• March 12, 2012
  • #7791

Joni shares that in scripture, "therefore" is often there for encouragment through our hardships.

I’m sure you know well that the word ‘therefore’ is a very important word in the Bible. 

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and there isn’t a Sunday School teacher alive who hasn’t used the old lesson called “Therefore.” You know it well, don’t you? There you are, sitting in Sunday School clipping along, reading some passage and you get to that word ‘therefore’ in the Bible and the teacher stops... she stops everybody. “Okay class,” she says. “When we see the word ‘therefore’ we must ask ourselves ‘What is it there for?’” We all learned early that the word ‘therefore’ is there for good reasons, right? It is a very key word. Take the way it appears in Philippians 2:5-9.

Clip along with me as I read where it says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant... he humbled himself and became obedient to death ‑‑ even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place..."

Okay, stop. What is that word “therefore” there for?

Well, I think it’s there to make us do a little mathematics. I don’t know if you were ever good at math in high school, but for sure there’s a formula here hidden in this verse, a mathematic principle. And it starts with Jesus making Himself of no reputation, becoming a servant (and He humbles Himself further) then becomes obedient and then obedient through suffering, all the way to the cross, and then even further dying the death of a criminal on that cross. Therefore, this is where the math kicks in; therefore, God exalts Him, not just to a high place, but the highest place. 

Now that is some kind of mathematics! And it’s a principle that can be applied in our own lives, because we suffer, some of us suffering greatly. Down and down we spiral, carrying our cross, yet; therefore, that’s when God flips the equation and raises us up not to just any old high place, not just to the spectator's gallery, but (now get this) as a co‑heir of Christ. We get to be seated alongside him. "We are heirs of God and co‑heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory." That is astounding! We suffer with Christ... that we may share in Christ's highest glory. 

Oh, friend, I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but this is something to really keep in mind as an outcome, an end-game, a goal, something to inspire you as you keep going and not give up. That your hardships are not being wasted, no God permits them for a purpose – He wants you seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, but you’re not going to get there without bottoming out, so to speak, until such a time that God can exalt you to the highest place. 

So remember that word, ‘therefore.’ Believers who face the greatest conflict, yet hold onto God with all their hearts, at times clinging to hope like the string of a kite, these are the ones who have the greatest confidence in sharing Christ's glory -- His highest glory. And that, my friend, is what the “therefore” is there for -- to encourage you through earth’s hardships as you do the math. 

I talk more about this in a little booklet I’ve put together called “When You Can’t Escape” and you can get your copy right now by contacting me at Again, that’s for your free copy of “When You Can’t Escape.” Until next time, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and you’re listening to Joni and Friends.

Previously aired as program #7083 on 6/24/09.

© Joni and Friends

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