Womens Online Bible study is a great way to develop your faith! We just finished our third week in the workbook “Anonymous: Discovering the Somebody You Are to God,” by Cindi Wood. Join us in our Facebook group for small group discussions. We’ll be learning about the woman who was bleeding for 12 years. Cindi Wood has identified her as “Hurting” and this week we learn about purpose in our suffering.
As women we often identity ourselves by our suffering. We identify ourselves as cancer survivors, domestic abuse survivors, recovered alcoholics, divorced, depressed, disabled, unemployed, menopausal, bipolar, etc. Sometimes the labels have advantages such as financial assistance, support groups and connection with like-minded women. Other times the labels are reminders of suffering, just like the label of the woman who bled for 12 years. Though she was healed in the most magnificent way, we still identify her by the label of her affliction.
Many of my friends are wearing “hurting” labels years after the event. One friend reminds me that her husband broke marriage vows by having an affair…30 years ago. Another friend whispers about a past abortion that happened 20 years ago. Do you see how we wear HURTING labels even after the suffering has passed?
If we are earthen vessels, how do our labels affect the work of Christ in us? These labels are testimonies of faith, just as the woman who bled for 12 years. These labels are evidence that we are forgiven, loved and known by God. Our vessels are not depleted and half-empty with stagnant waters of past suffering; they are filled with Living Water. While we may not delight in suffering, we are certainly revealing God’s glory inside us when we suffer beside Him instead of without Him. Read that twice.
Cindi Wood identifies four issues of hurting women: physical duress, financial hardship, emotional despair and shunned socially for her illness. It’s rare to find a woman who has not experienced these issues sometime in her life. Are you willing to let go of your hurting, or help a friend who is suffering today? Pray and ask the Lord to lead you into His will.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK
- Join a small group this week
- Read WEEK FOUR in your book. You’ll read one lesson per day, each lesson is about 20 minutes.
- Optional due to cost: AFTER you finish the reading assignment, watch video session four available from Amazon or the publisher website.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK
- Cindi Wood describes a time when she experienced years of pain in her jaw. Have you ever been in physical pain for so long that you wanted to give up? If so, briefly describe how you felt during this situation. (Day 1, page 68)
- Where do you tend to fall on the “delighting” in suffering scale? 1= not at all, 5= need some work, 10= bring it on. (Day 1, page 71)
- Which phrase describes you today: “touched with affliction” or “commissioned to reach out to the hurting?” (Day 2, page 79)
- In Matthew 14:34-36 and Mark 6:56 we learn that those who are ill touched the garment of Jesus. If you suffer an illness, how would you feel about touching his robe? (Day 4, page 89).
- The woman with the blood had four issues- physical, financial, emotional and social- as a result of her illness. Of these four, which one affects you most right now? (Day 4, page 90)