Suffering in the city

Posted: 06 July 2011 / 1 Peter 3:8 - 4:19

Last week I spoke about men, women and marriage in the city. One of the most striking examples of a beautiful and fearless woman who hopes in God is that of Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni grew up riding horses, hiking, playing tennis and loving to swim. One summer day in July 1967, while on a beach with some friends, Joni dove into the bay not knowing how shallow it really was. She broke her neck and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. While her friends were busy preparing to go to college in the autumn, Joni was fighting for her life and having to accept the fact that she would spend her life in a wheelchair. Her rehabilitation was not easy. She was angry, struggled with depression and had frequent thoughts of suicide. She could not understand how God could let this happen to her. Forty one years later she prays,

Oh thank You, thank You for this wheelchair. By tasting Hell in this life, I have been driven to think seriously about what faces me in the next. This paralysis is my greatest mercy.

Wow! This Sunday we will study 1 Peter 3-4 together and consider what God’s purposes are in suffering. I like what Joni says,

God permits what he hates to achieve what he loves.
Author: Toby Neal / Categories: Sermon Series

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