I recently listened to CJ Mahaney and Matt Chandler’s talk at Together for the Gospel on Preparing Your Church for Suffering. The whole talk was really great, but there was one thing that Matt said that particularly stuck in my mind.
Remember the parable of the two houses – one built on the rock and one on sand? Matt’s main takeaway from that story was that neither house was exempt from the storm. We all know that one house stood firm while the other one fell. But we sometimes forget or overlook the most obvious part – no matter where you build your house, the storms will come.
It is amazing how many Christians, including myself, are surprised when suffering comes. Matt and CJ gave several great resources and ways to help prepare yourself for suffering, knowing that it will come. One that they mentioned, and I want to also affirm, is DA Carson’s book, How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil. A friend sent that to me when I was in Zambia in 2003, and before I had even finished the book, I knew it was going to be a reread. So, I strongly recommend that if you have never read it.
The storms will come. And as DA Carson says in his book, it is better to prepare for the storm before it comes than after it hits.