Module 1: Suffering

Introduction

Suffering is real. But you don’t have to suffer alone.

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About This Module

You Are Not Alone

Military service is the ultimate form of giving oneself to others. The bonds formed through combat and other military experiences create a strong interconnected community. Yet selfless service comes with a price. Trauma and loss are an occupational reality, and their impact on your mind and heart is unavoidable.

In this module, you will reflect on:

  • Why we suffer
  • Beliefs and misperceptions
  • God’s love during times of suffering

Module Content

WHY WE SUFFER

Military personnel have a unique perspective on suffering. Healing also requires a unique approach in confronting that suffering.

Veteran Stories

Shared stories of struggle are powerful tools in understanding our pain and our potential paths to healing. These veterans have been where you are now and have overcome their suffering through life-changing engagement with the Scriptures. Flip each card to meet them and read their stories. Select the play button below to hear their stories read. These stories will play out across this program.

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Reflect & Respond

Journal Exercise #1

Many service members have suffered in similar ways as these veterans. But what about you? What is your story? Grab your program journal and take a few minutes to record your thoughts. If you have not yet downloaded and printed your Module 1 journal, you can download it now.

In addition to your journal questions, you will also find the scripture passages listed or mentioned through the module. Use them as a reference.

WHERE IS GOD IN MY SUFFERING?

When we are in pain, there are many things that can make it hard to believe in God’s love. But Scripture tells us otherwise.

Reflect on these passages and consider what they tell you about God and suffering.

Interactive Bible Verses
Module Part 2

WHAT CAN LEAD US ASTRAY?

Turning to the Bible can help us shape our understanding of God and his presence in our lives. But sometimes, the Bible can be misconstrued. Listen to this story as an example. 

The Bible describes who God is and his unconditional love for us. We can rely on God’s truth. Play the interaction below to discover these biblically supported truths.

“THERE MAY BE OTHER ISSUES HOLDING BACK AN UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S LOVE”

Reflect & Respond

Journal Exercise #2

Think about your own father. As a child, did you experience his love? Consider the same with your mother and other adults who took care of you. How does your experience with your earthly parents affect your experience with your heavenly Father?

If you have not yet downloaded and printed your Module 1 journal, you can download it now.

WHY IS THERE EVIL IN THE WORLD?

God created the world and put all things good in it. Sin distorted that good, and it became evil. Learn more below about the sources of suffering.

SOURCES OF SUFFERING

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Module Part 3

HOW CAN WE REMEMBER GOD’S LOVE IN TIMES OF SUFFERING?

God will never leave us or forsake us. He is always there, ready to comfort us. Continue below to learn how we can remember God in times of suffering.

WHEN WE SUFFER, WE CAN:

Recognize God’s help and presence in painful situations.

When we suffer, we can think about how God has helped us in the past. We can also think of how God has delivered his people in the Bible when they suffered (Psalm 107: 28–31). This can bring us comfort (Psalm 77:2–3, 11–12).

Learn God’s Truth.

As we follow Jesus and study the Bible, we learn the truth about God, and this helps us become free from the lies of Satan (John 8:31–32).

Reflect & Respond

Journal Exercise #3

What do you want to remember about God when you are suffering? Within your journal, write “God” in the middle of the page. Surround the word “God” with words or drawings that summarize the characteristics of God that you want to remember when you are suffering. Consider sharing what you’ve written or drawn with someone you trust.

If you have not yet downloaded and printed your Module 1 journal, you can download it now.

What’s Next?

As you have learned, the Bible clearly states how God loves and supports us through suffering. By embracing this, we can begin to heal. Ask God to be a part of your journey of healing.

How can soul wounds be healed? Continue on to the next module in this series titled “Being Heard.”

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Resources & Info

2 Files for a total of 2 MB, downloadable in .ZIP format

Additional Resources