To some, the Christian life is a series of successes and victories. To others, the Christian life is rife with pain and tragedy on most days. For most of us, we find ourselves ascending and descending the hills and valleys of success and suffering. Though we all face adversity in life, some seasons are far more catastrophic than we could have ever imagined.
This is Matt Chandler's story. It's also the story of the many of his friends.
Joy In The Sorrow walks through the story of Matt Chandler and the brain tumor which changed his life and the life of the Village Church that he was pastoring. Throughout the book, Chandler's story is discussed, and excerpts from his vlog are sprinkled through to illustrate how he walked with his church through the painful process of his suffering.
A message of hope resounds as we hear from Chandler and friends from The Village Church. There are stories of traumatic brain injuries, dying spouses, stillborn children, brittle bones, anxiety, overdoses, death of infants, family chaos, terminal disease, miscarriages, and, of course, life with a brain tumor.
Joy In The Sorrow has a realistic blend of joyful endings as well as tragic deaths. Some of the stories don't end happily-ever-after and there will be suffering until Christ brings them home. Through all of these stories, however, is a reverberating theme: Jesus didn't leave us alone in our suffering. We are one with the triune God through the indwelling Holy Spirit who has come not only to make us holy, but to carry us in our suffering.
Whether you're suffering or walking with friends and family through suffering, Joy In The Sorrow is a beautiful picture of gospel hope in the face of suffering.
I received a free copy of this book. I was not required to leave a positive review.