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Another Anniversary

posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:41 AM by First Baptist


This month, we’ve been studying the Reformation, to commemorate its 500th anniversary.

 

But, 2017 marks another anniversary: the 50th anniversary of Joni Eareckson Tada’s diving accident that left her a quadriplegic. (The exact date was July 30, 1967.)

 

In 1976, Joni’s memoir about her accident and rehabilitation (entitled Joni) became a bestseller. Since then, Joni has written over 40 other books and has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the disabled.

 

Perhaps most important, Joni has written extensively on the subject of suffering from a Christian perspective. Here is a quote from Joni that sums up her attitude about suffering after 50 years:

 

“I really would rather be in this wheelchair knowing Jesus as I do than be on my feet without Him.”

 

Joni lists the following blessings or benefits of suffering:

 

1)      God uses suffering to shape our character

2)      Suffering produces patience

3)      Suffering refines our faith like gold

4)      Suffering gives us a livelier hope of heaven

5)      Suffering knocks us off our pedestal of pride and shows us our need of God

 

Joni insists that suffering isn’t a killjoy, but rather teaches us to find our joy in Christ.

 

As you might expect, Joni has studied the book of Job extensively. She expects Satan says the same thing to God about her as he did with Job: “Test her with more pain and you’ll see her true colors. She doesn’t love you for YOU.”

 

You see, the devil insists that we love God only for what He does for us. However, Joni says she has the high honor of proving the devil wrong. She loves God simply for who He is!

 

God has used Joni in a powerful way to brings hope & encouragement to literally millions of people. Maybe you need some hope & encouragement today for the suffering you are experiencing. If so, read one of Joni’s books. Most of all, know the One whom Joni has come to know so well: Jesus Christ, who himself is well-acquainted with suffering.

 

Pastor Dan

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