The first chapter of Joshua focuses on PEOPLE OF FAITH. Courageous people of faith speak by faith from God’s Word. The Bible is important to them. Those folks also get prepared for God’s purposes. They don’t wait to get themselves ready for the challenges of serving Christ.
People of faith know how to rest and receive blessings from the Lord. They have believed in Him and are ready to take action by going even deeper in His Word and in the pursuit of His holiness.
Those kinds of people are His kind of people. It struck me that some of our confidence and power to live such lives comes from the examples others have left behind. If we read, study and admire the lives of Christians who have “fought the good fight and finished their course,” we are well prepared to move forward in our own spiritual journey.
And then I thought about the incredible series of books written by John Piper under the heading of “The Swans are Not Silent.” Each book in this seven-volume set, tells the story of three heroes of the Christian faith. I highly recommend any of the books in this series! Here are their titles and the heroes they feature:
The Legacy of Sovereign Joy- Augustine, Luther, Calvin
The Hidden Smile of God-Bunyan, Cowper, Brainerd
The Roots of Endurance-Newton, Simeon, Wilberforce
Contending for All– Athanasius, Owen, Machen
Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ-Tyndale, Judson, Paton
Seeing Beauty and Saying Beauty-Herbert, Whitefield, Lewis
A Camaraderie of Confidence– Spurgeon, Muller, Taylor
So, this week might be a great time to stock your summer reading shelf with books that can help you be strong and courageous. May I recommend you start with The Roots of Endurance? In the pages of that book, I fell in love with the testimonies of John Newton (the slave trader who wrote “Amazing Grace”) and William Wilberforce (the member of the British Parliament who spent 20 years of his life railing against the slave trade). They are incredible examples of people who spoke by faith from God’s Word.
As you read these shortened biographies may your spiritual strength increase, and your faith be emboldened. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).