This study is not so much for a person who has recently gone through the pain lost a loved one, but for quieter moments in the present to prepare us for the future.


1. In Jon 4, do you think Jonah handled his loss, of the shady plant, well? Why not?




2. To recap, why was Jonah angry enough to die?




3. What is a different perspective?




4. In 1 Cor 5:5, it seems this man would suffer loss, or at least discomfort, by being handed over to Satan. Ditto for Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1 Tim 1:20. Who benefited by Paul pronouncing that?




5. In Ezek 24:15-20 who benefitted when Ezekiel's wife died?




6. In Jms 1:2-4 and 1 Pet 1:6-7 what purposes can suffering and loss serve in our life?




7. Would Job agree that suffering always is for this purpose?




8. What would you say if Job were to ask you the question, "why me?"




9. In the book of Job, who benefitted from Job's calamities?




10. Speaking of wives, what about the (apparent) loss of Abraham's wife in Gen 12:11-17?




11. In Esth 4:15-16 and Dan 3:16-18, Esther and the three young men suffered great potential loss of their own lives; they thought they were going to die. Why do you think they handled this quite well, in contract to Jonah?




12. In Php 1:18-27 and Acts 20:22-24, what can we learn about responding to potential loss from Paul?




13. In 2 Cor 11:23-29, what else can we learn about responding to loss from Paul?




14. In Mt 8:14, Peter had a mother-in-law, so Peter had a wife. Peter's wife believed in Christ, and Peter later saw her sentenced to execution. Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) tell us, "They say, accordingly, that the blessed Peter, on seeing his wife led to death, rejoiced on account of her call and conveyance home, and called very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, 'Remember thou the Lord.' Such was the marriage of the blessed and their perfect disposition towards those dearest to them." Stromata book 7 ch.11 p.541. So did God let things go easier on Peter, and how did Peter the apostle respond?




15. One of the two shortest books in the Bible is John 11:35 "Jesus wept." Exactly why did Jesus weep?




16. In Lk 7:38,44, Acts 20:19,31; Acts 20:37-38; 2 Cor 2:4; Php 3:18, 2 Tim 1:4; when we suffer loss, or are about to, should we try to hold back the tears?





Responding to Loss - My BriefAnswers


This study is not so much for a person who has recently gone through the pain lost a loved one, but for quieter moments in the present to prepare us for the future.

1. In Jon 4, do you think Jonah handled his loss, of the shady plant, well? Why not?
A: He handled the death of a simple plant quite poorly. Job and others have lost a lot more, and they handled their loss much better.

2. To recap, why was Jonah angry enough to die?
After it appeared that God especially made the vine to shelter Jonah, God deliberately and suddenly took it away, showing His displeasure with Jonah, after Jonah's mind and body (though not his heart) still made the trip to Nineveh. Jonah was angry because God deliberately caused Jonah discomfort.

3. What is a different perspective?
A: Whom did God benefit by destroying the vine? Was it to either evangelize or otherwise help the Ninevites? No, we have no evidence they knew anything about it? Was it to solely to glorify God? No, destroying a plant would not seem to bring any more glory to God than crating it to live. our response to things can glorify God, but Jonah struck out there. God created and destroyed that vine to teach Jonah something very important. In other words, while God could have sat back and done nothing, God moved in space and time for the sole purpose of benefitting Jonah. Jonah's small change in comfort level for a day or so is nothing compared to eternity.

4. In 1 Cor 5:5, it seems this man would suffer loss, or at least discomfort, by being handed over to Satan. Ditto for Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1 Tim 1:20. Who benefited by Paul pronouncing that?
A: Nobody would benefit except the man, if it helped him to repent. Here the dichotomy between what God causes and what God allows breaks down somewhat. It was Satan that would be doing the punishing, and God allowed that. However, it is as though God is commanding Satan to discipline the man.

5. In Ezek 24:15-20 who benefitted when Ezekiel's wife died?
A: Ezekiel really loved his wife, because God called Ezekiel's wife "the delight of his eyes" yet God took her from Ezekiel. We have no evidence that this did anything helpful or had anything to do with Ezekiel or his wife. The purpose of this was almost a "last straw" to teach the Israelites the seriousness of listening to His warnings through Ezekiel.

6. In Jms 1:2-4 and 1 Pet 1:6-7 what purposes can suffering and loss serve in our life?
A: James says it can develop perseverance so that we can be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. Peter says it can refine out faith, prove it genuine, and ultimately result in praise, glory, and honor. However implicit in this is responding to loss in a godly way.

7. Would Job agree that suffering always is for this purpose?
A: For most of the Book of Job, Job had no idea why he was suffering. His friends incorrectly told him it must be because of his sin. Job's character seemed fairly complete before, and Job was obedient to God. A small part of Job's suffering might have been that he could not see any reason for it.

8. What would you say if Job were to ask you the question, "why me?"
A: Without reading the end of Job, we could answer that we don't know. But after reading the end of the Book of Job, where God gives Job a special audience with Himself, we still do not see why Job was singled out, except that Satan brought him up before God, and that God could use Job to glorify Himself. Another answer we could give Job is "why not". He was going to be with God forever anyway, so why not be in a situation for a very short time, (compared to eternity) that would glorify God.

9. In the book of Job, who benefitted from Job's calamities?
A: Job's wife did not, she told Job to "curse God and die". Job benefitted because it certainly strengthened His character and faith in God, but that was not the primary purpose. The primary purpose was to glorify God by showing Satan that Job would still trust God regardless.

10. Speaking of wives, what about the (apparent) loss of Abraham's wife in Gen 12:11-17?

A: People might overlook Abraham's real loss here. As far as Abraham knew at the time, Abraham lost Sarah forever. Even when Sarah was given back to Abraham, you wonder if their marriage relationship might have been a little uncomfortable for a while. Nobody benefitted from Abraham's foolish lack of faith. It was not a good testimony, because Isaac did the same thing in Genesis 26:7-8. Abraham did not learn a lesson, because he did it again in Genesis 20:1-7. God was not glorified by Abraham trusting in his own deception instead of God. This only happened because of Abraham's wicked lack of faith, willing to give up what God gave him because of fear of man. God was only glorified by showing His mercy for the sinful decisions.

11. In Esth 4:15-16 and Dan 3:16-18, Esther and the three young men suffered great potential loss of their own lives; they thought they were going to die. Why do you think they handled this quite well, in contract to Jonah?
A: It all depends what is in your view. If you are looking at the hot sun and dusty east wind, you have one perspective,. If you are looking at eternal things, you have a different view.

12. In Php 1:18-27 and Acts 20:22-24, what can we learn about responding to potential loss from Paul?
A: Paul appeared to view his future sufferings as mere mileposts on the way to his goal, as Philippians 3:9-14. Paul says we should have the same view in Philippians 3:15.

13. In 2 Cor 11:23-29, what else can we learn about responding to loss from Paul?
A: Paul did not forget his past sufferings, but saw them as "Badges of honor" and that they were nothing compared to the surpassing greatness of Christ in Philippians 3:9-14.

14. In Mt 8:14, Peter had a mother-in-law, so Peter had a wife. Peter's wife believed in Christ, and Peter later saw her sentenced to execution. Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) tell us, "They say, accordingly, that the blessed Peter, on seeing his wife led to death, rejoiced on account of her call and conveyance home, and called very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, 'Remember thou the Lord.' Such was the marriage of the blessed and their perfect disposition towards those dearest to them." Stromata book 7 ch.11 p.541. So did God let things go easier on Peter, and how did Peter the apostle respond?
A: God did not take it any easier on Peter than on Ezekiel. Peter said (either before or after his wife's martyrdom), that we should greatly rejoice even for "for a little while" we may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, for our faith in 1 Peter 1:6-7.

15. One of the two shortest books in the Bible is John 11:35 "Jesus wept." Exactly why did Jesus weep?
A: Jesus did not weep because he knew what would happen to all people, sooner or later, happened to Lazarus, especially as Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus

16. In Lk 7:38,44, Acts 20:19,31; Acts 20:37-38; 2 Cor 2:4; Php 3:18, 2 Tim 1:4; when we suffer loss, or are about to, should we try to hold back the tears?
A: Jesus did not, and there is no need for us to either. It is fine to show emotion.


For more info please contact Christian Debater™ P.O. Box 144441 Austin, TX 78714 www.BibleQuery.org