In block one of the Heaven Movie we seen a lot of ambulance scenes. We see from some of these scenes how suffering effects everyone around them, such as family and friends. The question arises, do people really care about us and do the inhabitant of Heaven care. Are they even concerned about our wellbeing? Does Heaven ever intersect our lives to help us through difficult situations.
The goal of this study is to show that many people on Heaven and Earth are concerned about our earthly lives. We will also consider where suffering comes from and how God helps us and directs our steps in these difficult times. I pray that each one finds great blessing and encouragement as they consider that the God of all creation truly loves us, cares for us and moves in our behave.
Opening question: As we suffer here on earth, does anyone really carry about our suffering? Do you think the inhabitant of heaven know, does it affect them, or do they even care?
Note: Let people answer the question. Let them guess and wonder. Tell them we will better answer this question as we move through this study.
Question: Does everyone suffer and if we do, what causes some people to approach suffering different than others?
Pain and Suffering:
Question: What are the different types of pain and suffering that effect our lives?
Note: Have everyone guess and then turn to the verses below.
We suffer bodily: Acts 9:33-34, “There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years.
We suffer in our souls: 1 Samuel 1:10-15, (V15) No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman oppressed in spirit. I have not had any wine or strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD.
We suffer in our spirit: Job 17:1, “My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished, the grave is ready for me.
We suffer emotions: Proverbs 15:13, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.”
Question: If you had to pick the most difficult times in your life, which type of suffering was the worst?
Question: Can all these types of suffering affect us at the same time? Explain how it could happen.
Note: We can get hurt in an accident or sickness can begin to take over our body, we begin to feel physically pain. As our body suffers, our emotions are on edge. As pain and suffering persist, we begin to lose hope. As we lose hope our soul and our spirit are affected and can become down
Pain and suffering origination.
Question: Where does suffering come from?
Note: Have everyone guess and then turn to the verses below. Also ask people to give personal examples of what caused their suffering in the past in each of these areas.
Our Bodies have fallen:
Note: The fall has affected our bodies and it is prone to sickness, pain and decay.
2 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 15:42-49, (42) “So also is the resurrection of the dead, it is sown as a perishable body”
The Devil, Spiritual Forces:
Luke 13; 15-17, (V 16) Now here is a descendant of Abraham whom Satan has kept in bondage for eighteen years; should she not be released on the Sabbath?”
See also Job 1:6-19, Job 2:3-10, Act 10:38
We suffer because of our own choices and decisions:
Proverbs 5:22, “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin.
We suffer because of others:
Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
We suffer from watching others:
Matthew 18:31, So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.
We suffer unjustly:
1 Peter 2:19, For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of Gog.
We suffer in Christ:
2 Corinthians 12:10, Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Questions: Knowing that suffering can come from many places, can we be prepared for the day of trouble that is bound to comes upon us?
Questions: If you were to evaluate your live, where does most of your suffering come from, the outside or are they self-inflicted by the choices we make. Knowing that suffering can come from many places, can we be prepared for the day of trouble that is bound to comes upon us?
Supportive Earthly Relationships
Our Family: Ruth 1:16-1 7, But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
Note: Do you have someone who loves you like this in your life?
Our Friends: Job 2:11-13,Then Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.
Our Church: 2 Corinthians 13:11, Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Question: Are your family, friends, church supportive and understanding when the days to trouble come. Or do you feel like you are on your own?
Question: What are some ways of developing relationships that will bless you and others, as you and they go through hard times?
Supportive Heavenly Relationships
Question: As we suffer here on earth, do the inhabitant of heaven know, does it affect them, or do they even care about our lives of the people they use to love in their past lives? Do people in Heaven know about the things that is going on the earth.
Rich Man and Lazarus: Luke 12:13-21.
This verse seems to imply that the rich man had memories and concerns for his earthly family, and he was in hell. So, his knowledge and relationships followed him.
Abraham also seemed to have known about the rich man and Lazarus life, for he spoke about each other their earthly lives.
The verse above are parables, so we must not read too much into them. The parable was written and attended to point and speak truth into certain situations.
Question: What is the danger of reading too much into a parable or any other scripture? We can twist the scriptures to form to our own beliefs.
Queen of Sheba and Nineveh: Luke 11:29-32
The Queen of Seba knew what was going on, on the earth or she could not condemn the people of that generation. She had to know what their sin was.
The people of Nineveh also had to know what was going on also or how could they condemn what they did not know.
The Martyrs: Revelation 6:9-11.
The martyrs knew about their deaths and that judgement had not be exercised against the guilty.
Are they concerned about their own death, or the deaths of the saints on earth?
The Angels in Heaven:
Hebrews 1: 14, Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Luke 15:10, In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
1 Peter 1 : 12, It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Luke 1 :26-28, God sent an Angel to Mary, the angel said, “Do not be afraid, he was concerned about her well-being”.
Daniel 10:4-21, (V12) Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
Question: Do you get any comfort knowing that there are heavenly beings and your loved ones that are in Heaven and care about you. How does in make you feel
God knows and cares:
2 Corinthians 1 :3-4, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Matthew 11 :28-30, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Question: These verse point to the Lord who cares for His people, can you give some examples where the Lord stepped into your life and comforted you in your time of need?
How do we find relief in suffering?
Call on the Lord: Psalm 18:6, “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.”
Call on the Elders: James 5: 13-16, Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned. they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective
Call out to your friends and Family: Matthew 25:34-40, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘LORD, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Do not hide it your suffering: It is foolishness to hide our affections, turn to the Lord and those around you. Grab ahold of all the means of Grace that God has given to you. He has set people in your life that love Him and love you. They are looking for ways to exercise their faith and demonstrate their love. By keeping silent we rob ourselves and them from serving the Lord. In your sickness and weariness, God can you this to build up and refine people you and the people around you in their faith.
How can we practically work this out?
Note: Have everyone turn to John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Question: How are we to take heart, knowing that Jesus has overcome the world?