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Joy in the Sorrow

How a Thriving Church (and its Pastor) Learned to Suffer Well

from 2 reviews

A moving, compelling, hope-filled book that will bolster your faith in times of trial.

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We all wonder how we will cope in times of terrible suffering, and how we can best support others who are suffering. And we all ask the question: how does suffering square with God’s character and purpose?

As a young pastor, Matt Chandler knew he needed to learn how to help hurting people. He studied the Scriptures, and he learned from people at the Village Church who remained joyful in their suffering. And then suddenly he was having to live what he'd learned.

This is the moving story of Matt's battle with a potentially fatal brain tumour. But it's also the stories of those who taught him, and teach him, how to walk with joy in sorrow.

This book will make you cry, laugh, and worship God. And you will see how you can live with joy when times of sorrow come, and how you can support others going through tough times.

Product details


  • 1. I Had No Answers
  • 2. Beauty in the Ripples
  • 3. Treasure Veiled in Heartache
  • 4. We Named Her Kate
  • 5. I Know, I Understand, I'm Here
  • 6. Clinging to Life
  • 7. Beating on Our Father's Chest
  • 8. No Need to Be Afraid
  • 9. More Broken and Much Brighter
  • 10. Somehow, This Is Enough
  • 11. He Wept With Me
  • 12. The Spirit's Surgery

Free extras


Contributors Matt Chandler
ISBN 9781784983826
Format Paperback
First published September 2019
Dimensions 135mm x 216mm x 17mm
Language English
Pages 240
Publisher The Good Book Company

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Andrew Wilson

Teaching Pastor, King’s Church London

An honest, searching, and in places deeply moving book, gives a dozen examples of how suffering can strike, and how God in Christ gets us through it. The stories are very different, but each one shows in its own way that whatever our circumstances, he is enough.

Max Lucado

Author, Anxious for Nothing and Unshakable Hope

How does one face suffering with faith? Where do we quarry the resolve and courage? Is God good, even when the circumstances are not? Matt Chandler has wrestled with these questions. He addresses them with wisdom, love, and balance. This is a welcome book for all who suffer.

Barbara Sherwood

Navigators UK

This book helps us to see how we can look at whatever trials we may face in the light of Scripture and the gospel of Jesus Christ, and have confidence for ourselves or those we walk alongside in their sorrow, that God will use these things to grow our personal knowledge of him and will glorify Jesus through them. This book is best read before those sorrows come!

Independent reviews


JONNY IVEY, Patheos, January 20th 2020

For most of us, life can feel like a struggle. We get used to that.
But then something happens that turns your life upside down, dropping you in a world that you no longer know, trying to piece together a broken life.
Being a Christian doesn’t protect us from these meteors that leave suffering in their wake.... continue reading

Joy In The Sorrow (Review)

Dwell With Christ, November 28th 2019

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.... continue reading

BOOK REVIEWS: Joy in the sorrow

Alistair Chalmers, Chalmers, November 19th 2019

In this book you hear the story of Matt Chandler, lead pastor of the Village Church in Texas. Out of the blue he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and told he would have two to three years to live. Joy in the sorrow is his story but also the story of other people in the Village Church who have been through some horrific things.... continue reading

Customer reviews


“Powerful and encouraging”

I really appreciated the style of this book sharing a number of stories of joy in suffering with interludes between them tracing the story of Matt Chandler's battle with a brain tumour. Some brave testimony grappling with the Word and coming out with such challenging and inspiring joy


“Tears, broken, joy”

I experienced tears, brokenness and joy when reading this book. The honest and courageous faith of the contributors and pastor Matt himself is incredible. I was moved by these stories of suffering and faith. Every Christian should read this book.

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Joy in the Sorrow | Matt Chandler | £7.99 £6.79