A Searching Heart

  • Feb. 18, 2016
  • #8819

We may not understand God’s reasons for allowing suffering, but if we search for God from the heart, He will show himself trustworthy.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a beautiful hymn, and the words are such a comfort to me and hopefully they will be a comfort to you, too.

Face to face with Christ my Savior
Face to face what will it be
When with rapture I behold Him
Jesus Christ who died for me.
Face to face I shall behold Him
Far beyond the starry sky
Face to face in all His glory
I will see Him by and by.

You know, every evening when I leave work at Joni and Friends, I always wheel slowly down the ramp at our International Disability Center. The ramp is in the center of the building and it winds down from the second floor and goes around the chapel and it ends on the first floor in the lobby. It’s a long ramp. And I have discovered that I can sing an entire verse and chorus to a hymn before I’ve even made it to the first floor. And this hymn, “Face to Face”, that I just sang is the one I most will most often sing aloud in the evening as I wheel down the ramp. Because it’s in the center of the building, my singing echoes as I make my way, and sometimes I can hear a few coworkers singing along. To me, this hymn is a beautiful reminder of why I go to work at Joni and Friends every day. Because I feel the time is short; I feel that the suffering in the world is great; so many people are hurting because of their disabilities. I feel I just have to make the most of every opportunity until that wonderful day we see Jesus face to face.

And today, if your suffering is great, if you are in the midst of much hurt and pain, I have an encouraging word because I’m not going to ask you to gag down closely-reasoned arguments about God's plan or purpose or reasons for your pain. But when you are able, even though your pain may be great, please know that the Bible is full of commands to think, ponder, and consider His ways because what you think about God influences your friendship with Him.

The key is getting to a place where you quit asking why with a clenched fist, and start asking why with a searching heart. For when your heart leads you on a search to understand God, you will begin to see how trustworthy He is; after all, when they hang you on a cross like meat on a hook, you have proven yourself trustworthy to all who suffer greatly. If Christ loved us enough to pluck us from the jaws of hell, He can be trusted; He has proved His intentions; He has shown Himself to be a Savior worth following.

That’s the message we give to those who are overwhelmed by their disabilities; it’s the message given every day at Joni and Friends. And it’s also the reason I sing songs of praise at the close of each day. Because I know, and I want you to know, that soon the suffering will be behind you, and you will see Jesus face-to-face, the One who has shown Himself more than worthy of your confidence and trust. So long and look forward to that glorious day when suffering will be in your rearview mirror and until then, sing songs of hope, sing songs of encouragement and flip open a hymnal and learn the words to this song: “Face to Face” written by Fanny Crosby.

Music: "Face to Face" by Fanny Crosby, Public Domain

© Joni and Friends

 

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