Sunday, February 27, 2011

Voices of the True Woman Movement ~ Chapter 7

God's Jewels
by
 Joni Eareckson Tada
     For those of you who don't know who Joni Eareckson Tada is, she is the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, a Christian ministry that serves those who are disabled.  If you're interested in finding out more about Joni and Friends, you can go to http://www.joniandfriends.org/.  Joni's ministry came about through her own difficult experience as a teenager when she had a diving accident in 1967, at the age of 17, which left her a quadriplegic.

Joni Eareckson Tada at Park Street ChurchImage by Rachel Ford James via Flickr
     In this chapter of Voices of the True Woman Movement, Joni discusses how God hammers and chisels away at our own selfishness to mold us more into the likeness of his son, Jesus.  She states that suffering is the "textbook" that God uses to show us who we truly are, which is not always a pretty sight.  Many times, during our suffering and struggles, we respond unbiblically.  This is how we able to see what we're made of and know the truth about ourselves.

     We do, however, have a part to play in the sanctification process, which takes so much time.  Yet resisting what God is trying to accomplish in our hearts by becoming hardened and ignoring the work he is doing in our lives only "prolongs the process."  Our Heavenly Father does know what he's doing when he allows pain and suffering to come into our lives.  He knows what we need so much more than we do and is "bent on conforming us to the image of His Son."  She states, "God cares most, not about making us comfortable, but about teaching us to hate our transgression and to grow up spiritually - to love Him."  I think she'd be someone who knows this better than most people would considering the pain and suffering she's endured.  Our part to play in this - we can't just read God's Word, we must obey it, starting with the small things in our lives.  Changes will come through obedience in the small things. 

     Joni mentions that we should be thankful for God's sovereignty even when we don't understand why he has allowed certain things to happen in our lives.  She goes on to say, "For if He weren't in control, evil would come barreling at us uncontrolled."  This is something I had never given much thought to - that evil would completely overtake us if it wasn't for God controlling it.  

     I'll close with several statements from the end of the chapter.  "The simple formula for all of this is found in I John 2:5, where the Scripture says, 'Whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.  By this we may know that we are in him.'  This is how we receive our assurance of being 'in Christ' - by watching what happens when God, the Master jeweler, draws up obedience from the souls of women who otherwise would kick back, rebel, and exert independence.  The fruit of the submitted heart is the proof that God is working - and working for our good.  He is committed to do good towards you.  Just remember that His idea of good is to make you more like Jesus.  Both believers and unbelievers deal with ample does of pain, and disappointment.  Why not make certain that these ordeals you must face are fraught with meaning and purpose?  Why not cooperate with what God is doing in your life - preparing you through difficulty and hardship for His beauty to come shining through?  You are being fashioned into a jewel for the crown of your King."

     I'm trusting you're recognizing God's little kisses to you today.  Even the ones that are hard to swallow, the painful ones that God has allowed to come into our lives, should be seen as blessings.  I know that's not always the way I see those things, but if Romans 8:28 is true, I should see them that way.  Be encouraged - God has only good things in store for those who love Him and walk in His ways!

Blessings!

3 comments:

  1. I so love the devotional book that I read of her's each morning. I'll have to check out this book as well. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amen. Sounds like a great book.

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  3. Yes, it's a good book but hard, at times, to read. It has really stepped on my toes, which is a good thing.

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Artwork by John Bell copyright 1998-2007 used with permission