I assume that some people that may stumble across this blog may also love to read books. Well, one of my rather annoying habits is that I am attracted like a magnet to any type of book sale that I happen upon. It is the thrill of knowing that you might find a treasure there.
You might also be able to tell from reading my blog that I write about Christian ideas. So older Christian books are the ones I usually find. I found one at the big library sale across the river last summer. It is a devotional by Watchman Nee entitled A Table in the Wilderness. It was published in 1966. At that time, Brother Nee had been detained for fourteen years in Communist prison in China. Another believer had collected some of his writings and gathered them into this devotional. From this book, I have been gaining needed encouragement right when I need it most.
I was doing some rearranging in my house the other day and found it. You see, I had put it in this storage cubby and had forgotten about it. Even though the New Year was well under way, I decided to pick up with where it was now.
For February 1st's reading, he offered such a profound thought to go along with the Scripture from I Thessalonians 5: 16- 18 which says:
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
To be honest, I haven't been doing too well. Yet I know this is what the Scripture commands. But Brother Nee pointed out something that I had never considered and that was the fact that, despite my shifting emotions and moods, Jesus Christ never lost His joy. He said I could only lose mine when Christ lost His. And so, he continues to exhort, when I have no joy, I just tap into His endless supply whenever I need to.
When you come to think of it, Jesus even had joy when He went to the cross, for Hebrews 12: 2 tells us to keep:
...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God...
Even in that most desolate place our Lord had joy. He could rejoice, for He knew that the outcome would mean our salvation. Brother Nee had joy, even though he was incarcerated for his faith for twenty long years in Communist prison and died there.
It seems that the spiritual battle we are facing is intensifying. Do not be discouraged. Do not cave in. The tempter is doing all he can to distract us. We must remain strong in the Lord and in His power.
I love what Moses told the Israelites when the Egyptians came racing after them with their chariots.
Exd 14:14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."