Below is an hour-long video of Matt Chandler sharing briefly on God’s work in his suffering, followed by C.J. Mahaney giving practical counsel on how pastors should prepare their people for suffering. (See my notes below.) At the end the men gather to pray for Matt, led by John Piper.
Here is the video:
Here are some practical recommendations from C.J. on the crucial pastoral task of preparing people to suffer well.
1. Suffering should inform the preaching diet of your church.
2. Draw attention to living illustrations of glorifying God in the midst of suffering.
3. Develop a curriculum of supplemental materials on the topic of suffering so that you can transfer a theology of suffering.
He suggested utilizing the following resources:
- D.A. Carson, How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil. C.J. says this is the finest book on suffering that he has read.
- John Piper’s sermon series, “Treasuring Christ and the Call to Suffer” (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4). C.J. says this is the most dense and thorough series on suffering that he’s heard.
- Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes, When God Weeps: Why Our Suffering Matters to the Almighty.
- Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts
- John Piper and Justin Taylor, eds., Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. In particular, David Powlison’s chapter, “God’s Grace and Your Sufferings,” is the finest single chapter on suffering that C.J. has ever read and frequently passes it along to others. (You can read the whole book online for free.)
- C.H. Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters: Words of Comfort for Your Soul, ed. Roy H. Clarke. Excerpts from Spurgeon’s sermons on how he prepared his people for suffering. C.J. spent most of a day reading from this book to his daughter when she had serious complications in giving birth.
4. The most effective way to prepare a church for, and to comfort a church in, suffering is to preach the gospel.
5. Where and when possible, let’s be there at their side when they suffer.