"The robust hope of the believer is not that we will escape hurts and sorrows, but that God will make every one of them an instrument of His mercy to do us good—both now and in eternity." (May 31 entry, A Spectacle of Glory).
|See all those tabs? And that was taken near the halfway point in my reading.|
Joni Eareckson Tada's new book, A Spectacle of Glory: God's Light Shining through Me Every Day, is a collection of 365 devotional readings "about glorifying God in every situation," according to the dedication page. The title comes from Tony Reinke's Newton on the Christian Life: "Some Christians are called to endure a disproportionate amount of suffering. Such Christians are a spectacle of grace to the church, like flaming bushes unconsumed.... The strength and stability of these believers can be explained only by the miracle of God's sustaining grace" (7).
Each reading consists of a Bible reference for the reader to look up, a paragraph or two of biblical encouragement to the reader, and a brief prayer to the Lord. Don't be fooled by the brevity of the entries, though; Joni gives real, substantial truth here in small servings. Here are a few examples:
Our heavenly Father will never let suffering, pain, and disappointment have the last word. The last note belongs to him. Even in your hardship and sorrow, he sings a melody of hope, comfort, and victory over you (July 15).
For reasons known only to Himself, the Father calls us to intimacy with His Son on His terms—and those terms call for us to suffer, in some measure, as His Son did while He was on Earth. Yes, suffering may seem like a high price to pay for having Christ as a confidant. But He is ecstasy beyond words. It's worth anything to be his friend (February 21).
Lord Jesus Christ, right here and now, I lift up Your mighty name, the name above every name. You are the Great Shepherd, the Word of God, the King of Kings, the Beginning and the End. You are the Author and Finisher of my faith, the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God. I want to fill this room, this car, this day, with Your praise! (March 30).I heartily recommend this book. Like many of Joni's books, it is especially well-suited for those going through a time of emotional or physical suffering and in need of hope and encouragement to keep walking with Jesus in the midst of their pain. The short daily entries are the perfect length for times when a trial saps so much concentration that a longer or more abstract work would be too demanding. Joni doesn't gloss over how hard the hard things are. She acknowledges the sorrow and pain but then points the reader's gaze to the Lord who Himself suffered and has redeemed our suffering.
It has the makings of an excellent pass-along book, too. I have already shared many brief quotes with a suffering sister and will hand my copy over to her once this review goes live.
N.B.: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar in exchange for an honest review.
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