24 Ways I've Found Sense in Suffering by Joni Eareckson Tada
Suffering is miserable. When you're overwhelmed by pain and problems, it's easy to feel helpless, hopeless and sinking into a whirlpool of self-pity.
Joni Eareckson Tada knows about these emotions first hand. A diving accident in 1967 left her confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic at the age of 17. Joni knows what it's like to suffer chronic pain. Yet she has found comfort and meaning in the God of the Bible.
Joni says, “Somewhere after the first five years of life in my wheelchair, I noticed a change in my hardships. I was beginning to see how my quadriplegia was working for my good and God's glory - simply put, it meant becoming more like Christ.”
24 Ways I've Found Sense in Suffering is a Scripture-based pamphlet that will bring hope and comfort to those who are going through for personal difficulties, and will be a great help to groups dealing with grief, disabilities, emotional and physical trauma, divorce, and more.
About the Author
Joni Eareckson Tada offers hope to people struggling with health and emotional challenges. After a 1967 diving accident left
Joni Eareckson Tada a spinal cord-injured quadriplegic, she embarked on a lifelong study to make sense of suffering from God’s perspective. Joni Eareckson Tada is now an international advocate for individuals with disabilities, and the founder of the non-profit organization, Joni & Friends.
"When Joni Eareckson Tada writes about hardship, it's real. When she says good can come from suffering, I wanted to know how....I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the adverse circumstance I'm in. I was surprised that such a small pamphlet could offer such a large portion of hope and courage."
"I love how the pamphlets get to the point, saying exactly what I needed to hear in an easy-to-understand way. Plus, they are light weight and can fit in my purse, making them easy to take to the doctors' office or to my chemo appointments. If you know someone fighting a terminal illness or even their family members who need encouragement as well, I highly recommend you check out these pamphlets."
"The new pamphlets from Rose Publishing by Joni Eareckson Tada are a treasure for both Pastors and Chaplains. Joni has the ability to answer so many hard asked questions by her experience. Her love of God and her knowledge of His Word linked with her genuine empathy for people that are suffering and questioning God is uncanny."
Dr. Skip Lewis, Director of Chaplaincy, Heart of Florida
"As one who is going through breast cancer for the second time in a year, Romans 8:28 means a lot, God is going to see me through. On page 6 where Joni writes, "We aren't always responsible for the circumstances in which we find ourselves. However, we are responsible for the way respond to them.", makes me realize others are watching us as we go through our trials.Can I say they see God working in me?"
"Joni is at once a student and a teacher. She searches for answers, and then ably guides those who are seeking to understand some of the same difficult questions she has asked about suffering, anger, God’s sovereignty and prayer. She is candid about her personal struggles, but addresses each of them by providing biblical illustrations of how God is always present and in control. Through her practical counsel, Joni empowers anyone who has endured painful experiences in life to trust and turn toward God."
Jean Driscoll, Assistant Dean for Advancement, University of IL, College of Applied Health Sciences
Jean was born with spina bifida (an open spine). She began using a wheelchair at the age of 15 and after learning about wheelchair sports, she started pursuing athletic opportunities. During her career, Jean was the first eight time winner of the Boston Marathon. She also won two Olympic medals, 12 Paralympic medals, and still holds the world record in the 10,000 meters set during the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta. Jean remains the only 12–time champion of the Lilac Bloomsday 12K Road Race held in Spokane, Washington. Jean retired from her successful racing career following the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
A Special Greeting from Joni Eareckson Tada
Study Questions for Making Sense of Sufferingby Joni Eareckson Tada:
- Read panels 1-2 - The box on panel 2 describes how suffering was changing Joni as a person. In what ways have you seen suffering change you? How has it impacted your relationship with God, with others?
- Read panels 3-5 – Scripture offers many examples of how our suffering can bring us closer to God. In what ways does God’s nature provide the reassurance we need when we face hardship? How can our response to suffering offer others a reflection of Christ?
- Read panels 6-8 – It is so easy to want to get past suffering and put it behind us. How can we change the way we view suffering and how it changes us and our faith? How does Jesus’ life provide us with a guide to how to deal with our suffering?
- Read panels 8-11 – An old proverb tells us that to better understand another we must walk in his/her shoes. How does our own suffering allow us to better empathize with those around us who may be dealing with trauma or loss? Does our response to suffering point to a secure assurance of God’s eternal promises?
- Read panels 12-13 – When affliction strikes in our lives we can be tempted to become overly focused on ourselves. What are some ways we can be reminded of our commitment to the body of Christ (the church)? Is there someone in your church that has been a faithful example of responding well to hardship? How can you express appreciation for that steadfast example?