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Daily Devotional

September 17

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)

The joy of the Lord is your strength

And above all let us consider the Master for whom we work. Let us remember how He endured and how patient He was, How humdrum His life was; most of His time was spent with ordinary petty people who misunderstood Him. But He went steadfastly on and did not complain. How did He do it? ‘For the joy that was set before him he endured even the cross, despising the shame.’ That is how He did it. It was the joy that was set before Him, He knew about the crowning day that was coming. He saw the harvest that He was going to reap, and, seeing that, He was able not to see these other things but to go through them gloriously and triumphantly. And you and I have the privilege of being like Him. ‘If any man would be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross’—that is it— ‘and follow me.’ We may even have the honour of suffering for His Name. Paul says a most extraordinary thing in writing to the Colossians (chapter 1, verse 24). He says that he is privileged to make up in his own body what remains of the suffering of Christ. What if you and I as Christians are having the same privilege without knowing it? Well, remind yourself of your blessed Master and look to Him and ask Him to forgive you for ever having allowed yourself to be weary. Look at your life again in this way, and as certainly as you do so, you will find that you are filled with a new hope, a new strength, a new power. You will not need your artificial stimulants or anything else, for you will find that you are again thrilled with the privilege and joy of it all, and you will hate yourself for having grumbled and complained, and you will go forward still more gloriously, until eventually you will hear Him saying, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’

Spiritual Depression, pp. 201–2

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