Hebrews 12:7–8 (NIV) Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?  If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.

  1. How would you describe your parents… were they strong disciplinarians, more permissive, of somewhere in between?
  2. If you are a parent… how about you, would you describe yourself as a strong disciplinarian, or not so much?
  3. Where would you put God our Father on this scale?
  4. How does the discipline of God—pain—change us?
  5. How has God’s discipline changed you?
  6. Lewis famously 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.”[1] How is pain like a megaphone?
  7. Let’s think about that first word—endure. What does it mean to endure?
  8. What is the opposite endurance? What choice do we have but to endure?
  9. How can we prepare ourselves now for the inevitable pain that will come?
  10. How do we help each other in seasons of pain?
  11. What do we NOT want to do or say to our friends in seasons of pain?
  12. How can we pray for each other?

[1] Lewis, C. S. 2001. The Problem of Pain. New York: HarperOne.