Friday, December 29, 2006

Joni on Suffering and Hope

I woke up feeling sorry for myself, feeling anxious about my leukemia, projecting myself into a number of terrible futures. So it was with great joy that I read Dan Phillips' post over at the blog Pyromaniacs. He pointed me to a speech given by Joni Eareckson Tada on suffering and the sovereignty of God. It was given at John Piper's 2005 Desiring God conference. She offers a glimpse into her ability to glory and rejoice despite being a quadriplegic. She pointed me to 1 Corinthians 1:5, "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ." Her ministry, her singing, her artwork, her joy in living is a powerful testimony to the hope that is in Christ. I encourage you to listen to this speech. I want to listen to it again, maybe several more times. It puts things in perspective. God uses our suffering, Joni says, to wean us from dependence on anything but Him. She quotes a line from the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" (from a story by Stephen King!), "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. So get busy living or get busy dying." Try and listen to this speech without tears. As Paul wrote in Romans 5:5, "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Thanks Dan, for pointing me to this godly woman on this fretful day. Oh, how God anticipates our needs!

{For more information about Joni's ministry, here is a link}


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