This month on television, I want to address some of the hardest questions about when Christians suffer. Whether tornadoes in Oklahoma, wildfires in Colorado, or struggles in our personal lives, we wonder why God allows suffering and how we are to handle it. As Christians, we know we are not immune to these problems. Many of us struggle with chronic pain or disease. Others face challenges in other ways, ranging from emotions to finances to relationships. Where is God when we suffer?
The good news is that God is there when we struggle with each of life’s challenges, no exceptions. He is not only there; He is also working in our times of struggle. Romans 8:28 promises, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
This month, I’ll be sharing new television programs featuring important friends who are faithful Christian leaders and especially gifted to help us find God’s strength when we suffer.
My first guest, Joni Eareckson Tada, needs no introduction. Most of you know her. She is the founder of Joni and Friends, an international ministry for people with disabilities. During this series I asked her very personal questions about how God has helped her during her 46-year battle with quadriplegia, and during more recent years with breast cancer. She has authored more than 50 books, and is a popular public speaker both nationally and internationally.
Second, I also invited my friend Dr. Michael Easley. While serving as President of the prestigious Moody Bible Institute, Michael developed a serious back condition that left him in excruciating chronic pain. His situation continued to worsen and soon led this gifted man to resign as the school’s president and scale down on his many conference-speaking engagements. He endured life-threatening surgeries in which doctors fused metal rods in his back and neck.
Dr. Easley currently serves as the lead pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, Tennessee. During our broadcasts together, I asked this great Bible teacher to share the important Scriptures and biblical principles God has shown him that have helped the most in dealing with his daily suffering.
God’s Encouragement for Caregivers
In addition to my interviews with Joni Eareckson Tada and Dr. Michael Easley, I also invited their spouses to join us for a special three-program series called “God’s Encouragement for Caregivers.” Joni’s husband Ken Tada revealed to us the behind the scenes love story few have heard of his relationship with Joni. He also describes the emotional impact and challenges he has endured as a long-term caregiver.
Michael Easley’s wife, Cindy, also shares her personal account of watching the man she loved face serious physical pain, her changing role from stay-at-home mom to working as the main financial source of the family, and the unique spiritual challenges she continues to face in caring for her husband. For both Ken and Cindy there were times they were not sure their spouse would come out of surgery alive.
It dawned on me that someday all of us will either be the one suffering and cared for by someone else, or we will be the caregiver for someone we love. I wanted to provide these programs to help encourage all of us with solid biblical teaching mixed with wonderful practical advice from those who know a lot about suffering as well as their caregivers. I believe you will hear answers you will not find anywhere else.
Our Offer This Month
When my own mother was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease years ago, I should have put together programs like these to encourage and help her. I didn’t. But I have made these vital programs available to help you and those you love who face suffering or issues related to care giving.
First, our offer this month includes the new three-program series “God’s Help When You Suffer” with Joni Eareckson Tada and Dr. Michael Easley.
Our second series features Ken Tada and Cindy Easley with their spouses talking about “God’s Encouragement for Caregivers.” These three programs provide a unique perspective, and is the first time these two couples have shared these experiences together on television.
Then third, we are making available two new study guides with extensive notes that parallel our two television series. All four of these items are available together in a special package, including both Blu-ray and standard DVD, for a gift of only $94.
Let me also add that this month, if you order our entire $94 package with Dr. Michael Easley and Joni Eareckson Tada, I will add two other important television series to your package absolutely free.
First, I’ll add “God’s Comfort When You are Discouraged, Depressed, and Fear the Future” in which Joni and Michael answer the questions, “What do you do when all of the props are knocked out and there is nothing but you, God, and pain? Does the Bible teach that it is God’s will to heal everyone who truly comes to Him in faith? How do you keep from going back into depression when you experience setbacks?
Second, I’ll add the series “How Can God Help You Face Chronic Pain, Disability, And Illness?” in which you will hear the inspiring personal stories of Joni Eareckson Tada and Dr. Michael Easley, along with what the Bible shares about the reasons for suffering and how God helps in our times of pain.
These free bonus DVDs will only be available during this series. I encourage you to request your copy today. Please see the enclosed card for details.
“Where Do We Go from Here?” with Dr. Erwin Lutzer
Many of you have been enjoying our programs this month with Dr. Erwin Lutzer on “Where Do We Go from Here?” During this new series, Dr. Lutzer presents five disturbing cultural trends that may be irreversible unless God intervenes. But then he also shares five unshakeable biblical truths Christians can rely on even if these trends get worse.
If you have not already requested your copy of this powerful series on DVD, please take a moment to order today. The full package of resources includes our two new series of television programs—“Where Do We Go from Here?” and “Faith at the Breaking Point,” two study guides, and the series “Hope for Those Who Doubt Their Salvation,” and “How You Can Know for Sure You Will Spend Eternity with God?”— are available this month for your gift of $99. See the enclosed card for details.
Update on Global Outreach
God is answering many prayers. Here is the latest news. We as a staff are hard at work preparing our web site for translation—all 2,700 articles, 87 books, and over 300 Bible teaching sermons—into 50 different languages. This means that by this September we will be able to speak directly to 88% of the world’s population in their own language. Please continue to pray that God will help us as we work to get everything ready for its launch this September.
As I also explained last month, we are in the process of partnering with the ministry Faith Comes by Hearing to provide people in 715 languages access to the Bible in print in their own language. Further, for those who cannot read, we will be providing an audio version of the Bible in 717 languages.
Why are we doing this? Some nations we seek to reach continue to have illiteracy rates of more than 70%. Functional literacy remains less than 50% in about two thirds of the world. Our goal is not only to provide written biblical content, but also audio and video resources that people can listen to in their own language. Of course, our goal is to not only provide God’s Word to people across the world, but also to provide our unique apologetic programs, articles, and books from The John Ankerberg Show as well.
The Next Challenge
Now that God has amazingly provided the financial resources to allow us to translate our entire web site into 50 languages, our next challenge is to provide voice translation for our television programs so people can listen to them in their own languages. This will open up so many new opportunities. What’s stopping us? To translate a year’s worth of our television programs in the world’s top 10 languages, allowing us to speak to 76% of the world’s population, will cost $500,000.
How can you help? First, I want to ask you to pray. Specifically, ask God to bring the resources necessary to meet this need.
Second, consider what you can contribute. Some of you can send $25. Others can send $25,000. God knows both your desire and ability to give. I simply ask that you pray and give as He leads. If you can give monthly, this is vital to our ministry. I’m extremely thankful for friends like you willing to boldly help me reach the world for Christ during these last days.
Let me close by asking, “What legacy do you want to leave?” As I look back, what excites me most are the lives I’ve helped transform for eternity. Would you join me in this adventure to reach and disciple others to follow Jesus?
For the sake of the Gospel,
Dr. John Ankerberg