Study Guide: Triumph by Testimony

Sunday September 8, 2013 | Jessica Kelley

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

This week, Jessica Kelley shares with us her testimony. In addition, she tells us why having a solid picture of God is so important when we go through suffering.

Extended Summary:

Jessica Kelley’s testimony is so important to this message, so be sure to listen to the sermon before reading this extended review. For more of her testimony and to continue following her family’s journey, visit

Jessica Kelley’s testimony tells us why it’s so important to understand how God works in this world. Two of the ways to understand this world are the blueprint worldview and the warfare worldview. In the blueprint worldview, God controls everything, including Jessica’s child, Henry, dying from cancer. In this view, God controls Henry’s body breaking down, developing cancer, and painfully living with cancer until he died. And this view makes it seem good, just, and right.

In the warfare worldview, God doesn’t want cancer and actively works against it. God doesn’t plan someone to have cancer; that’s the work of Satan. Rather, God actively works against cancer. God works to comfort those who suffer. In the warfare worldview, God is not the author of suffering and pain in this world. And that’s so important for how we react to suffering in this world.

Living life according to the warfare worldview gives us the ability to understand God’s heart for those who suffer. Instead of a God who causes our pain, we know a God who looks like Jesus. The Jesus who healed diseases, who prayed for those who persecuted him, and ultimately worked for our forgiveness on the cross is the face of God. By viewing this Jesus in the midst of our suffering, we find a compassionate God who loves us and doesn’t want us to suffer. We find a compassionate God who is constantly at work in this world against the kingdom of darkness. We find a compassionate God who meets us in our prayers to allay fears and bring peace to our worst suffering.

Jessica Kelley is constantly working to help people see this view of God, and to oppose the blueprint worldview that is propagated in this world. We shouldn’t have the misconception about God that everything is caused by God, because Jesus shows us differently. And in this world, it is so important to have a solid picture of God.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What additional questions and comments did you have about the sermon and supporting texts?
  2. How have you viewed God’s plan in the midst of tragedy?
  3. Trusting in an ultimate plan where God is in control is easy when we’re not the ones suffering. Have you ever been angry with God when things didn’t go as planned?
  4. How has that anger or fear given you an image different than Jesus?
  5. Why is having the correct image of God so important to our lives?