Shake the Heavenlies

  • Oct. 8, 2018
  • #9506

When we respond to pain and hardship by trusting God we reveal His glory to the heavenly realms.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and I’m longin’ and lookin’ forward to heaven.

That shouldn’t be a surprise to you. In heaven, I will be free of my quadriplegia, and chronic pain. As the Bible says, “sorrow and sighing shall flee away and the anointed of the Lord shall obtain joy forever. I’m gonna enter Zion singing and everlasting joy’s gonna crown my head.” I think you can see why I’m excited. But please, please don’t think I long for heaven as though it were an escape hatch from a difficult life, or it was a death wish, because I can’t stand my wheelchair anymore. No, far from it! My wheelchair, my paralysis and pain are making heaven a much richer place for me. How so?

Well, back this past summer I was on the road for a ministry trip in New Mexico with my traveling companions. I’d speak during the day and would look forward to going back to the hotel to rest. But my chronic pain was so bad that I could not for the life of me sleep straight through at night. The room was hot; my sleep was fitful and erratic at best, and I had to ask my friend Careen to get up three or four times to turn me in bed so I could find a more comfortable position, but even that didn’t happen; I just cat-napped until dawn. At around 4:30 AM one morning while it was still dark, I cried out to Careen to help me please one more time try to get me comfortable. I kept apologizing for inconveniencing her (even though she assured me she was able to get back to sleep easily). Still, I felt bad for having to wake her up.

There in the dim light of our hotel room, Careen sat on the edge of my bed and at 4 AM she held my hand and encouraged me. And this is what she said: “Joni, I want to tell you something. The choices you make (and you are making right now in your suffering); the decisions you make in your pain to keep persevering and trusting and serving Jesus, well, you’ve got to know that your choices are shaking the heavenlies. Your choices to not complain but trust, those choices are breaking down dark, spiritual strongholds over the state of New Mexico right now. Your choices are turning up the wattage on God’s glory so brightly right now, that the whole heavenly realm is aghast, amazed at God’s ability to help you endure this night.” I was just stunned. Her words were so soothing; they calmed my heart and I quietly considered what she said. Suddenly, my shriveled, shrunken perspective in that hot, dimly lit room expanded, and once again, I was able to see my pain and paralysis from a 35,000 foot point-of-view, a Big Picture point-of-view. I thought about what I chose to do with suffering actually advances victory in the heavenlies.

Do our prayers really do that? Do they shake the heavenlies? Do they impact nations and states? Well, listen to Psalm 149, [listen closely] it says: “Let the faithful rejoice. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds. Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands—to execute vengeance on the nations; to bind their kings with shackles and the leaders with iron chains. This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones.” Wow! That verse was describing me that night in that little hotel in New Mexico. And it’s describing you too.

Because how we respond to suffering will impact your eternal estate. It also impacts nations and states right now. I talk about this in my newly revised book,Heaven, Your Real Home” which is being released this month. And to celebrate, visit Joniradio.org and ask for your free packet of my heaven tracts. It’s my way and hopefully your way, too, of getting excited about heaven.

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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