So long as this broken world endures, suffering will remain a painfully relevant subject. It's not far from any of us. As Christians we know we're supposed to lean on God, but what kind of God is he? In light of all the heartache and sadness that plague our lives, is he really worth our trust?
"One of the biggest mercies of God took place long before my suffering arrived," recalls Chandler, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009. For a while he had been working to prepare his young congregation for suffering. Little did he know, however, that all along God was preparing him.
Contrary to popular belief, Piper observes, awareness of the bigness and majesty and sovereignty of God practically helps when we're in the throes of perplexity and pain. Though it may sound comforting at first, the idea that "God didn't have anything to do with this" is actually horrible news, since it means he's not in control after all and thus cannot ensure your trials will be used for good (Rom. 8:28).
"We have a loving Father who gives us only what will work together for our good," Platt remarks. "God uses sorrowful tragedy to set the stage for surprising triumph—whether in this life or the life to come."
Watch the full nine-minute video to hear about the Platts' struggle with infertility, when Piper's mom died, a 10,000-year perspective, and more.