Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

Words from Sebastion

February 19, 2019
00:00 4:00

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada with a quotation that you are going to like.

Well, maybe you won’t like it. We’ll see. The quote originates with one of the early church fathers, Saint Sebastian, who helped guide the fledgling church back in the early 200s. Yikes, that is going back a ways to a time when persecution against Christians was hot and heavy. Back then, our brothers and sisters in Christ were heaven-bent on standing strong in the midst of life-threatening suffering; they set their face like flint on the hope of heaven, committed to hold on until the end, until they saw their Savior and heard those wonderful words: “Well done.” But, as you’d guess, there were others. Others who collapsed under the weight, caved in, threw in the spiritual towel and recanted their faith. For them, suffering for Christ – that is suffering as a Christian – was just too hard.

In the midst of all this, Sebastian spoke wise and stirring words to his congregation. He said, “When we get to heaven, we will not regret that we suffered; we will regret that we suffered so little, and that little, so badly.” His words were intended to shame those who were quietly intending to renounce or disavow the blood of Christ over their lives. With that brief sentence, Sebastian was inasmuch saying: “Don’t you dare forsake, don’t you dare abandon your Lord in these trying times. Yes, life is hard and our adversaries are vicious, but God's reputation is riding on the back of your response to these times and these trials. Don’t give your neighbors reason to think that your God isn’t worth it; isn’t worth staying the course. That His grace is insufficient; don’t let them think that He’s not strong enough to sustain you, because He is. He is your ever-present help in any and every trouble.”

That was good advice for Christians many, many hundreds of years ago and its great advice for you and me today, because we, too, need to be heaven-bent on standing strong when trials hit us hard. We, too, need to set our face like flint as we set our minds and hearts on things above where Christ is seated, where Christ is watching and yes, even interceding for us to stay the course and remain faithful to His name. Can we believe, will we believe, that God's grace is indeed enough for our problems? I pray so. Because I do not – and I don’t think you – want to be numbered among those who shame the reputation of Jesus. Like Hebrews says, “None of us have suffered to the point of shedding blood.” I mean, no one in your American cul-de-sac is being martyred today, right? So stay strong. Live well. Hold fast to the One who is holding you fast. Because you don’t want to be known as less in the kingdom of God (that’s right, the Bible speaks clearly of those who will considered lesser in the kingdom, just as there are those who will be great). Friend, don’t diminish or jeopardize the richness of your eternal destiny by caving in, or by throwing in the spiritual towel.

Suffer well. Suffer faithfully. If you need prayer, if you are faltering; if you think you need help, then let us know at Joni and Friends, because we get it. We understand how hard hardship can be. So, leave your prayer request on our Facebook page, connect with us through our website, send us a text, or post your request at We care and we’re here to help those who hurt with words that have been encouraging Christians like you, since the ancient of times. Let me hear from you today on my Facebook page or you can always post a comment on my Blog at

By: Joni Eareckson Tada

© 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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