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Sermon Notes

Main Verse: John 11:1-44

Key Thoughts:

  1. God offers consolation in our Great Need
  2. God offers comfort in our Deepest Grief
  3. God offers us answers to Calm Our Fears

Discussion Questions


  1. Pastor Tim quotes German theologian Jurgen Moltmann who says, “God weeps with us so that we may someday laugh with Him.” What do you think he means? 
  2. The sisters Mary and Martha reminded Jesus that His good friend Lazarus was sick, but Jesus allowed their brother to die. While God never abandons us He often surprises us. If you are grieving, how has God surprised you amid your grief? 
  3. In scripture, death is frequently pictured as sleeping. Why can this description be comforting to believers? 
  4. Pastor Tim makes the point that faith doesn’t mean we are always going to understand everything God allows. What have you struggled to understand when you were grieving?
  5. There are times when it is easy to be angry in the midst of grief. Can you recall a time during your grief that you became angry?
  6. Pastor Tim says the words, “if only” nearly always lead us to make wrong assumptions. Think back to a time when you have played the “what if game.” What wrong assumptions did you make as a result of that question? 
  7. The Apostle Paul doesn’t say in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 that we aren’t to grieve, he says we are not to grieve as those who have no hope. What is the difference between grieving with hope and grieving without hope? 
  8. When Jesus wept He already knew He was about to restore His friend Lazarus to life, but Jesus was moved by the pain of those around Him. Reflect on a time when the pain of others has moved you deeply. 
  9. Pastor Tim concluded by pointing out that part of our struggle with grief is that we tend to become so focused on our loss that we fail to realize our grief isn’t the final chapter of the story. How can realizing our grief isn’t the end of the story help us put things in perspective?


  • If you are currently grieving ask what you have learned about God’s faithfulness during your grief. If you can’t currently think of anything, ask God to teach you more about the eternal hope we have in Him. 
  • Make a list of things which made no sense to you in the past, but which you later realized God might use to help you and others. 
  • Jesus was deeply touched by the grief of those around Him and wept. Make a list of people who need you to currently show them compassion. Beside each name, jot down something practical you can do to help them get through their grief.