The Gospel in Hard Times
Study Guide with Leader's Note
by Joni and Friends
Pub Date 19 Aug 2019
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The Gospel in Hard Times, by Joni and Friends, is a faith-bolstering small group resource that illustrates how suffering is a catalyst that can deepen our understanding of God’s plan.
Through eight in-depth sessions, This resource points to Jesus, our Good Shepherd, for answers to today’s hard questions.
This study guide includes leader’s notes, real-life stories for discussion, biblical application, suggested video clips, and action plans to demonstrate how Jesus identifies with our sorrow. This study guide invites readers to see that how we choose to react and manage hardship has life-altering potential.
In this small group resource, men and women can learn how the church carries the burden of suffering, seeking gospel answers to questions such as, “Why am I going through this?” and “Where is God when I need him?”
The Gospel in Hard Times explores how a loving faith community—one body with many parts—can not only meet our needs but also help us walk alongside others who are afflicted, disabled, and marginalized.
Joni and Friends is an organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community. Founded in 1979, their mission is to communicate the gospel and equip Christ-honoring churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple people affected by disability. The organization authors numerous books including titles such as the Beyond Suffering Bible, Real Families, Real Needs, and a series of church resources entitled The Irresistible Church.
Pat Verbal, MA, former senior manager of publishing and resources at Joni and Friends, draws from her many years of experience as a director of Christian education and school administrator. She served as managing editor/contributor for the Beyond Suffering Bible, and her other writings include Life in the Balance, Special Needs Ministry for Children, and Beyond Suffering: A Christian View on Disability Ministry.
“The Gospel in Hard Times will absolutely give faith, courage, and endurance through any thorns we may face. You do not have to be in a wheelchair to have a disabled heart. Joni Eareckson Tada is the epitome of living! When one soul, who may have a ‘disabled’ body, puts GO in front of the word disable, it spells GOD IS ABLE. Hard times will always be there, but so will God!”
- Nick Vujicic, Evangelist; founder of Life Without Limbs
“With captivating true stories and practical applications, The Gospel in Hard Times facilitates small group discussions that take you quickly to a place of depth. If you’re hurting and looking for answers as to why God would allow you to experience such suffering, this book will be a wise companion on your journey toward healing.”
- Drew Hill, Pastor; award-winning author of Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel
“We will all suffer in this broken world. We don’t get to opt out of that. But we do get to choose whether we suffer in a redemptive way or a destructive way. I love this study guide because it shows us how to suffer in a redemptive way, just like Joni does. The Gospel in Hard Times takes us into studying the Scriptures directly, where our roots most need to grow deeper in hard times.”
- David Lyons, International Vice President of The Navigators; author of Don’t Waste the Pain: Learning to Grow Through Suffering
“People who are suffering and those who want to help them will find The Gospel in Hard Times to be a timely resource! This inspiring study illustrates how the power of God’s Word leads to hope. The sweetness of Christ’s presence as a fellow sufferer and the comfort of his people are wonderfully illustrated. People are encouraged to raise hard questions in safe communities that provide purpose, care, and dignity.”
- Dr. A. Charles Ware, President Emeritus, Crossroads Bible College; founder/CEO, The Grace Relations Network