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 Joy and Strength Archives (updated 7/23/12)

Welcome to the archives page of the classic devotional series, Joy
and Strength.  If you miss reading it on my home page, I will have the
last five days posted here.  Please feel free to leave feedback comments
on any of them that are an especial encouragement to you.

God bless you!


Classics: Joy and Strength

July 22, 2012
The Acceptance of the Divine
Compiled by Mary Wilder Tileston

I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will
lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make
darkness light before them, and crooked things straight.
These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

WHEN over dizzy heights we go,
One soft hand blinds our eyes,
The other leads us, safe and slow,
O Love of God most wise!

THE simple thought of a life which is to be the unfolding of
a Divine plan is too beautiful, too captivating, to suffer one
indifferent or heedless moment. Living in this manner, every turn
of your experience will be a discovery to you of God, every change
a token of His fatherly counsel. Whatever obscurity, darkness, trial,
suffering, falls upon you; your defeats, losses, injuries; your outward
state, employment, relations; what seems hard, unaccountable, severe,
or, as nature might say, vexatious--all these you will see are parts
or constitutive elements in God's beautiful and good plan for you, and,
as such, are to be accepted with a smile. Take your burdens, and troubles,
and losses, and wrongs, if come they must and will, as your opportunities,
knowing that God has girded you for greater things than these.


Classics: Joy and Strength

July 18, 2012
Prepared for Great Sacrifice
Compiled by Mary Wilder Tileston

By love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in
one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
A MAN who habitually pleases himself will become continually more
selfish and sordid, even among the most noble and beautiful conditions
which nature, history, or art can furnish; and, on the other hand, any
one who will try each day to live for the sake of others, will grow more
and more gracious in thought and bearing, however dull and even squalid
may be the outward circumstances of his soul's probation.

It is the habit of making sacrifices in small things that enables us for
making them in great, when it is asked of us. Temper, love of preeminence,
bodily indulgence, the quick retort, the sharp irony,--in checking these
let us find our cross and carry it. Or, when the moment comes for some
really great service, the heart will be petrified for it, and the blinded
eyes will not see the occasion of love.


Classics: Joy and Strength

July 17, 2012
Praise the Lord Now
Compiled by Mary Wilder Tileston

For to-day the Lord will appear unto you.

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

DO not let your growth in holiness depend upon surrounding circumstances,
but rather constrain those circumstances to minister to your growth.
Beware of looking onward, or out of the present in any way, for the
sanctification of your life. The only thing you can really control is
the present--the actual moment that is passing by. Sanctify that from
hour to hour, and you sanctify your whole life; but brood over the past,
or project yourself into the future, and you will lose all. The little
act of obedience, love, self-restraint, meekness, patience, devotion,
offered to you actually, is all you can do now, and if you neglect that
to fret about something else at a distance, you lose your real opportunity
of serving God. A moment's silence, when some irritating words are said by
another, may stem a very small thing; yet at that moment it is your one
duty, your one way of serving and pleasing God, and if you break it, you
have lost your opportunity.


Classics: Joy and Strength

July 16, 2012
The Lord Will Do All
Compiled by Mary Wilder Tileston

Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah
is everlasting strength.

COME, children, let us go!
Our Father is our guide;
And when the way grows steep and dark,
He journeys at our side.
Our spirits He would cheer,
The sunshine of His love
Revives and helps us as we rove,
Ah, blest our lot e'en here!

WE are living out these lives of ours too much apart from God.
We toil on dismally, as if the making or the marring of our
destinies rested wholly with ourselves. It is not so. We are
not the lonely, orphaned creatures we let ourselves suppose
ourselves to be. The earth, rolling on its way through space,
does not go unattended. The Maker and Controller of it is with
it, and around it, and upon it. He is with us here and now. He
knows us infinitely more thoroughly than we know ourselves. He
loves us better than we have ever dared to believe could be possible.

Some of us believe that God is all mighty, and may do all; and that
He is all wisdom, and can do all; but that He is all love, and will
do all, there we fail.


Classics: Joy and Strength

July 14, 2012
Inward Home
Compiled by Mary Wilder Tileston

In Thy presence is fulness of joy.
PSALMS 16:11

My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
EXODUS 33:14

O REST of rests! O peace serene, eternal!
Thou ever livest, and Thou changest never;
And in the secret of Thy presence dwelleth
Fulness of joy, for ever and for ever.

I HAVE no home, until I am in the realized presence of God. This
holy presence is my inward home, and, until I experience it, I am
a homeless wanderer, a straying sheep in a waste howling wilderness.
Heaven consists in nothing else than walking, abiding, resting in the
Divine Presence. There are souls who enter into this heaven before leaving
the body. If thou believest that thy God, found, felt, and rested in, is
heaven, why not, under the gracious help which He vouchsafes to thee in His
Son, begin at once to discipline and qualify thy soul for this heaven? If
this be thy chief good, why turn away from it, as though it were a thing not
to be desired? If it be the very end of thy being, the only right, good, and
blessed end, why postpone thy qualification for it, as though it were a bitter
necessity? Suffer thy soul, so noble in its origin, to be withdrawn from dust,
noise, multitudes, vain treasures, and vain pleasures, to find its sweetness
and fulness in God.

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