“Good news from far away is like cold water to a thirsty soul.” Proverbs 25:25
Today’s devotional thoughts reflect on the life and faith of Joni Eareckson Tada. As the result of a diving accident, Joni Eareckson Tada was paralyzed at the age of seventeen. Shortly after her accident, a friend sat by her bed and read the passage about the man Jesus healed at the pool of Bethesda [John 5:1-9]. “It was the part about being an invalid for thirty-eight years that got me,” Joni remembers. “Please Lord, I can’t live without use of my hands or legs for three days, let alone thirty years. I’m not like that man by the pool at Bethesda. Be compassionate to me, like You were to him. Heal me!” But Joni’s prayer for a miracle seemed to go unanswered. Thirty years later as she rounded a corner while touring Jerusalem with her husband, Ken, she came face-to-face with the ruins of that pool. Looking at her husband, the tears welling up, she said, “Jesus didn’t pass me by. He didn’t overlook me. He answered my prayer: He said, ‘No.’” And then came the astonishing confession. “And I’m glad,” she said. “A ‘no’ answer has purged sin from my life, strengthened my commitment to Him, forced me to depend on grace, bound me with other believers, produced discernment, fostered sensitivity, disciplined my mind, taught me to spend my time wisely, stretched my hope, made me know Christ better, helped me long for truth, led me to repentance of sin, goaded me to give thanks in times of sorrow, increased my faith, and strengthened my character. Being in this wheelchair has meant knowing Him better, feeling His strength every day.”
Today, Joni is an inspiring Christian author, writing over forty books, recorded several musical albums, and starred in an autobiographical movie of her life, and is an advocate for people with disabilities. She founded Joni and Friends in 1979, a Christian ministry to the disability community that helps those with disabilities throughout the United States and world, sharing the hope offered in Jesus Christ.
Here are some quotes by Joni, I hope they inspire your faith today.
“Nothing is a surprise to God; nothing is a setback to His plans; nothing can thwart His purposes; and nothing is beyond His control.”
"God always seems bigger to those who need Him most. And suffering is the tool He uses to help us need Him more."
"The greatest good suffering can do for me is to increase my capacity for God."
"If you had never known physical pain in your life, how could you appreciate the nail scarred hands with which Jesus Christ will meet you?"
"God is more concerned with conforming me to the likeness of His Son than leaving me in my comfort zones."
"When a Christian realizes his citizenship is in heaven, he begins acting as a responsible citizen of earth."
"Suffering provides the gym equipment on which my faith can be exercised."
"He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace."
"God isn’t asking you to be thankful. He’s asking you to give thanks. There’s a big difference. One response involves emotions, the other, your will. Trusting God has nothing to do with trustful feelings.”
"When the Devil insists God’s people only serve Him when life is easy, I have the high honor of proving him wrong."
"Each one of us is God’s special work of art. Through us, He teaches and inspires, delights and encourages, informs and uplifts all those who view our lives."
"No other religion, no other, promises new bodies, hearts, and minds. Only in the gospel of Christ do hurting people find such incredible hope."
"We pilgrims walk the tightrope between earth and heaven, feeling trapped in time, yet with eternity beating in our hearts. Our unsatisfied sense of exile is not to be solved or fixed while here on earth. Our pain and longings make sure we will never be content, but that’s good: it is to our benefit that we do not grow comfortable in a world destined for decay."
"Real satisfaction comes not in understanding God’s motives, but in understanding His character, in trusting in His promises, and in leaning on Him and resting in Him as the Sovereign who knows what He is doing and does all things well."
Much love and care,
Greece Assembly of God
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