I'd Rather Have Jesus

  • April 24, 2014
  • #8344

Would you rather be on your feet without Jesus or in a wheelchair with Jesus? For Joni, the answer is simple.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and perhaps you know this old Gospel song:

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold
I’d rather be His than have riches untold
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hands.
Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin’s dress way
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.*

And believe me, when I sing this song I sing it from the heart. I really would rather have Jesus. I would rather have Him than be out of this wheelchair and on my feet not knowing Him. As I’ve often said, I’d rather be in this chair knowing Jesus than on my feet without Him. That’s how satisfying my Savior is. That’s how gratifying being close to Him really is. Jesus is that satisfying. Being close to Him is better than any amount of walking, especially if that walking takes me down the wrong road. Being near to Jesus is better than having use of my hands, especially if my hands were to reach for all the wrong things. Oh, what a happy blessing my quadriplegia is for it keeps me so very satisfied in Jesus. It keeps me singing this song, “I would rather have Him than anything this world affords today.”

And the best – the very best – I can do for others is to help them be happy in Jesus, too. For that matter, the greatest ministry that other people – that my friends and my husband and coworkers – the greatest ministry they can have in my life is for them to be happy in Christ, to enjoy Him. It’s like what George Mueller once wrote. He said, “Get up in the morning. Go to the Word of God and get your heart happy in God before you meet other people.”

Because you and I are intimately and intricately connected to our Christian brothers and sisters, I know that my courage, I know that my attitude rubs off on people. I also know that in some mystical way that I can’t explain, God takes my joy and infuses it into the hearts of others. My victories over sin strengthen others in the same battle. When people see me satisfied in Christ, then it inspires them to do the same.

And so I charge you to do this today: Get your heart happy in God before you go out and meet other people. He is the Lord of joy and you are His glad ambassador to weak and weary people around you. Make it your fight to stay satisfied in God today, no matter what. Prefer Jesus over all other things. Choose Him before any other pleasure. For when you do, you will be strengthening and uplifting and edifying the body of Christ like nothing else. Friend, the cosmic stakes are that high, very high, so today the command is: Be happy in Jesus and people around you will never be quite the same.

*Song: “I’d Rather Have Jesus” written by Rhea Miller, composed by George Beverly Shea. Public Domain.

© Joni and Friends


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