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Soul Surfer: An Interview with Bethany Hamilton

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 9, 2021 3:00 am

Soul Surfer: An Interview with Bethany Hamilton

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 9, 2021 3:00 am

In this concise interview, Greg Laurie hears the story of Bethany Hamilton. She describes how God brought her through a traumatic experience and gave her a platform to share her life story and her faith in Jesus Christ. This interview originally took place at a past SoCal Harvest event. 

In a single moment, professional surfer Bethany Hamilton's life was changed forever when a shark bit off her left arm. Her life could have ended, but God had other plans for her. Join Pastor Greg for this monumental interview about the miracles of God and how he can use us, no matter what.

Learn more about Bethany Hamilton at


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Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast and my objective is to deliver, hopefully, compelling practical insights in faith, culture, and current events from a biblical perspective. To find out more about our ministry, just go to our website, So thanks for joining me for this podcast. Bethany, welcome. Thank you. I'm so glad to be here tonight.

Glad to have you here. You know, I first met Bethany when you were around 14 years old. And the interesting thing is Bethany was born in the same year that we started the Harvest Crusade.

So you want to know how long we've been going as long as Bethany Hamilton's been alive right here. Bethany, you were born in 1990 into a family of surfers. Your dad surfs. Your mom surfs.

Your brother surfs. And you were living right there on the beach in Kauai. I mean, that must have been an ultra cool life.

It was amazing. I have a beautiful family who's so supportive of me and everything that I do. And yeah, growing up in Hawaii is incredible. Just surfing and, you know, everyone kind of knows everyone. And when I was about five years old is really when I started getting into surfing. But at the same time, I gave my heart to God. And from there, the combination was just an amazing life.

Going to church and home, going to church your whole life. And that was a part of your life. And your life was radically tested when at the age of 14, on October 31st, 2003, you were out surfing. And you were attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark. And what can you remember about that day?

Yeah, losing my arm to a shark was a crazy experience that I don't really like to talk about much. But one thing that I'm just so in awe of is that God was there that day. And he gave me the ability to stay calm and just trust in him. And, you know, he had a reason for me surviving. And I see most people would see this as such a horrible thing. But I see all the beauty and good that God has brought out of it.

And it's just incredible how he can turn things that we don't understand into good. You lost 60% of your blood that day. And your doctor said it was a miracle that you recovered. Did you think you were going to die or did you think you would survive this? What were your thoughts when you're out there on your board and you're being brought in and the tourniquet was tied with a leash around your arm, right? What was going through your mind at that point? I mean, I was 13 years old and I was surprisingly calm, but I was just I remember praying and just hoping to survive and just focusing on that.

And yeah, of course, I was scared to death and I wasn't sure if I was going to survive. But I'm here today and still surfing and sharing my life story. And it's cool.

That's right. You have and you share your story everywhere. Isn't that great? In fact, you've said, Bethany, you see it as a chance to give people hope for their life. And you've been all the media has covered this. You've been featured on 2020, the Today Show, the Tonight Show, and multiple other outlets. You even won an award, the Courage Award at the Teen Choice Awards. And, you know, what's really cool and it was reflected in that video is you talked about your faith in Jesus Christ.

Why did you do that, Bethany? Well, I guess for me, I grew up in Hawaii and, you know, it's just a really simple lifestyle of just surfing and hanging out with friends and just and then when this all happened, it just my life did a 360 degree turnaround and all of a sudden featured on all these shows and stuff. And I just knew that God wanted me to share his love and I felt his love and peace immediately after the attack.

It was really cool. The two weeks prior to the event, my mom and I had been praying fervently, like, God, just use me and let me glorify you in my life. And and that was our specific prayer.

And so when the attack happened, it was like crazy that God just we knew he was in control and and we just gave him our worries and struggles. And I have a couple of verses I wanted to share with you guys tonight. And I'm just going to read them.

I'm going to read them. But so Colossians three, 22 through 24 bond servants obey and all things your master, according to the flesh, not with our servant as please as man pleasers, but in the security of your heart, fearing God and whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men. Knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the reward and inheritance for you all. You serve the Lord Christ. And I just been realizing lately it's like we're called to serve God and and fear him at the same time.

And when we do that, his presence just takes over our life and he can rock our world and whatever you are and wherever you've come from, like he can use you and and make your life incredible. That's great, Bethany. What a testimony. What a story.

Excuse me. A movie has been made about your life. Soul Surfer. Amazing film. How many of you have seen Soul Surfer? Wow. Look at that.

Right. It's a great film. Bethany, I saw it in the theater and then I watched it again the other night. And what's really great is at the end, they have surfing you doing the actual surfing in for a lot of the scenes when the character playing you was surfing. When the girl was on the way, that was the real Bethany, right?

Yeah. Making Soul Surfer was insane. My family and I were all really involved.

And so we got to keep it as true and authentic as possible. And and I had a blast shooting some of the stunt surfing and just becoming friends with all the actors. And so, yeah, I hope you guys enjoyed the film. And it was so fun to be a part of.

And definitely I learned a lot through making the film. So, Bethany, what would you say to someone here tonight that maybe has had a setback? Maybe they've had an accident. There's been a tragedy and you've come through all of this. What is your message to them and what place a relationship with Jesus Christ can play in all of this? Well, first of all, like God's love for you is unending. And no matter what you do, he's going to love you and forgive you for whatever you've done or been through.

Maybe someone's hurt you or you've hurt someone else. I think it's key to just ask God and that person for forgiveness or forgive them if they've hurt you. And then from there, just taking it one day at a time and just learning to trust in God and his his power to help you get through those circumstances.

And, yeah, God is so good and he's always here for us and we just have to open our hearts to him and and he will take care of you from there. Thank you, Bethany Hamilton. Thanks for coming, Bethany. God bless you. Hey, everybody.

Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast. And to learn more about Harvest Ministries, please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to And by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God, go to That's K-N-O-W-G-O-D dot org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-06 18:26:19 / 2024-01-06 18:29:45 / 3

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