Monday, March 02, 2009


“My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

'Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, 
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, 
insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. 

For when I am weak, then I am strong.'
-2 Cor. 12:9b-10

"God shares His joy on His terms 
and those terms call for us to in some measure 
suffer as His precious Son suffered when 
He was here on earth... and the union 
and sweetness of the Savior just can't be beat." 


cyd said...

"We are saved and sanctified through suffering." What a humbling truth!

It's amazing to see the ways and means that God chooses to glorify Himself. Joni's submission to the Lord has been a great encouragement to millions.

Thanks so much for posting this, Steve.

Rick Frueh said...

Joni Erickson Tada is one of my heroes of the faith. I was saved in 1975, just when God was beginning to use her and her testimony. I am edified in many ways be her and her ministry.

SJ Camp said...

I agree with that quote - very powerful indeed.

What a humbling and exalting title of our Lord prophetically when Isaiah refers to Him as the Suffering Servant.

SJ Camp said...

Amen brother!

In an indirect way, Joni answers the always evasive question - "what about the problem of evil in this world in light of the Sovereignty of God?"

In Christ - the "why" of pain and suffering will be answered even if it doesn't come in this lifetime.

Tough to rest in that truth - but rest we must.

Michele Rayburn said...

Joni is such an inspiration and so full of wisdom.

For some reason, the Lord has put her on my heart for many years now. I find myself thinking of her almost every day, praying for her, and wishing she could walk again.

Joni said, "Christ has given it (suffering) meaning, not only for our salvation, but also for our sanctification."

And she said, "God redeems our suffering."

That reminded me of why I thought I may have been injured so many years ago.

I was a security guard at a department store. And part of my job was to lift this huge garage door for the truckers coming in to make their deliveries.

Well, no one told me *how* to lift the door, and I totally messed up my back.

One morning I woke up and couldn't move my arms. For the next 25 years, I was in constant pain.

It seems I spent most of my life at the Chiropractor's office, going three times a week for so many years.

When Joni said, "God redeems our suffering", I remembered that I had started that job in the month of September, was injured by October, but was born again by November!!

I remembered that was the tipping point in my life, "the straw that broke the camel's back" (no pun intended, I don't think!) that finally brought me to Christ.

It was only about four years ago that I asked my home fellowship group to pray for my back. I had become so dependent on chiropractors for so many years that I really did forget to pray about it after awhile.

But when my church friends prayed for me that day, my condition improved dramatically, and I feel 99% better now. (I still have a little pain left, to keep me humble I guess!:)

So, initially my injury brought me to Christ (God redeemed my suffering), but after 25 years of constant pain, I think it also drew me nearer to Christ. As Joni said that it would, Christ gave my suffering meaning, even for my sanctification.

Looking back, I don't know how I would have gotten through it otherwise. It helps to know that there is a purpose to our suffering.

By the way, I heard that Joni has been bedridden for almost a year now. So it would be good if we all remembered her in our prayers.

SJ Camp said...

Good testimony of God's grace.

John said...

Thanks for posting that. I've been preaching through 1 Peter and came across the following quote in Schreiner's commentary last week.

"Suffering is not a detour by which believers receive the inheritance to which they are called. It is God's appointed means for receiving the inheritance."

SJ Camp said...

Thanks for that quote. Excellent!

mikeratliff said...

Thanks for posting this Steve. This very concept of the theology of suffering has been becoming more and more apparent to me as I discover that I am nothing in my own strength, but the weaker I am then the more God's strength, power, and purpose becomes manifest in me and my ministry. To God be the glory!

Tiber Jumper said...

John Paul 2 said that not only did Christ redeem us by his suffering, but he redeemed suffering itself, so that no suffering is in vain. Based on Paul's writings in Colossians 1:24 we learn that our suffering in our body(or mind) can be offered up in union with his suffering for the sake of the body of Christ. Whether that is for the benefit of the individual suffering or someone else in the body of Christ.
This truth was first presented to me three days after I lost my young wife to cancer, leaving me with two young boys. The pain was overwhelming, but now I understand that He used and still uses that suffering if I offer it up in union with His suffering as Paul suggests. Joni definitely has experienced this.