Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Scripture reference: the book of Job. Instead of reading the whole book in class, an impossible task, try a summary reading. Assign the parts of Narrator, Lord, Satan, Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu. Have the appropriate student read these passages in this order to summarize the book:

Narrator – 1:1-4, 6           Lord – 2:2a                             Bildad – 18:2-4

Lord – 1:7a                       Satan – 2:2b                            Job – 19:1-7, 21-22

Satan – 1:7b                      Lord – 2:3                               Zophar – 20:4-9

Lord – 1:8                         Satan – 2:4-5                           Job – 27:5-6

Satan – 1:9-11                   Lord – 2:6                               Narrator – 32:1-6

Lord – 1:12                       Narrator – 2:7,11-13               Elihu – 33:8-28

Narrator – 1:13-20            Job – 12:4                                Lord – 38:1-12,40:1-2

Job – 1:21                          Eliphaz – 15:12-16                  Job – 40:3-5

Narrator – 1:22, 2:1           Job – 16:1-3                            Lord – 40:7-14

                                                                                          Job – 42:1-6

                  End with everyone reading Job 42:10-12


  1. Service References: Job is read on the Vespers of Holy Friday, where it is said that he will rise again with “those whom the Lord will raise”. The “patience of Job” is also called upon in the service of Holy Unction; why? And, in the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, sung during the first week of Great Lent, we are exhorted: “Job, whom God deemed more righteous and blameless than anyone else alive, did not escape the traps of the deceiver, so what will you do, O my sin-loving soul, if something unexpected befalls you?...My soul, have you not heard of Job, who even while sitting on a dunghill was justified? Why then in times of temptation have you never imitated his courage or firmness of purpose, or endured with patience?” How can you respond like Job to situations in your own life?


  1. Discussion: The book of Job centers on suffering. Here we find a good man who encountered one disaster after another. What did Job suffer? Did his friends help him? Why did his friends fail to help him? How would you have reacted if they had been your friends? Why did Job decide he wanted to die? How do you feel about that decision? What or who do you think causes suffering in the world?

Ask the class to list some forms of suffering in the world (e.g. cancer, starvation, AIDs) Why is there so much suffering in the world? How could a good God allow such suffering? How can we bring hope to those who suffer? If you want, you could stop right now and make cards for people suffering – in a hospice, a nursing home, a prison, etc. Who will deliver them?

Have each student consider a time he or she suffered. Do you think God is punishing you for the suffering? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the maximum suffering, where would you rate the suffering you’ve experienced so far in life? Can following God cause us to suffer? How have you learned to survive rough times?

  1. Close with prayer: Have each student think of someone he knows is suffering now and pray for that person. Plan to do something to reach out to that suffering person this week.

Note: If the students are really wrestling with the question of suffering, suggest the book The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis, available at any library.