Job 19:25; James 5:10-11; Ruth 1; Esther 2; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; Philippians 4:11-13
Memory Text: Psalm 46:1-3:
 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Examples of those who endured trial and tragedy but maintained hope.
Several Bible texts suggest that bad experiences produce good results. (E.g. Romans 5:3 tribulation produces patience, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 God comforts us in our trials so we can comfort others, 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 Paul reinterprets challenges as way to learn to trust in God, 2 Timothy 1:11-12 Paul not ashamed to suffer since he knows in whom he believes)
- Is bad necessary for good to be discovered and experienced?
Being content with our circumstances (Philippians 4:11-12)
- Does this approach not risk complacency?
- How does one balance passivity and discontent?
Questions about stress and our how to cope with it.
- Do reminders of hope actually deny the experience of those who are suffering?
- What of situations that are, in fact, unchangeable and thus hopeless?
- How can we balance bearing another’s burdens with pointing them to the eternal future?
- How can we remain engaged in the present yet attached to eternity?
- Does hope for eternity disengage us from the present?
- Do individuals differ in their capacity to endure stress and hardship?