Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

Do No Harm

January 23, 2019
00:00 3:59

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada sharing something worth repeating.

Not long ago I offered up some thoughts about suffering that must’ve really struck a chord with you listeners. Of course, you already know I am battling cancer – it’s a little more aggressive than the last cancer I had eight years ago, and so my treatment has been just as aggressive. But that’s okay. I thank God for great radiologists and oncologists! Most of all I thank God for his wisdom and grace.

And that is what has troubled some people. I have received a couple of emails from Christians – and they are really great people, great friends – but they have hinted that God is putting me through too much, you know: quadriplegia, chronic pain, my previous cancer and now this new one? I don’t know, maybe you think the same. I guess if I let my own thoughts wander, I might even say the same. Rather than doing me good, it could appear as though God were out to harm me. And I can’t blame these Christian friends for feeling that way; it’s natural. And that’s the trouble. Christians really should know that to entertain such feelings shows that we not only have a low view of God, but they don’t understand what the Bible says about suffering.

Now some would say, “Joni, there are countless references telling us that God does no harm to his children, only good. There’s Jeremiah 32, verse 41 where God himself says, “I will find joy in doing good for them.” Then there’s Psalm 84, verse 11, “The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” And perhaps the most famous one (and perhaps you know it) is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.” These are great verses, and there are countless others just like them in the Bible. So why would God allow so much chronic pain, my quadriplegia, cancer, and now this new cancer? Well, simply this: God is less interested in my physical well-being, and much more interested in strengthening my soul. Sure, painful hardships are the dark, driving rain of God’s sovereignty, and yes, those painful things hurt and harm the body. But the sunshine of His sovereignty is the good that’s being done in my soul – oh my goodness—the depth of faith, the scarred and seasoned wisdom, the unshakable peace, settled-ness of soul, unwavering devotion to Christ, and the building up of the ironclad trust that comes from walking through that valley of the shadow of death. And the really good stuff that comes out of suffering is that it supports your testimony and convinces skeptics and unbelievers that God is really worth trusting. He is that wonderful, because when they see your smile through the toughest of pain, it shames them and shows them that God’s grace really, really is able to sustain.

So, those Bible verses I mentioned, like when God says the plans I have for you are for good and not to harm you? Friend, God is talking about doing good for your soul. Sure, they may be harm that comes to your body, but never your soul. And if you tend to disagree, thinking that suffering only makes you complain, worry, and become bitter, then, friend, you are not appropriating the grace God that He makes available. You don’t have to complain, you do not have to be bitter. You can trust and hold fast to His grace. You can trust Him and learn how to be courageous. You can make your soul brave, and that is the ‘good’ that God is talking about in those precious Bible verses. And there is certainly no harm in that.

Featured Resources From Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Listen to Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope on Amazon Echo and Google Home Learn How

About Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope is a broadcast ministry of Joni and Friends committed to bringing the Gospel and practical help to people impacted by disability around the world. Joni and Friends has been advancing disability ministry for over 40 years. Their mission to glorify God, communicate the Gospel and mobilize the global church to evangelize, disciple and serve people living with disability answers the call found in Luke 14 to “bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame… so that my house will be full.”

About Joni Eareckson Tada

Paralyzed as the result of a diving accident at age 17, Joni Eareckson Tada envisions a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ. As the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, she is known worldwide as an author, speaker, disability rights advocate and radio personality. Her 10,000 radio programs are broadcast across the country and around the world, inspiring listeners to realize that there is hope in every hardship.
Joni Eareckson Tada is an esteemed Christian stateswoman and respected global leader in disability advocacy. Although a 1967 diving accident left her a quadriplegic, she emerged from rehabilitation with a determination to help others with similar disabilities. Mrs. Tada serves as CEO of Joni and Friends, a Christian organization which provides programs and services for thousands of special-needs families around the world. President Reagan appointed Mrs. Tada to the National Council on Disability, then reappointed by President George H.W. Bush. During her tenure, the ADA was passed and signed into law. Mrs. Tada served as advisor to Condoleezza Rice on the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She served as Senior Associate for Disability Concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. The Colson Center on Christian Worldview awarded Joni Tada its prestigious William Wilberforce Award, and she was also inducted into
Indiana Wesleyan University’s Society of World Changers. 
Joni Eareckson Tada has been awarded several honorary degrees, including Doctor of Humanities from Gordon College and Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. She is an effective communicator, sharing her inspirational message in books, through artwork, radio, and other media. Joni Tada served as General Editor of the Beyond Suffering Bible, a special edition published by Tyndale for people affected by disability. Joni and her husband Ken were married in 1982 and reside in Calabasas, California.

Contact Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope with Joni Eareckson Tada

Mailing Address
Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope
PO Box 3333
Agoura Hills, CA 91376-3333