Todd sat down with Joni Eareckson Tada from Joni and Friends and Joni shared her story about how she has understood her suffering through her quadriplegia, chronic pain, and cancer. Along with that, Joni shared how the Lord is shaping her to look more like Christ through current struggles, and she shared resources that will equip all believers to walk through suffering in their own lives and with others.
- Joni, while explaining how she understands her suffering, said, "Our job is not to put together all the reasons for suffering.” Instead of trying to explain suffering, Joni said that “the real wisdom of God is trusting God no matter what happens.” How does that help you as you walk through a season of suffering or pain?
- My guideline for the day is “Am I feeding my Spirit and starving my flesh? Or am I starving my Spirit and feeding my flesh?” What areas of your life are feeding your Spirit, and how can you continue to feed your Spirit? What areas of your life are feeding your flesh, and how can you cut those areas out of your life?
- Read Colossians 3:1–4. When Joni and her husband are struggling and find themselves grumbling or complaining, they focus on the big picture (the things to come in eternity), pray constantly, and meditate on the Word of God. Of the three, which one do you have the most opportunity to grow in this week? How can your community encourage you as you walk with the Lord this week?
- Not too long after her accident, a friend told Joni "God permits what He hates to accomplish that which He loves.” What times in your life can you see God allowing trouble to come upon you to accomplish the things He loves? Who can you encourage this week who is suffering that does not see any good in their situation?
- By nature of living on the Earth, you and others around you will experience pain and suffering. What are you doing right now to be equipped when those times of trouble come? Are you ready to shepherd those around you who are suffering? Joni and others put together a study Bible called Beyond Suffering Bible NLT: Where Struggles Seem Endless, God's Hope Is Infinite. You can buy it here from Amazon.
Want to read the book Spectacle of Glory that Joni mentioned? You can buy it off Amazon here.