Skip to content

Beyond Suffering Bible

Where struggles seem endless, God's hope is infinite.

The Beyond Suffering Bible is the first topical Bible written for those who suffer and the people who love them. Uplifting insights from Joni and numerous experts at the Christian Institute on Disability will help move you beyond the “why” of suffering to take hold of the eternal value God is building into our lives, especially as we find ourselves in the valleys of life.

1 in
Americans are dealing with chronic health conditions
Over
M
Americans suffer from disability or chronic illness
About
M
People a year experience a serious mental illness
Roughly
M
Americans provide care for someone with a disability or chronic illness
1 in
People in the U.S. live with some type of disability

Features

A Word from Joni

The Beyond Suffering Bible was born out of the passion of the organization Joni Eareckson Tada founded, and it includes dozens of devotional articles written by Joni that reflect her heart for pursuing God in the midst of suffering and are written in her warm and inviting style. These devotionals are sure to touch your heart and draw you closer to your Creator through gaining new perspectives on the Scripture verses they are connected with.

Profiles

The truths of the Bible are never just abstract concepts; they are always related to real, embodied people. So scattered throughout the Beyond Suffering Bible are profiles of real people that are named on the pages of the Scriptures, but others are contemporary people—some famous, others just ordinary people with extraordinary things that they can teach us all.

Connection Points

The Beyond Suffering Bible is about helping you to connect the Bible to your everyday life—especially when it touches on issues of suffering and disability. So on almost every page there are "connection points": brief notes that explain or expand on a verse or passage from the Bible. Think study notes, except these are laser focused on helping you connect specifically with a biblical theology of suffering.

Devotionals

Some verses or passages need more than just a few sentences to tease out what God wants us to learn from them about living beyond suffering. For those passages, there are full-page devotionals to help you delve a little bit deeper so you can be blessed or challenged by the message of the Scripture.

Book Introductions

Each book of the Bible has an introduction, orienting readers to the vital information they need to help them understand the book more fully. But the Beyond Suffering Bible goes beyond a basic book introduction, focusing on key suffering and disability themes that are addressed in each book of the Bible.

Preview the Beyond Suffering Bible

Endorsements

“Being recently immersed with a family in the raw grief of a tragedy, I found myself reading the Beyond Suffering Bible not only through my eyes but theirs. I can’t say enough about the value of this monumental work. To integrate God’s Word with such sparkling, honest and Christ-centered insights was brilliant. I don’t know how this Bible could be better or more complete! I believe our Redeemer will use it powerfully. I can’t imagine any person who loves God and loves people not loving this amazing product. I will personally give the Beyond Suffering Bible to many. I’m glad to offer my most enthusiastic recommendation for this extraordinary resource!”

—Randy Alcorn
Author ​of Heaven, If God is Good and Happiness

“There’s a lot of pain in this world – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Joni Eareckson Tada understands that hurt, and recognizes that a relationship with God offers the only answer to our suffering. His Word is filled with hope and comfort. Joni and her team have assembled a unique tool to help bring that hope to those who are hurting.”

—Jim Daly
President, Focus on the Family

“It would be hard to imagine a more important topic or a more appropriate person to address it. Joni has lived a life of faith forged by challenge. This Bible is a timely contribution and a valuable resource.”

—Max Lucado
Pastor and Bestselling Author

“I love this Bible! The notes and resources within the pages are infused, not with pity or sympathy, but with the tender, loving kindness of a God who truly feels our pain. Only someone who has suffered deeply could be used so greatly as to enhance and enrich God’s own Words with such compassionate understanding. On behalf of those who suffer in ways others can’t see, thank you, Joni!”

—Anne Graham Lotz
President and CEO: AnGeL Ministries
Chairperson: National Day of Prayer Task Force

“No one should suffer alone and this Bible awakens the tormented heart to God's healing presence and perfect peace.”

—Steve Arterburn
Author, Speaker
New Life Ministries

“There are a lot of great books for families like mine who live with disability. But the Beyond Suffering Bible is different – it sends us right into God’s word. The Beyond Suffering Bible is like a giant neon arrow pointing us to the One True Hope, Jesus.”

—Emily Colson
Author, Speaker

“Suffering is an integral theme in Scripture and an unavoidable part of life. The Beyond Suffering Bible connects readers to the pain, struggle and healing that is everywhere in the biblical narrative, helping us bridge the gap between our experience of suffering and the hope we can have in Christ. This will be a helpful, encouraging resource for many!”

—Barry H. Corey
President of Biola University and Author of
Love Kindness: Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue

“As pastor of First Baptist Dallas, I encounter many people in my ministry who struggle with a disability. These special-needs families are in need of not only practical help, but true hope from the Scriptures. It’s not uncommon for me to hear a parent of a special-needs child ask, ‘If God is good, then why would He allow my little one to be born with such a painful, debilitating condition?!’ This is why I am so enthusiastic about the new Beyond Suffering Bible – its commentaries, study guides, practical essays, and inspiring character profiles help these families see that they are not alone; that God cares, and that there truly are satisfying answers in God's Word. I highly recommend it to anyone whose life is touched by disability!”

—Dr. Robert Jeffress
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Dallas

“I want to get this Bible into the hands of everyone I know. Life is full of struggle and suffering and the Word of God is full of life and hope. Whatever you are facing right now, you will find help and healing here.”

—Sheila Walsh
Author, Teacher, Speaker and Singer

“There is no one I trust more than Joni Eareckson Tada to address human suffering with biblical wisdom, theological discernment, and Christian compassion. This extraordinary resource brings the ministry of Joni and Friends right into your home with fresh insight and gospel hope for persevering through painful trials. It’s a study Bible for people who suffer, and the people who love them, which means that it’s a study Bible for all of us.”

—Philip Ryken
President, Wheaton College

“Out of the depths of her own travail, Joni knows three things: that suffering is an undeniable reality in this fallen world, that the Bible is the world's best resource for sufferers, and that lasting hope and help for those whose lives have been permanently altered by suffering is only found in the presence, power, promises and grace of God. And because she does, she has produced a resource that will bring comfort, hope and direction to countless people who are affected by disability. I love the Beyond Suffering Bible! I know of no resource like it.”

—Paul David Tripp
Pastor, Author and Speaker
President of Paul Tripp Ministries

“I highly endorse The Beyond Suffering Bible because I relate so personally to the urgent need for such a Bible. My recent experience with life-threatening cancer taught me that regardless of what suffering we go through—or what we face—we can always count on God’s sustaining grace. I firmly believe the purpose that Joni and her author friends have in writing such a masterpiece is to encourage each of us to stand firm in God’s grace. We know from Scripture that the most important thing we can do on this earth is to tell people the God News about God’s grace. One immediate way you and I can do this is sharing The Beyond Suffering Bible with others.”

—Jon R. Wallace, DBA
President, Azusa Pacific University

“I am such a big fan of Joni Eareckson Tada. She is an inspiration for everyone who knows her or knows of her. The Joni and Friends International Disability Center has been chosen one of the Best Christian Workplaces for 2016—their 11th consecutive year for this award. The Center continues to make a major difference in their mission to help people with disabilities all over the world. Now with the Beyond Suffering Bible, Joni has taken her faith and her important work to a whole different level. Since we all have painful issues to deal with at various times in our lives, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from this Bible. It is a special gift to the world—and so is Joni.”

—Ken Blanchard
Cofounder of Lead Like Jesus and
Coauthor of The New One Minute Manager®

“The Beyond Suffering Bible is a deep well of hope and inspiration for anyone who knows the painful despair that comes with mental and physical suffering. God's Word is the centerpiece, beautifully appointed with devotionals, connections points, profiles, and words of encouragement from Joni Eareckson Tada, Experience the Word of Truth in this Bible and it will strengthen your faith in God's everlasting love for you.”

—Tami Heim
President and CEO, Christian Leadership Alliance

“I look forward to using and recommending the Beyond Suffering Bible as a resource and place of comfort. I am grateful for the many ways God will use this Bible to remind us of God’s hope in the midst of a broken world where we do not yet see clearly.”

—Pam Harmon
Vice President, Young Life Capernaum

“Who better to take us deep into the Word of God about the problem of suffering than Joni Eareckson Tada! In a world full of study Bibles, the work of Joni and her colleagues promises to be a stand-alone contribution to one of the most challenging themes in Scripture. Contrary to our world's perspectives, the challenges posed by suffering can be turned to productive outcomes when we surrender our minds and hearts to our God who delights in working all things together for good. These insightful perspectives on productivity in the midst of pain will provide strength for those who are hurting and for those who are helping.”

—Joe Stowell
President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“As human beings, we naturally desire a God that provides security, prosperity and painless living! For multitudes of believers, affected by disabilities, that image of God has been shattered leaving them confused, bitter and alone. Their tears do not cease to flow and their anxieties continue to grow. They are often isolated within the Christian community and looked upon as charity cases rather than necessary contributors to the health and growth of the body of Christ. Where can one affected with disability turn to discover the true heart and mind of God for them? What can point them to the obvious, but often neglected, voice of hope from the God of comfort? The God of all comfort speaks to suffering saints from Genesis to Revelation. Finally, The Beyond Suffering Bible, points the seeking heart to countless pearls of hope within the Scriptures! This one of a kind study Bible unveils the heart of God for those afflicted with disability page after page. Solid theology with pastoral application would be an apt description of The Beyond Suffering Bible. Disability does not discriminate according to age, gender, ethnicity or language. Neither does the hope, help, dignity and comfort of the word of God. Rather than creating a God of your choosing who fails to meet your expectations, discover your Creator and experience his comfort through his word! Whether you are suffering with a disability of ministering to someone who is get a copy of The Beyond Suffering Bible it will strengthen your faith.”

—Dr. A. Charles Ware
Father of a quadriplegic son
President of Crossroads Bible College

Editors and Contributors

Executive Editors

Joni Eareckson Tada
Doug Mazza
Joni Eareckson Tada

General Editor

Keith Williams, MA

Managing Editor

Patricia L. Verbal, MA

Associate Editors

D. Christopher Ralston, PhD
Chonda L. Ralston, MA

Copy Editors

Leanne F. Rolland, Coordinator
Caleb Lindgren, MA

Design

Daniel Farrell
Jennifer Ghionzoli

Typesetting

Audra Brady

Contributors

Joni Eareckson Tada
Shauna Amick, MEd
David W. Anderson, EdD
Stephen F. Arterburn, MEd
Mark W. Baker, PhD
Michael S. Beates, DMin
Robert A. Bjerkaas, ThM
Stephen J. Bramer, PhD
Steve Bundy, MA
David C. Deuel, PhD
J.N. Ian Dickson, PhD
Michael J. Easley, DMin
Mark D. Eckel, ThMPhD
Joseph D. Fantin, PhD
Chris Hay, MDiv
Amy Jacober, PhD
Julie M. Keith, DMin
Jeff McNair, PhD
Kathy McReynolds, PhD
Rebecca Olson
Cory Peacock, PhD
Chonda L. Ralston, MA
D. Christopher Ralston, PhD
Karen E. Roberts, DWS
Ben Rhodes, PhD
Patricia L. Verbal, MA
Larry J. Waters, PhD

History of Beyond Suffering

"Every movement needs a foundation that serves as an anchor for its ideas and worldviews. This is why Joni and Friends created a course like Beyond Suffering."

—Joni Eareckson Tada

Since the Christian Institute on Disability (CID) opened in 2007, Vice President Steve Bundy envisioned a bible-based, comprehensive course to equip students, pastors and lay leaders for disability ministry. “We needed a way to shatter the Church’s apathy toward disability ministry,” said Bundy. “To accomplish this, we prayed for like-minded, Christian professionals who could make significant contributions to such a study. And God powerfully answered!”

The original 16-lesson undergraduate course, Beyond Suffering: A Christian View on Disability Ministry, was published in September 2011. Since that time, Beyond Suffering has been translated into several languages and embraced by national and international Bible colleges, universities and seminaries.

But we couldn’t stop there. We knew lasting change would only happen if future generations are equipped with an understanding of what Jesus taught about those with disabilities. Young people have been an important part of our ministry since the early days of Joni and Friends. Thousands have faithfully served as Short Term Missionaries at Joni and Friends Family Retreats and other disability ministry events. So the youth edition, Beyond Suffering for the Next Generation, was published in 2015 to impact future generations of Christians to change the way they think about suffering and become beacons of hope for the disability community.