you to think God doesn’t care, that is not the case. We can be assured of His care. And to know that God is present with you in the storm, loving you, and showing you His glory is perhaps even better than being rescued.
- Session 3: How Can I Know God’s Presence When He Feels So Distant? (13:39)—The question Vaneetha focuses on for Session Three video is How can I know God’s presence when He feels so distant? She shares that in her own life the answer to this question has been prayer and Scripture. She highlights the practice of lament and gives simple help on how to make Bible reading more meaningful.
- Session 4: What if the Worst Happens? (13:04)—What if the worst happens? That question is the theme for the Session Four video. Vaneetha stresses that one of our greatest fears about suffering is what might happen, but the reality is most of those fears never materialize. From her personal experience, she confidently shares that even if we do suffer the worst, God will be with us and give us grace and strength to help us in our time of need.
- Session 5: Why is God Letting Me Suffer? (15:15)—Vaneetha deals with the question Why is God letting me suffer? in Session Five video. She states that understanding God sees the big picture and always has purpose in our suffering helps us bear it, even if we can’t see the reason. Knowing that what we’re going through is not futile or random brings comfort in the pain.
- Session 6: How Can God Use My Suffering When I Feel Useless? (16:32)—The big question Vaneetha deals with in Session Six video is How can God use my suffering when I feel useless? She talks about how the way we suffer can display our faith in our faithful God and can encourage others. She also shares some other simple ways we can encourage those who are suffering.
- Session 7: What if This Never Gets Better? (16:55)—What if this never gets better? Vaneetha tackles that haunting question in the final video session. She points out that this earthly life is short, temporary. But for those who know Christ, the life to come—one filled with joy and absent of pain and sorrow—is forever. She challenges us to keep that truth always in mind. She closes with an epilogue video to remind us of the truths we have learned over the past weeks.