Surprised by Joy

I have been reading CS Lewis’s book “Surprised by Joy” and finding it very interesting and edifying. The book is unabashed in its description of Lewis’s personal life, which is really direct and refreshing. Lewis was one of my favourite childhood authors. I’m happy to say he’s a wonderful read as an adult as well. A beautiful passage ending his book:

But what, in conclusion, of Joy? For that, after all, is what the story has mainly been about. To tell you the truth, the subject has lost nearly all interest for me since I became a Christian. I cannot, indeed, complain, like Wordsworth, that the visionary gleam has passed away. I believe…that the old stab, the old bitter-sweet, has come to me as often and as sharply since my conversion as at any time of my life whatever.

But I now know that the experience, considered as a state of my own mind, had never had the kind of importance I once gave it. It was valuable only as a pointer to something other and outer. While that other was in doubt, the pointer naturally loomed large in my thoughts. When we are lost in the woods the sight of a signpost is a great matter. He who first sees it cries, “Look!” The whole party gathers round and stares. But when we have found the road and are passing signposts every few miles, we shall not stop and stare. They will encourage us and we shall be grateful to the authority that set them up. But we shall not stop and stare, or not much; not on this road, though their pillars are of silver and their lettering of gold. “We would be at Jerusalem.”

Not, of course, that I don’t often catch myself stopping to stare at roadside objects of even less importance.

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What to do when grace departs

I thought I’d write a brief posting on how the Lord Jesus has lead me to cope with a recent dry spiritual spell, as this may help and encourage others going through similar things.

Recently I had a situation where I felt dried up and lacking in faith, it was really quite difficult to push through. Then the Lord brought the following scripture passages to mind, quietly, while I was reading the Bible. He reminded me that steeping myself in the Word of God and prayer is essential – not optional – for maintaining a strong spiritual life. Faith grows from this:

Romans 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

John 15:7-8
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

John 6:35
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:63
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

I hope the above has brought as much strength and comfort to you as it did me. If you ever feel weak in faith, or lacking in spiritual strength, just reflect on the above passages then turn to intense meditation and prayer upon the Word of God. You will grow by the milk of the Word. As it is written:

1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby