Session 11 Study Questions - Man as Struggler

"Sighing comes to me instead of food; my groans pour out like water. What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil." Job 3:24-26

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happing to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." I Peter 4:12, 13

  1. Men struggled and suffered during Biblical times and they struggle today. Do you believe that our attitudes toward struggle are different today compared to Biblical times? If so, how?
  2. Some have suggested that most people in the United States are uniquely protected against suffering and struggle. Would you agree? If so, how are we protected? Is our protection real or just apparent?
  3. The image of the Christian as a struggler has been dominant during most of the history of our faith. The character "Christian" in The Pilgrim's Progress provides an example. Has that image decreased in recent years? If so, in what ways?
  4. Job was our great example of a man of faith struggling. How would you characterize Job's attitude toward struggle overall?
  5. Job continues to protest throughout the book of Job that he is not suffering and struggling because of a particular sin (though he recognized that he wasn't perfect). Do you believe it is more easy or more difficult to struggle when you know the reason for your struggles?
  6. What answer did God provide to Job regarding his struggles? Was this answer satisfactory (at least in the eyes of Job)? How would you feel if God answered you as he did Job?
  7. Some have suggested that we need a "theology of suffering". Do you agree? What might be some elements of that theology?
  8. Search I Peter for some elements that might be included in a "theology of suffering". What might be some ways the church can help its men in their struggles?