Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

Jesus In The Storm

May 14, 2019
00:00 30:19

I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a powerful lesson from Mark Chapter 6.

And you know the story well, but we can never hear it enough, start with verse 45, just, just listen. “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, He went up on a mountainside to pray. Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and He was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, when they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought He was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ And then He climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed.”

Now I love this passage because it is about Jesus and the storms He sends our way. And both you and I, what we’ve been through a lot of storms. But when I read this passage this morning, I was struck with these words: “Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and row out.” He did that knowing that they would face a storm, and He knew it would be terrifying. Nevertheless, Jesus commanded them to row directly into a tempest. And what touched me especially was that they obeyed. Even when the storm arises, they don’t turn back. They keep heading toward Bethsaida where Jesus told them to go. And here’s another thing: when the wind and the rain began blowing, I mean you’d think Jesus would have calmed the sea from where He stood on land. But no, He lets His followers battle it out in the worst part of the storm, for hours. Remember it was only right before dawn when Jesus finally chose to enter the hurricane and reveal Himself to the disciples. And He revealed Himself in the storm. The point wasn’t for Him to simply stop the storm, and thereby show them His power over the wind and the waves; Jesus waited to show Himself in the storm with them. Jesus knew that the storm, the, the trial was needed so that they might feel their need of Him.

And oh, it is that way for us, isn’t it? There’s a peace, there is a, a joy, a delight – not when the storm goes away. I mean, my paralysis is not going away and neither is my wheelchair; my chronic pain may not go away, and perhaps not even my cancer. So the delight is not in the storm disappearing, but in seeing Jesus in your personal storm and hearing those life-changing words, “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Jesus says that to you today. “Don’t be afraid. I am here, I’m with you. You obeyed me when I led you into this trial, and I am not gonna abandon you.”

Friend, today may this passage in Mark Chapter 6 speak to you afresh, even though you know the story well. Do not expect Jesus to quiet the wind and the waves before you see Him. Wait until you hear those sweet words, “Take courage! It is I. Yes, the wind and waves are here, but I am here as well. Don’t be afraid.” These encouragements are echoed in Elisabeth Elliot’s new book Suffering is Never for Nothing, for which I wrote the foreword. So be sure to visit where we’re offering Elisabeth Elliot’s new book, because suffering is never, ever, ever for nothing; you learned that today right here on Joni and Friends.

© Joni and Friends

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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.

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