For many years, Bible publishers have released many types of application Bibles where the intention is to aid a specific target group of readers to better understand God’s Word as it applies to them. The first application Bibles I can remember were Men’s Study Bibles, Women’s Study Bibles, and Teen Study Bibles. These books consisted of the Scripture of a complete Bible, but with added commentary pages, footnotes, and marginal notes from the targeted point of view. Now, you can find boys’ application Bibles, girls’ application Bibles, students’ applications Bibles, Warrior Application Bibles for those who were or are in the military, and life lessons from certain individuals’ points of view (such as the Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible). I remember fondly the Scofield Bible my grandmother gave to me so many years ago. I loved all the extra insights written in the margins and footnotes. Now I have a new favorite Application Bible: The Beyond Suffering Bible.
Application Bibles come in many translations. This particular Bible uses the New Living Translation. In the first few introductory pages you’ll find an explanation of the different types of translations. The NLT is meant to be a thought by thought translation written to flow smoothly as it’s read aloud. This is one of the reasons I love this Bible so well. It is easy to read and understand. A person suffering from physical or mental anguish does not need to struggle with a language or cultural barrier while they are seeking God’s help in enduring their various trials. I believe this translation is a great fit for this type of application Bible.
Another reason I love this book is for its devotional aspect. This feature is where the rubber meets the road! Interspersed among the pages of each chapter are page-long devotionals written with the sufferer or their caregivers and supporters in mind. The Foundation that has partnered with Tyndale House to publish this unique Bible is Joni and Friends. Joni Eareckson Tada herself has been a quadriplegic since 1967. Her organization has spearheaded an outreach ministry called the International Disability Center which reaches out to people all over the world affected by disabilities of all kinds. They are uniquely qualified to write devotions that will touch the reader’s heart, no matter what has caused their suffering.
I could go on and on and tell you more about the variety of features packed into this special book, but I would like to share with you how this book particularly impacts my life. There are many kinds of disabilities. None of them are worse than any other kind of disability. For example, there are physical and very visible disabilities, physical but invisible afflictions, and invisible and perhaps not-so-physical disabilities. My own malady is invisible: Bipolar Type 2. There are people who think mental illnesses are not a legitimate disorder but a by-product of an overly self-centered society; that may contribute to it, but the affliction is very real to me. I know dozens of others who would agree with me. Several Mental illnesses are difficult to diagnose, and patients get treated more or less by trial and error. I need to rely heavily on God and a support group to help cope with the inner turmoil that hits me in cycles. This resource is a Godsend for me. I can see how much this Bible will mean to many who suffer in silence and without a good support system in their lives. I plan on using this Bible as much as possible in my devotions.
So now you know how excited I am about this resource. I just know it’s going to be proven invaluable for so many individuals, support churches, caregivers, support organizations, those who bear the burden of any type of disability, whether visible or invisible, and indeed, anyone who suffers. There are no other books out there quite like this one. I encourage you to purchase one of these for yourself or share one with someone you know who may benefit from it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”