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Greg Laurie & Joni Eareckson Tada, "Don't Waste Your Pain" - I

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 20, 2020 3:33 pm

Greg Laurie & Joni Eareckson Tada, "Don't Waste Your Pain" - I

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 20, 2020 3:33 pm

Why does God allow the tough challenges we face in life? It’s a perplexing question. And Pastor Greg Laurie discusses that issue with Joni Eareckson Tada Monday on A NEW BEGINNING. A quadriplegic for nearly 50 years, Joni has unique encouragement about joy in the midst of pain. Tune in!

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by some special friends of this ministry. Pastor Greg wanted to see a special word of thanks to the harvest partners who make this ministry possible next time your online check out Pastor Greg's personal today. Pastor Greg Laurie interviews the wiring author and speaker Johnny Erickson morning thinking God I wish I cannot do quadriplegia today. But Jesus, you can example of dying to self so that God's power lived through me that's the Christian right away and I really need those who always had everything they need was accomplished everything we know inspiration comes from perseverance through unthinkable challenges today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie interviews woman who served inspiration serves as an example for us to follow quadriplegia from age 60. She writes books.

She sings she paints points us to Jesus is really a national treasure that her life her life brought hope and encouragement to millions of people around the world.

Johnny is the CEO and founder of Johnny and friends and organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community she's married to her wonderful husband can hear tonight and were thankful for him as well with my not everyone knows your story. Many of you, of course, but there are some more meeting you here for the first time in the course your life changed in 1967 were a young girl like you young girl you love to hike and ride horses and swim and dive time and so you are a very active young lady and then an event happened that, of course, change your life and that brings you to today were you spent almost 50 years in the will errors. You know I mention I like to dive and I guess I was a bit cocky sitting on the edge of that raft in the water and I took a very reckless dive into what ended up being extremely shallow water. I get the sandbar. It's not my head back crunch. My vertebrae severed my spinal cord and left me without use of my hands in my legs now when they took me to the hospital.

I was so depressed, so despairing.

The one bright spot was going to occupational therapy and occupational therapy.

They let me put up pen between my tea and I must confess, at first I did not like having to put a pencil between my teeth.

I kept spitting out and my occupational therapist Taken off the floor and wiping off of Lysol and sticking it back in my mouth what I finally got proficient in drawling as I was an artist before my accident. My thought was God. This is now my life this is it.

And I tried to convey all the horror and the despair to depression, my goodness, I would wrench my head back and forth on the hospital pillow every night hoping to break my neck up at a higher level and thereby end my life, but sometimes when tragedy strikes. It's like God has companies upset the puzzle table and all the puzzles go flying and we logical, rational people that we are scrambling desperately hoping to find all the puzzle pieces so we can quickly put them back together and make our life makes sense. We want everything to be tidy and orderly, but wisdom I learned is not being up to put all the puzzle pieces together. Wisdom is trusting God, even the most of the puzzle pieces go missing in confined spaces until the other side of eternity, but wisdom is trusting God even when life doesn't make sense.

That might save us through the great room told you remember Corey to all yes she said to me the last time I saw her when she was alive. I saw her funeral but she was alive on Johnny one day going to the dogs together Dutch accent yes will raise their brother up his mind me of the story. She used to tell her she went through all of her suffering in the concentration camp. Robbins broken with her sister lost her sister and father was released. But remember she would talk about that that a stitching on one side, it would be a think of Scripture, perhaps, but on the other side. It was all tattered reds with no rhyme or reason, but it's sort of a picture of from our side.

Looks like tattered reds or a puzzle scattered but from God side there's a logic to it because there's something that you believe that we all believe in or should believe in this call the sovereignty of God we hear the phrase what is the sovereignty of God and what is that mean to you and what you face everything well at first when I heard about the sovereignty of God that is that the God of the Bible is a God who whose overarching decrees govern everything that happened at first I was frightened by that idea was scary because if that was the God who allowed this to happen.

Then how can he possibly be good. What is his idea of good but God allows all sorts of things she does not approve of.

He doesn't approve of spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, he doesn't approve of stroke. He does not approve of Down syndrome or autism or Alzheimer's but a Christian friend shared with me little words when I was first injured that change my life. God permits what he hates to accomplish that which he lives and the way he explained it, Greg was that he pointed to Jesus at the cross, God permitted treason and justice, murder and torture. The father's will to write their God permitted something he hated the crucifixion of his precious son. He permitted what he hated to accomplish something that is not what could he possibly love more than his own son. What we prize above his sons own crucifixion. Our salvation salvation. And so, although the devil may have instigated that the events that led up to the crucifixion, treason, injustice, murder, torture, God won't have anything to do with those things in terms of his wanting, or delighting in them happening but God aborted those devilish schemes to serve his own ends and accomplish his own purposes. I like the way Dorothy Sayers once said it God reaches down into what otherwise looks like terrible evil and he he wrenches out of it.

Positive good for us in glory for himself and so the world's worst murder becomes the world's only salvation, and my friend shared those little words with me. God permits what he hates to accomplish that which he lives. Johnny the same is true in your life.

God permitted what he hated spinal cord injury to accomplish something that he loves more than the hardship you are going to have to go through the rest of your life and that is Christ in me. Hope glory and oh my goodness, Frank.

I've given up trying to untangle the matted friends underneath that boy to read that you spoke about have given it up because the whole point behind my quadriplegia is that I get to know Jesus in such a tender, warm, poignant, personal, powerful way when I wake up I think I shared this with the women when I was here the last time literally wake up in the morning and my girlfriends are running water for coffee to come into my bedroom. The have a cheery happy hello and there I am almost 90% of the time lying there with my eyes closed thinking God I hate quadriplegia, I am so tired of this. I have no strength in this day I have no resources, no power, no energy, I cannot do quadriplegia today. But Jesus, you can so you can I can do all things do you so would you please be the good quadriplegic today because I cannot do it and it is the perfect example dying to self so that God's power can leave through me, which makes the smile that I have on my face when I will out of the front door in the morning he made up okay this is a real smile hard-fought for every single morning and Greg that's the Christian way to wake up. That's that that's the best way to what that's the biblical way to wake up needing Jesus desperately and I really need him Greg Laurie will have the second half of this interview with John Erickson taught her just a moment.

It's a privilege to bring these studies from Pastor Greg your way and it's encouraging to know that the program is reaching all parts of the world, including to this soldier in the Middle East faster. Greg, I'm not sure if you'll get this email but I was walking through a morale wellness and recreation center this morning and saw one of your messages on TV. I saved a vacation Bible school in your church when I was five years old. My parents also dedicated me to God as a child at your church as well. Your book lost boy helps bring me back for a dark place in my life during college I read that book I recommitted my life to Jesus and have been following him ever since. Thank you for continuing to serve in God's Army thought you would like to know God is using your ministry going well. We sin, these studies are Pastor grading the radio, satellite over the Internet. Would you like to share this ministry has made an impact on your life. If so, just from Pastor Greg an email. It's again, that's will today. Pastor Greg is interviewing author and speaker Johnny Erickson taught her about how God permits what he hates to accomplish something he loves. This is one of the most requested presentations of the past year. Let's continue. So from the worst injustice and travesty of all time, murder, crucifixion of the very son of God became the greatest good of all time. So we apply the sovereignty of God to our life what it is saying this, you may be going through something that makes no sense, but ultimately you're going to see God's plan and purpose, and maybe part of it. This side of heaven, but certainly all of it. On the other side, but for now it's not so much an issue of why because you cannot stop forever and people in the Bible. Asked why even Jesus on the cross, said my God my God why you forsaken me that I think there is a point where we ask what is in what way do and you've taken your very difficult pain and you've used it as a tool for God's glory, you've used it as a weapon against the forces of darkness and you continue to do so and and we thank you that here's something you wrote your very good writer. By the way, I yes I have to tell you that you know you when you talk with Johnny. It's like whatever you ask her when she speaks it's like with just prewritten actually just come out that way from your very well organized brain or what you're just so articulate what you quote I knew in the big sort of way that answers are my questions about my paralysis were probably hidden somewhere between the pages of the Bible, but I had a no idea where so Romans 828 is another verse of this brought comfort to you as it appears that initially was hard to deal with them later brought comfort was always a verse was like yeah I get well. Romans 828 all things work together, love, and love and are called according to his purpose and then the next verse in Romans 829 yes, says that all these things are fitting together into a pattern for good to conform you to the image of Jesus Christ. And so I see that I don't know I don't want to second-guess God Greg but I do think that that God is permitted. This accident to make me more like she keep prices in my life.

Patient's endurance, self-control, compassion and kindness. All of these things are far more important than walking.

They are far more important than walking and having use of your hands. One of the qualities of Jesus is a hatred of sin. When we say we want to be like Jesus. We normally think of all those qualities I just listed, but we really want get bare knuckles about it. The quality that is most like Jesus is his hatred of anxiety, fear, worship, prejudice, snobbery, and self-righteousness. These are the things that he hates and so suffering is like the textbook that will teach you about who you really are and I often liken my disability to 11 that God's and outcomes. The cranky craftiness that the sour disposition. The peevish attitude and when I see that about myself oh my goodness, I think Jesus person that was Johnny from yesterday please him will be in different Johnny today would you make me more like Jesus and help me get rid of the sin this this achiness in my life that are so offensive to you and unpleasant to other people. The second quality I think for me at least a hatred of sin, and secondly, compassion. I talked a lot of people with disabilities who are as disabled as I am and I'm pretty disabled can do my own toileting routines can't make my own dinner can't cut my food camp told a bottle of Coke but I talked a lot of people like me for disabled lesson. I am some poor, disabled, more than I am and their depressed and that's totally humanly understandable why they would be depressed. Oh my goodness, I was depressed for years. It took three years for me to dig up out of that miry pit of despair. But what I will often tell people disabilities is get up tomorrow morning and get dressed we'll let the front door. If you're able and go find somebody in your community was hurting worse than you are hurting worse than you are. And II think that that is a sure remedy for depression to to look for other people are hurting more than you are and help them.

That's the second Corinthians chapter 1 kind of you we been comforted for the benefit of others and it's one reason why I started Johnny and friends a ministry that disturbs wheelchairs around the world and Bibles and and we hold retreats for special-needs families and both here in America and in international developing nations and yada yada yada. But it's it's it I've been so blessed man I want to squeeze every ounce of ministry effort that I possibly can out of this quadriplegic body to pass on the blessing to others.

I've been given so much you've been given so much we been given so much find somebody else is hurting worse than you are and make a difference for Christ in their lives. I read the cure to depression is the number one find someone that is worse off than you and help them step number two. Repeat step number one no more time like that you know but depression can be bigger than that's a great piece of advice and some we also do but what would you say like if someone is depressed right now there like there in the pit and they don't know how to get out of the pit you've given us a great piece of advice find someone that is you know hurting more than you will.

How did you are How did you how did why, how do you continue to climb out to be the better Johnny, if you will, and face each day. Well, I got two friends here Jan and rainy number.

There they were the ones you got me up this morning and got me dressed and did my toileting routines and put on the lipstick. They do good lipstick and hair gray tell you that because of my daily battle with chronic pain, which incidentally makes my quadriplegia look like a walk in our they will tell you that there are times when I'm so depressed when I come to work my quick rush by the receptionist desk and I will upstairs fast and I close the office door and I grabbed them and I say girls. Please pray for me.

I need help I need your prayers tonight girls I need prayer and I think if anyone is depressed and I I will counsel people disabilities the same way trying ever so hard not to be a part depressed alone because God never intended for us to suffer in isolation. That's why he created spiritual community. It's my creative harvest Christian Fellowship find somebody who will pray for you because we wrestle not against spinal injury or chronic pain or stroke or autism or Alzheimer's or bankruptcy or an unexpected divorce with we wrestle not against flesh and blood of these things. We wrestle against powers and principalities who would love nothing more than to keep us steeped in depression, they would love to convince you that you're never going to get rid of that cloud of despair over your head when you know what, that's a lie that's a lot so find people who will pray for you earnest prayer warriors who will buckle down to their knees press their hands together and lead to heaven on your behalf.

And I think that's what people who are spelling with depression need to do, or at least their loved ones need to do that for them contacts and good Christian friends earnestly specifically committed Lee pray for that individual. Yes, a man how you met and in and tell us a little bit about your very wonderful marriage, my husband and I were both in our 30s. I like being single. I was in my early 30s.

He was single as well and we were at 10 both attending John MacArthur's church was away one Sunday and said it was some visiting pastor was preaching at what you think. The sermon was boring you, excuse me, the wise, and I the sinner being born in the Lord's house and so I asked the Holy Spirit okay so then you haven't heard some boring sermons writing by the Holy Spirit not and I thought you know I gotta do something that honors God.

During this hour and so my eyes fell on the back of this man's head was spinning about five or six pews in front of me didn't know its name, didn't CFE you know was wearing a wedding ring.

I just felt come home to pray for him, which I did for the balance of that sermon. I pray that all my goodness. If he had conflicts at work they be resolve that there were problems with his family. They would be resolve. I pray that you would remain morally pure. I pray that if he did not know Jesus there might be something in the sermon that this guy was saying might rescue him, and by the time the benediction was over, I will not command telling you that I thought that would look awfully pushy, so we been introduced to mutual friends about three months later and literally the first thing I said to Ken your head you I said and then I tell them what I done.

I pray for him and we end up marrying about a year today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie is interviewing author Johnny Erickson taught and more inspiration is coming your way is this discussion continues here on the new beginning is part of our top 10 most requested messages of the year, but for a copy of the whole presentation get in touch and mention the title. Don't waste your pain. We can help you get a copy when you call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to well. We hope you have a chance to request Casterbridge book another in a series of biographies exploring American icons. This one is called Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon pastor Greg. I've never known you really need to be much of a country music fan, yet I've never seen you doing the boot scoot and bogey but it's it's clear in the book that you know a lot about Johnny Cash and you've been a fan for a long time yeah really have Dave and I think that Johnny Cash transcends country music he he's really become an icon icon of America and his voice is so familiar and I remember hearing them as a little boy living with my grandparents course yet is very successful television program but I became interested in Johnny a little bit later, a really toward the end of his career when he sort of rebooted it with the help of producer Rick Rubin and did a series of records called American recordings that really brought Johnny back into the forefront again. But one thing I always knew about Johnny Cash is that he had a strong faith in Jesus Christ and I was sort of thinking about the fact that two people really know this story that similar to the McQueen story and it's a little bit different when I did, Steve McQueen, the salvation of an American icon. It was a fairly unknown story that Steve McQueen at the peak of his career disconnected from Hollywood and went on a search that resulted in him having a relationship with Jesus Christ. No, Johnny is different and that he always was a believer, but let's just say he struggled a lot through his life, but this thing never wavered, but a lot of people don't realize the extent of Cash's faith.

Some people don't know this simple fact he was an ordained pastor, others don't know another fact sheet. Read the entire New Testament on audio others don't know that at one point he thought of leaving music and becoming a preacher so when I say that he's more than a country music star though he's often called the father of country music. I think he he's just iconic.

He started out with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. There were called the millionaire quartet and they were produced by Sam Phillips, who at his record company there in Memphis and so when Johnny started out he was more what we might call rockabilly and rockabilly was sort of the four Runner style of music do what we call rock 'n' roll today, but then of course Johnny became very well known for country music.

But he experimented with a lot of musical styles and in many ways, he just had his own style and his own sound that transcends all styles and that's why he was embraced by people in the rock 'n' roll community in the country music world and elsewhere and that is why he also transcends time and you'll see young kids today walking around with tattoos of Johnny Them and You Know It, so They Weren't Even around. For the Most Part When He Was Having This Career, but He's Become an Icon and I Thought Let's Tell the Story of This American Icon Johnny Cash so I Went Back to My Friend Marshall Terrell, Who I Wrote Steve McQueen, the Subleasing of an American Icon with an and He Did a Deep Dive into the Life of Johnny. We Brought Some Things up.

This Book Never Been Told before about the Musical Legend and the Main Focus of My Book Is I Wanted Look at the Faith Roots of Johnny's Struggle and His Strong Faith, Especially in the End of His Life. And so It's Sort of like a Spiritual Biography of a Man Who Really Was a Living Legend and No Is Larger in Death. Even Then He Was Alive, a True American Icon Is a Story to Tell. We Want to Offer You This Book Johnny Cash, the Redemption of an American Icon. Yeah, That's Right. It's Such a Great Book and the Story Goes Way beyond Just Out Of a Music Performer, but of a Man Who at One Seem to Have the World by the Tail Also Had the Weight of the World on His Shoulders. He Faced so Many Struggles Much like the Struggles. Many of Us Face It Such a Powerful Story of God's Grace to Send You Your Copy of Johnny Cash, the Redemption of an American Icon Call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or Go Online to Harvest.for What Pastor Greg Continues His Discussion with Author Johnny Erickson Taught More Great Encouragement Coming Next Time on a New Beginning. Greg Moore, Greg Laurie Possible by Harvest Partners, Helping People Everywhere Know God Sign up for Pastor Grades Free Daily Email,

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