recommended reading

Have you ever bought a book because you knew you needed to read it but put off reading it because you knew you’d be challenged – and changed – by it?  Well, a little while ago I came across a book that everyone who is serious about committing to a life-long journey of  faith in God should read . . .  STAND: a call for the endurance of the saints.   As I skimmed through the pages I was immediately captured by the penetrating words of truth and encouragement and I knew this was a book that I needed.  I purchased it and added it to the top of my stack of ongoing reads.  The book is fairly small and not overly “academic” so I had every intention of reading through it in a relatively short period of time.  But I quickly realized this book should not be read quickly or taken lightly.  I am now reading it slowly, with Bible in hand, allowing the Spirit to do its work.  Here’s a sample of what I encourage you to read for yourself –

We are to be thankful people.  But what about the bad things, the things that we would choose not to have in our lives?  Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances,”  and then he adds “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

How do we do this?  We do it by faith.  We don’t just grit our teeth and say, “Lord, I don’t feel thankful but you said to give thanks so I’m going to give you thanks even though I don’t feel like being thankful.”  That’s not giving thanks.  We do it by faith.  We do it by trusting in the promises of God.  We do it by faith in the words of God through Paul in Romans 8:28-29, where he says “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him.”  And then he defines the good in verse 29 as being conformed to the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is what God is after.  He wants to conform us to the likeness of Christ; so he brings or allows these various circumstances, circumstances that we ourselves would not choose.  He brings them into our lives because he wants to use those circumstances in his way to conform us more and more to the likeness of Christ.  And so by faith we can say, “Lord, I do not know what particular purpose you have in this difficulty or this pain, this trial.  But you said you will use it to conform me more and more to Jesus Christ, and for that I give you thanks.”  So we give thanks by faith.   

(from Jerry Bridges’ chapter “Four Essentials for Finishing Well”)

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~ by kentuckyfaithful on February 5, 2009.

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