Can joy come from suffering?
We think of suffering as the worst of all evils. Our culture tells us to avoid it at all costs. But can suffering produce growth in us when we learn to endure it . . . then value it . . . then allow God to redeem it?
John Perkins' response to suffering at the hands of a white sheriff in a Mississippi jail became the springboard that God used to put him in front of U.S. presidents, international politicians, and evangelical church leaders. Perkins sees endurance in suffering as a virtue that makes us more like Christ and ultimately produces uncommon joy in the heart of the sufferer who trusts in Him. Christ walked the path of love all the way to the cross, and even in the midst our brokenness, we can do the same.
In Count it All Joy, you will be encouraged to lean into suffering when it comes your way, stand alongside others who suffer, and believe that God will repurpose your suffering according to His good plan. God doesn't intend your life to be free of all suffering. Instead, He wants you trust Him in the midst of it and discover the unexpected joy that trials can produce.
Praise for Count It All Joy
"Dr. Perkins does it again. He frames suffering for us in a way that helps us not only realize and come to terms with it, but see it from a heavenly perspective, which is a hopeful one. As my wife and I have suffered much in our lives, we treasure his words in helping us to further frame the purpose of pain from God's perspective."
Founder and pastor, Epiphany Fellowship
Author of Urban Apologetics
"I know of no one who has more exemplified joy in suffering than John Perkins. This book will be treasured by those who are hurting, those who feel as though joy seems impossible, and for everyone who loves such people. In this book, John Perkins takes the reader to Christ and Him crucified, where all joy and suffering point. Read this book and find comfort and peace and hope."
President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
"I'm honored to call Dr. Perkins both a role model and friend. In his own life, he has walked through suffering with deep faith and lives out what he preaches like no one else on the planet. His book Count It All Joy arrives right when the world needs it. We all know what it is to suffer, and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we've experienced a collective suffering like never before. In his compassionate, forthright, approachable way, Perkins reminds us that Jesus knows a thing or two about suffering, and that He loved us enough to die for us. That kind of scandalous love can be easy to forget when we're in the midst of suffering, but Perkins shows us that God can handle our soul-wrenching laments, and work all things together for our good. Whether you've experienced pain, loss, injustice, or 2020, we all need this book."
Lead Pastor of Churchome
"John Perkins's new book, Count It All Joy, is a reality check for a culture gone wild for all things 'feel good.' He reminds us that suffering is on the menu. God's promise is that in this life we will suffer, but that He will be with us through it all. He makes it redemptive and beneficial. Our challenge is to suffer well. John Perkins shows us how."
President, The Urban Alternative
Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
"Dr. John Perkins knows suffering. He has lived a life of enduring through trials. But as he so eloquently writes in Count It All Joy, 'None of us want suffering, but when it comes—it comes as a teacher.' He has been taught by looking to our Savior, who suffered and counted it all joy. Take this journey of learning as Perkins teaches us through Scripture and life experience what it means to walk closely with the Lord and endure in this life. Count It All Joy is a needed word from a seasoned, wise, and godly teacher."
Author of Creative God, Colorful Us, A Great Cloud of Witnesses, and If God Is For Us
"John Perkins is a hero of mine that I'm honored enough to call a friend. His words have shown me the way forward even through the most difficult situations. But more than words, Dr. Perkins is a man of actions, living out a life of defiant love: showing what compassion looks like, for the oppressed and even his own oppressors. His story has forever changed my story."
"I thank the Lord for leading my friend John Perkins to write this timely book, Count It All Joy. Suffering is the only power that can prevail over this world of injustice. That means we are not merely available to our Lord; we are expendable for Him. And we are happy to serve Him, whatever the cost. John Perkins believes that, and his life proves it. Now his new book will help all of us walk with him on the only path that can change the world: suffering with joy."
Renewal Ministries, Nashville
"Whether it is suffering at the hands of others who have mistreated him in his life, the suffering that comes with self-denial, or the trials of life that have buffeted him until his ninth decade of living, Dr. Perkins has an infectious joy that comes from a place of love; that comes from God. His life and work have inspired my ministry immeasurably. Get your coffee or tea, pull up a chair, turn on the lamp, and read this book as the wisdom drips ever so generously from the pages into your hearts and minds."
Author of Gracism: The Art of Inclusion