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The Lord of Endurance and Encouragement: Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (Beeke & Smalley)

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This book presents a God-centered perspective on suffering and prepares us to be good students in God’s school of suffering. By focusing our attention on Jesus Christ, it shows how knowing Him and His sufferings illuminates and sustains us in our own. It also draws lessons from biblical examples of suffering saints and mines the riches of the Reformed divines on the topic. It closes by showing how the God of patience and consolation strengthens weary pilgrims in hope and with a longing for heaven. In the darkest of times, believers are reminded that their hearts can be satisfied by nothing less than the infinite God.



Part 1: God and Suffering

1 Cultivating a God-Centered Theology of Suffering — Anthony Kidd

2 Learning in God’s School of Suffering — Anthony Kidd

Part 2: Christ and Suffering

3 Following the Lamb through the Fiery Trials of Life and Ministry — Paul Washer

4 Ending in Christ with All Our Sufferings — Joel R. Beeke

5 The Paradox of Suffering and Sovereignty in King Jesus — Jonathon Beeke

Part 3: Biblical Examples of Suffering

6 The Mystery of Providence: Sovereignty and Suffering in the Life of Joseph — Ian Hamilton

7 The Dark Night of the Soul: The Sovereignty of God in Job 3 — Maarten Kuivenhoven

8 Suffering’s Temptation: The Lion’s Mouth and the Faithful Witness — Bruce P. Baugus      

Part 4: Reformed and Puritan Divines on Suffering

9 Prison Letters: Guido de Brès on Suffering, Sovereignty, and Solace — David Kranendonk

10 John Flavel and the Puritans on Afflictive Providence — Brian Cosby

Part 5: Hope in the Midst of Suffering

11 Trusting God When All the Lights Go Out — Ian Hamilton

12 Suffering and Our Longing for Heaven — Paul Washer


“Living as we do between Genesis 3 and Revelation 22, sorrow and suffering are universal human experiences. This book describes such experiences but, far better, interprets them in the light of Christ's work. It is steeped in Scripture, grounded in sound doctrine, and consistent with Reformed theology. It will inform, comfort, and encourage all who read it.”

—Tim Challies, author of Seasons of Sorrow

“Another book about suffering? Yes and no. It’s not just ‘another’ book about suffering but one etched in the realities of the Christian life written from the experience of the godly. Paul’s first lesson that he learned following his first missionary journey was ‘we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God’ (Acts 14:22). What have the saints learned from ‘much tribulation’? The consolations of God! Paul again: ‘For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ’ (2 Cor. 1:5). Deeply experiential, eminently practical, soul refreshing, these essays will prove of enormous value. Not just another book about suffering—this is top shelf and worth careful reading. You will be blessed, I promise you.”

—Derek W. H. Thomas, author of Strength for the Weary

“Imagine for a moment sitting comfortably with a half dozen Christian men who have been walking with God for decades, deeply experienced in the workings of His providence in both trouble and in joy, listening intently while they speak humbly, one by one, of what they have learned from their pilgrimage of finding peace when passing through dark, deep valleys and also how they have ministered to other needy disciples of Jesus Christ. If you can envisage that scene and wish you had been an eavesdropper during such golden hours, then this book will be your blessed experience as you savor what these servants of God with their understanding, observations, and advice will share with you as you read these helpful chapters on God’s fatherly sovereignty in relation to your suffering.”

—Geoffrey Thomas, author of Knowing the Cross

About the Editors and Contributors

Bruce P. Baugus (PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) served on the faculty of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, for fourteen years. He now serves as professor of systematic theology and apologetics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.

Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) was the president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary from 1995 to 2023 and now serves there as the chancellor and professor of homiletics and systematic theology. He is a minister of the Heritage Reformed Congregation of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jonathon Beeke (PhD, University of Groningen) is the academic dean and associate professor of historical theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is a ruling elder at Redeemer Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Ada, Michigan.

Brian Cosby (PhD, Australian College of Theology) is the senior minister of Wayside Presbyterian Church in Signal Mountain, Tennessee. He is an adjunct professor of historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, and at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida.

Ian Hamilton (MPhil, University of Edinburgh; DD, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary) is the president of Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Newcastle, England. He also teaches and serves on the board at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Greenville, South Carolina.

Anthony Kidd (MDiv, The Master’s Seminary) serves as preaching pastor at Community of Faith Bible Church in South Gate, California, and as a professor at the Los Angeles Bible Training School.

David Kranendonk (PhD, Theological University of Apeldoorn) is a professor of theology and the assistant dean of students at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He has served several congregations of the Free Reformed Churches of North America.

Maarten Kuivenhoven (PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is a professor of theology and the assistant professor of church history at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the Heritage Reformed Congregations and pastored the Heritage Reformed Congregation of Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 2010 to 2022.

Paul M. Smalley (ThM, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary) is a research and teaching assistant to Joel Beeke at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously ministered as a pastor of several Baptist churches in the midwestern United States and currently serves as a teacher at Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Paul Washer (MDiv, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) served as a missionary in Peru for ten years. While serving in Peru, he founded HeartCry Missionary Society to support Peruvian church planters. HeartCry now supports indigenous missionaries throughout Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.