One of the many helpful books I have read and re-read these past few months is Suffering and the Sovereignty of God edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor. This book includes contributions by experts in the field of suffering: men and women who have experienced—and in some cases are still in the midst of—extreme and unrelenting suffering, but who have learned to count it all joy when facing trials of many kinds (James 1:2). A few years ago, when this book was first published, we were allowed to offer a sneak preview of several chapters:
”All the Good that is Ours in Christ”: Seeing God’s Gracious Hand in the Hurts Others Do to Us by Mark Talbot
God’s Grace and Your Sufferings by David Powlison
Hope…the Best of Things by Joni Eareckson Tada
“How does God’s grace meet you in your sufferings?” David Powlison asks in his chapter:
“We can make the right answer sound old hat, but I guarantee this: God will surprise you. He will make you stop. You will struggle. He will bring you up short. You will hurt. He will take his time. You will grow in faith and in love. He will deeply delight you. You will find the process harder than you ever imagined – and better. Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life. No matter how many times you’ve heard it, no matter how long you’ve known it, no matter how well you can say it, God’s answer will come to mean something better than you could ever imagine.”
Let me encourage you to listen to the conference messages that these chapters were based on and to buy and study this book. Let these godly men and women hold your hand through your suffering and point you to our gracious, sovereign God.