(…to continue where we left off from the part 1, we were looking at the phrase from Romans 5 which talks about “Rejoicing in our Suffering” and how that seems like an oxymoron – If you haven’t read part 1, you can read it here)
My good friend Pastor Joshua Harris (no not the Kiss Dating Goodbye guy, this guy) is speaking this weekend (2nd of May at GV Vivo City) at Every Nation Church Singapore about the age old question – “Ok God, What About Suffering?” (come through if you’re free!)… As we were chatting about the possible content he would be using in his message, I was thinking about another particular pastor in Texas:
“He Trusted Me to Suffer Well”
I was actually listening to a message from Matt Chandler about suffering for the glory of God – Pastor Matt is the lead pastor of the Village Church in Denton, Texas. I won’t say too much about the message (you can listen to it here IT’S THE COLOSSIANS 7 MESSAGE and get the notes here) because I’d encourage you to listen to it yourself and draw your own conclusions. What I will say is this much: Pastor Matt is the pastor of one of the most influential churches in Texas, and even the U.S. and so when it was revealed that he had brain cancer, people all over the world began to pray for him.
During this message, one of the things that I’m still trying to wrap my head around, is his response. Before he went in for brain surgery, not knowing exactly what would happen after the operation, he filmed a video for the church he pastors – and in a portion of it he said this:
Now of course this quote is contextualized fully within the message, and I advise you to listen to his message to get the fullness of the context. But this response so confused the media, that the Associated Press had to come to Chandler and ask him to explain his response of rejoicing to his cancer.
Pastor Matt – we continue to pray for you, your family and the Village Church.
(Part 3 – the final part of this trilogy will feature our testimony of our recent rejoicing despite difficult times. Stay tuned)