Joni and Friends
When You Feel Powerless

by Joni Eareckson Tada

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them—this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 149:4-9

Sometimes those who suffer from an illness, an injury, or a disability feel trapped or enclosed. The walls seem to press in, and we feel limited and powerless. Experience teaches us that one of the first things suffering does is to make us look inward. Focused on our own needs and difficulties, our souls become small and begin to shrivel. We have a difficult time looking out and looking up.

Today’s Scripture, however, paints a different picture. God calls on humble, even bed-confined saints to do some mighty things. With hearts full of joy and praise and a double-edged sword in our hands, we “inflict vengeance on the nations…to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron.” In other words, the prayers of a suffering, confined believer can shake the nations. Our prayers elevate us onto a cosmic, high-stakes battlefield of spiritual warfare. This promotes the lowliest, most seemingly “insignificant” servant into the front lines of kingdom service.

Lord, I have been on this battlefield, and I’m grateful for the privilege. Yes, I struggle with the limitations and the incessant drumbeat of pain—and probably always will this side of heaven. But how kind You are, King Jesus, to send me where the battle rages most fiercely and to place a double-edged sword in my hand.

Taken from A Spectacle of Glory

By Joni Eareckson Tada

Copyright © 2016
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

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