God said, “Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). This verse perfectly sums up the dominant message in Lettie Cowman’s book Streams In The Desert.
Everyone has been there: things haven’t gone as we planned … we’re not sure how we could have ended up in such a dry, barren place … it seems like nothing is working out right … we begin to think that even God has lost sight of us. But it’s in this painful, desert place that God is ready to do something unheard of!
Lettie Cowman knew the pain of sickness and disappointment and thwarted dreams. Yet in the midst of her desert place, as she poured out her raw emotions, she began to see a river springing up in her wilderness. This book is a heaven-sent blessing to anyone in those dark, barren places.
Each day you will get a glimpse of God’s spring, as Lettie shares her personal discoveries, insights from Scripture, quotes from other desert wanderers, poems of reflection, and even prayers for help. Each day’s short reading is thirst-quenching and soul-satisfying.
If you are going through a desert place, get a copy of this book for yourself. If you have a friend who is struggling, buy a copy for them, and find times to get together to discuss each day’s reading. There’s a reason why this book has stood the test of time and has been an immense help to so many throughout the years.
“I am training you to view your life from a heavenly perspective—through eyes of faith. When things don’t go as you had hoped to, talk with Me. Seek My face and My guidance. I will help you discern whether you need to work to change the situation or simply accept it.”
“The more you keep your gaze on Me—in quiet times and busy times—the better you can reflect My glory to other people. … When you are aware that I am present with you, you’re less likely to do or say something that’s displeasing to Me. When you’re struggling with difficult circumstances or painful feelings, awareness of My presence offers courage and comfort.”
“If you aspire to reach the heights—especially the high places of achievement and recognition—be prepared to shoulder the responsibilities that accompany success. But don’t forget to enjoy the satisfaction of accomplishing good things with Me, through Me, and for Me.”
“Pursuing a close walk with Me is the best way to live in the present. Keep bringing your thoughts back to Me whenever they wander. Return to Me joyfully, beloved. I will take great delight in you and rejoice over you with singing.”
“You tend to waste energy trying to determine whether your resources are adequate for the day. You keep checking your ‘power gauge’ instead of looking to Me for My provision. How much better to simply acknowledge your insufficiency when you awaken! This frees you to rely on My boundless sufficiency.”
“Your becoming a Christian was only the beginning of the work I’m doing in you. You need to be made new in the attitude of your mind and to put on the new self—becoming increasingly godly, righteous, and holy. This is a lifelong endeavor, and it is preparing you for heaven’s glory.”
“See Me smiling on you in radiant approval. My limitless love falls continually upon you, like heavenly snowflakes that melt into your upturned face. No matter how distressing your circumstances, this love is sufficient to sustain you. Someday you will even ascend to Heaven on it. I eagerly anticipate the time when I will take you into glory—to be with Me forever!”
“Every hard duty that lies in your path, that you would rather not do, that it will cost you pain and struggle or sore effort to do, has a blessing in it. Not to do it, at whatever cost, is to miss the blessing. …
“Every hard piece of road on which you see the Master’s shoe-prints and along which He bids you follow Him, surely leads to blessing, which you cannot get if you cannot go over the steep, thorny path. …
“Every point of battle to which you come, where you must draw your sword and fight the enemy, has a possible victory which will prove a rich blessing to your life.
“Every heavy load that you are called to lift hides in itself some strange secret of strength.” —J.R. Miller
Here are my book reviews for 2011.
Here are my book reviews for 2012.
Here are my book reviews for 2013.
Here are my book reviews for 2014.
Here are my book reviews for 2015.
I continue to be so impressed with the way Tim Tebow always finds a way to let his light shine for Jesus in everything he does. Many people find it easy to give God praise when things are going well, but it might not be as easy to praise Him in the down times. This is exactly what Tim Tebow explores in his latest book Shaken.
Football fans have seen the on-field celebrations after a big victory, the joyous locker rooms, and the upbeat press conferences. But seldom do we see much from the team that loses the big game. Even less often do we get a glimpse behind the scenes of the heartache for athletes in the day-to-day grind of their sport.
Tim Tebow has won the Heisman Trophy, the NCAA football national championship, and one of the most exciting NFL playoff games in history. Tim has also been traded, benched and cut by other NFL teams. During these times, Tim has learned to rely on his bedrock faith. And in Shaken we get to hear the lessons he’s learned, and to discover the truth behind an important Bible verse (from which the name of the book comes): I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).
Shaken isn’t all about Tim. He is refreshingly transparent to share with us about his struggles and the lessons he’s learned, but he also shares with us the overcoming stories of some other amazing people—folks who wouldn’t normally be in the spotlight. And in so doing, Tim shows us that each and every one of us has immeasurable value to God, that tragedies don’t have to shake our world, but that we can use even the difficult times to lean into God and to do great things for Him.
My level of respect for Tim Tebow, and the way he uses his notoriety for God’s glory, has risen again after reading this book. For anyone who is looking for a way to make sense of the hard things in life, Shaken will be an eye-opening, heart-changing book.
I am a Waterbrook book reviewer.
(By the way, Tim’s first book—Through My Eyes—is also an excellent read!)
In The Shadow Of An Agony, Oswald Chambers explores how we should process the hard events of our lives which seem to totally rock our neat and orderly world. Check out my book review by clicking here, and then enjoy a few quotes from this book.
“If Jesus Christ were only a martyr, His Cross would be of no significance; but if the Cross of Jesus Christ is the expression of the secret heart of God, the lever by which God lifts back the human race to what it was designed to be, then there is a new attitude to things.”
“The agony of a man’s affliction is often necessary to put him into the right mood to face the fundamental things of life. The Psalmist says, ‘Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now I have kept Thy Word.’ The Bible is full of the fact that there has to be an approach to the holy ground. If I am not willing to be lifted up, it is no use talking about the higher heights. … No man can do wrong in his heart and see right afterwards. If I am going to approach the holy ground, I must get into the right frame of mind—the excellency of a broken heart.”
“Jesus Christ did not come to give us pretty ideas of God, or sympathy with ourselves; He came from a holy God to enable men, by the sheer power of His Redemption, to become holy.”
“No man is the same after an agony; he is either better or worse, and the agony of a man’s experience is nearly always the first thing that opens his mind to understand the need of Redemption worked out by Jesus Christ.”
“The attitude of the Bible to the human race is not a common-sense one. The Christian aspect deals with the a specimen of a human race which is a magnificent ruin of what it was designed to be. Supposing the view of the Bible to be right, to whom it is it ‘up to’ to right the wrong? The Creator. Has He done it? He has, and He has done it absolutely single-handed. The tremendous revelation of Christianity is not the Fatherhood of God, but the Babyhood of God—God became the weakest thing in His own creation, and in flesh and blood He levered it back to where it was intended to be. No one helped Him; it was done absolutely by God manifest in human flesh. God has undertaken not only to repair the damage, but in Jesus Christ the human race is put in a better condition than when it was originally designed.”
“We have been taken up with creeds and doctrines, and when a man is hit we do not know what to give him; we have no Jesus Christ, we have only theology. For one man who can introduce another to Jesus Christ by the way he lives and by the atmosphere of his life, there are a thousand who can only talk jargon about Him.”
“The New Testament view of a saint is a more rugged type. You and I are a mixture of dust and Deity, and God takes that sordid human stuff and turns it into a saint by Regeneration. A saint does not mean a man who has not enough sin to be bad, but a man who has received from Jesus Christ a new heredity that turns him into another man.”
“Our guide as to what emotions we are going to allow is this—What will be the logical outcome of this emotion? If it has to do with sin and satan, then grip it on the threshold of your mind and allow it no more way. You have no business to harbor an emotion the outcome of which you can see to be bad; if it is an emotion to be generous, then be generous, or the emotion will react and make you a selfish brute.”
“When I receive the Spirit of God, I am lifted not out of reason, but into touch with the infinite Reason of God.”
“Any fool will give up wrongdoing and the devil, if he knows how to do it; but it takes a man in love with Jesus Christ to give up the best he has for Him.”
“Churchianity is an organization; Christianity is an organism. Organization is an enormous benefit until it is mistaken for the life.”
“The stupendous difference between the religion of Jesus Christ and every other religion under heaven is that His religion is one which brings help to the bottom of hell, not a religion that can deal only with what is fine and pure.”
Every Thursday I share a section of the current Oswald Chambers book I am reading, in a series called “Thursdays With Oswald.” If you would like to be notified when these posts go live, just enter your email address in the box on the right, and then click “Sign me up!”