Understanding God’s Sovereignty in Suffering

Why does God allow hardships into our lives? Can God really use our pain for His glory and our good? In this course, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. addresses these questions and any many others about God’s sovereignty and our suffering.

  • Worldwide Class

    Take this course with Ligonier Connect students from around the world. In the Worldwide Class, you'll be able to:

    • Take the course at your own pace
    • Discuss questions and share notes with your classmates
    • Keep unlimited access to the course content with an active Ligonier Connect subscription
  • Create your own group class

    Take this course with your own private group of friends, family, or church members. With a group class, you'll be able to:

    • Take the class together on a schedule or allow members to work at their own pace
    • Invite anyone to join your class (requires a Ligonier Connect subscription)
    • Moderate discussion questions and leave feedback for each member of your class
    • Monitor each member's progress at a glance

About this course

All people experience suffering and sorrow, yet our responses to suffering often vary widely. As we grapple with the hardships and sorrows that accompany life in this fallen world, it is crucial that we build our understanding of human suffering and divine sovereignty on the firm foundation of Scripture.

In this course, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. presents important scriptural teachings about God’s role in human suffering, shares personal life stories about God’s faithfulness through many trials, and reminds the Christian of their comfort in knowing that Christ shares in their sorrows.

This course has been approved by the Association of Christian Schools International for one Continuing Education Unit.

Course path preview


    • Welcome to Understanding God’s Sovereignty in Suffering

      • read Hello and welcome
      • read How to get the most out of this course
  • Lessons

    • Lesson 1: God in the Wasteland

      • Take Engaging with Scripture
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch God in the Wasteland
      • to-do Discuss
    • Lesson 2: “I Create Calamity”

      • Take The Problem of Evil
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch I Create Calamity”
      • to-do Discuss
    • Lesson 3: Better Than I Deserve

      • Take What we deserve
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch Better Than I Deserve
      • to-do Discuss
  • Quiz

    • Quiz: Lessons 1–3

      • Take Quiz 1
    • Lesson 4: Job

      • Take Why we suffer
      • watch Job
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • to-do Discuss
    • Lesson 5: The Man Born Blind

      • Take The Schemes of the Devil
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch The Man Born Blind
      • to-do Discuss
    • Lesson 6: Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh

      • Take For our good
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh
      • to-do Discuss
  • Quiz

    • Quiz: Lessons 4–6

      • Take Quiz 2
    • Lesson 7: Living with the Mystery

      • Take Seeking answers
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch Living with the Mystery
      • to-do Discuss
    • Lesson 8: Being Like Jesus

      • Take Count it all joy
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch Being Like Jesus
      • to-do Discuss
    • Lesson 9: Mourning and Dancing

      • Take Hope and victory
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch Mourning and Dancing
      • to-do Discuss
  • Quiz

    • Quiz: Lessons 7–9

      • Take Quiz 3
    • Lesson 10: The Tears of God

      • Take God’s presence
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch The Tears of God
      • to-do Discuss
    • Lesson 11: Our Union with Christ

      • Take Hope
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch Our Union with Christ
      • to-do Discuss
    • Lesson 12: Wounds in Heaven

      • Take Victorious wounds
      • read Introduction & Scripture Reading
      • watch Wounds in Heaven
      • to-do Discuss
  • Quiz

    • Quiz: Lessons 9–12

      • Take Quiz 4
  • Conclusion

    • Conclusion

      • to-do Recommended for you
      • to-do Reflect

About the teacher

R.C. Sproul Jr.

Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. is chairman and teacher for Highlands Ministries in Mendota, Va., rector of theology and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Reformation Bible College, and a teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries. He is pastor of Ascension Presbyterian Church in Apopka, Fla., travels extensively as a speaker and teacher, and is author of several books and teaching series.

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