In 2001, several years after losing his arm to cancer, former major leaguer Dave Dravecky and his wife Jan collaborated with Joni Eareckson Tada to produce the Encouragement Bible. It’s an NIV version of the Bible that contains sidebars with anecdotes, personal testimonies, and Scripture indexes that point to God’s love and promises for His children in times of suffering.
“Many people don’t turn to the Bible because they feel unqualified to read and understand it,” Dravecky explained. “Part of the beauty and the genius of Scripture is that it’s alive, empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. And when you’re suffering, God’s words are more precious than anything else. We also know the challenges of reading the Bible when your life is turned upside-down. That’s why we’ve put lots of helpful features in this edition.
“We want [people] to know that our greatest discovery in the Bible wasn’t that we found answers to some of our questions about suffering,” Dave and Jan say in the preface, “Rather, our greatest discovery was the gradual and wondrous unveiling of our awesome God, the one who holds all of the answers. Through these pages [of the Bible], we discovered the God who is the Answer to every question, yearning, and desire of the human heart. Our hope and prayer is that you too, will make that same wonderful discovery.”
The Bible. It’s still the place to turn to for help