suffering

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Anna

In it for the long haul!

Do you feel positive about your life – or have you been disappointed by the shape it’s taken? If you feel that you’ve taken a battering and wonder where God is in that, or how to hold on to him, Anna is a great example of someone who worked that out.  If you want someone to inspire you to keep going, through thick and thin then this woman might be just what you need.

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© Ruth Perrin 2010. Last revised on 26 January 2010

Tags: faith integrity relationships suffering

Elijah

The God of Encouragement

A mighty man of God, hero of the Old Testament – who reaches the end of himself. An encouragement for those of us who run out of energy, hope and courage – this is the very human story of a man who just couldn’t cope anymore and how God met him in that place.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: courage faith suffering conflict

Jehosheba

God’s heart for the little ones!

How do you feel about children? Whether we love them & long for our own, or don’t quite know what to do with them; God has strong feelings about kids. Jehosheba; a royal princess in a time of political instability is a great example of courage, generosity and risk taking for the sake of a child that wasn’t hers. Whether you are a mother, wish you were, or don’t know the first thing about changing nappies, this study will help you ponder the question of how God would have his daughters (and sons) view children!

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 9 December 2009

Tags: courage initiative relationships children suffering

Joseph

Life is a roller coaster!’ So said Westlife, Joseph would probably agree. If yours feels like that sometimes too, it might be worth considering his story ( It’s not just about technicolour dreamcoats you know!)

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 20 February 2009

Tags: faith forgiveness integrity leadership suffering

Naaman’s Slave girl

A Nameless Girl with Remarkable Faith

How can we hold on to God when everything is going wrong? How can we genuinely sing, ‘When the darkness closes in, still I will say ‘blessed be the name of the Lord’’? Here’s a little girl who might inspire us in what it means to follow God when we are in a dark place personally!

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 22 November 2008

Tags: courage faith integrity suffering

Rizpah

Refusing to give up

How do you respond to injustice in the world? What about when it's against you? What if there seems to be nothing you can do about it? Rizpah knows all about slander and injustice - but even in a situation where she had no power, she still showed courage that shamed the powerful. I bet you've never heard of her - but she was a brave lady!

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 10 August 2009

Tags: courage suffering violence

Ruth

A God of generosity

In the middle of a dark time in Israel’s history one story shines out, little people who obey God and are honoured by him. It may be the ‘chick lit’ of the Bible, but the book of Ruth has lessons for us all ( Both men & women!) about what courage and integrity mean.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008

Tags: courage faith relationships money integrity suffering

Sheerah & Shallum’s Daughters

Building something significant

What do we do with painful experiences from our past? Times we’ve suffered? These women used their history to build a future for themselves and their families. Remarkable for their time they are an example of how God can use his people in practical ways to demonstrate his love for those in trouble.

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© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 22 November 2008

Tags: leadership initiative suffering gifts

Tamar

The woman who refused to be a Victim

Low self esteem? The victim of bad relationships? Many of us struggle with experiences we’ve had that have crushed our confidence, made us feel useless or worthless. Tamar is a young woman who’d recognise those experiences. She might also inspire us to re-think how we see ourselves, and view our futures.

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© Ruth Perrin -0001. Last revised on 20 February 2009

Tags: courage relationships conflict initiative self-esteem suffering

The Shunammite Woman

Faith and Disappointment

How do people grow in faith? What about when things don’t work out the way we hoped? A woman from the distant past, from a place called Shunem might give us some pointers.

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© Ruth Perrin 2009. Last revised on 11 November 2009

Tags: faith initiative money suffering

Cloud of Witnesses is a series of Bible studies on the men and women of scripture. You'll find everyone from Gideon and Andrew through to Tamar and Tabitha.

For ideas on how to use these studies most effectively, click here

Ruth Perrin, the author, is on staff at King's Church Durham and holds an MA in Theology and Ministry.

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