True Woman Summer Book Club 2019: Week 2

Welcome to week two of the True Woman Summer Book Club! If you’re just joining us, be sure to read last week’s post and pick up your copy of Elisabeth Elliot’s Suffering Is Never for Nothing. You can get a copy for your gift of any amount this month to Revive Our Hearts, or you can order additional copies through our store. Be sure to read to the bottom of this post and enter our giveaway! Then grab some friends and use our weekly discussion guide to spark some conversation.

Chapter 2: The Message

Memory Verse: Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Devotional Thought:

In this week’s chapter, Elisabeth Elliot stated that our memory verse could be translated, “Shut up and know that I am God.” That phrase is the primary message she wanted us to walk away with. We are called in the midst of our suffering to trust—to stop striving, to stop frantically searching for answers, and to simply rest in the person and presence of God.

As Elisabeth’s friend Janet put it, “The storm of pain . . . [is how] the Lord [paints] a new and different picture of Himself” (p. 31). Suffering has the purpose of revealing the Lord to us in ways that we never would experience without it. “He does love us . . . He wants nothing less than our perfection and joy” (p. 35). Yet we may say “amen” to this truth and still wrestle with questions.

Michael Card captures this paradox well in his song “The Hidden Face of God.”

So, what’s the answer to the mystery of suffering? God Himself, revealed in Jesus Christ. He does something about our sin and the curse on this world by becoming “the victim, a lamb slain before the foundation of the world” (p. 35). He is the one who allows us to “be still,” to experience the peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7), and gives us hope for a coming glory and redemption. So, what do we do? We rest. We trust. We wait for God to reveal Himself and His providence behind our suffering and make all things new. He is faithful to do it.

Discussion Questions:

(Download a pdf of these questions for your study group.)

  1. C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” (p. 19). How has God specifically gotten your attention recently?
  2. “God is big enough to take anything that we can dish out to Him” (p. 21). Do you think complaining to God is right or wrong? Why?
  3. The wisdom of Job’s friends was well-intentioned . . . but unhelpful. What is the worst advice someone has given you in suffering? What is the best? Discuss: how can you ensure that you speak wise words to those who are suffering?
  4. “God, through my own troubles and sufferings, has not given me explanations. But He has met me as a person, as an individual, and that’s what we need” (p. 23). Share some ways God has met you in your sorrow and suffering.
  5. Consider this quote and discuss: “Every other religion, in some way, evades the question [of suffering]. Christianity has, at its very heart, this question of suffering.” How do you see suffering as being crucial to our faith and the gospel? How does that connect with your own suffering (and response to it)?
  6. A young Elisabeth Elliot was taught about God’s presence in the pit by the account of Daniel (p. 27). What Scripture passages do you often revisit to solidify your confidence in God’s character?

Resources for This Chapter:

Giveaway 

In this chapter, Elisabeth quoted Samuel Rutherford, a Puritan Presbyterian pastor from the 1600s. His letters are considered to be a Christian classic. Charles Spurgeon had this to say about them: “When we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men.” (How’s that for an endorsement!?)

Rutherford wrote many of these letters to encourage sufferers, out of personal experience—he lost his wife and two children and was exiled for standing up for the Truth against the political powers of his time. This week, we’re giving away a copy of The Letters of Samuel Rutherford. Enter below for a chance to win!

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About the Author

Hayley Mullins

Hayley Mullins

Hayley Mullins is the managing editor at Revive Our Hearts. She is passionate about encouraging grace-filled, honest community in the Church. When she’s not writing, you can find Hayley chasing adventures in libraries, on hiking trails, and through deep conversations.

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