This book is published by Crossway Books and is a collection of articles written by five people. Jerry Bridges, John Piper, John MacArthur, Randy Alcorn and Helen Roseveare each take a turn at addressing the topic of what it means to run the Christian race with endurance or perseverance. Each person represents decades of involvement in Christian ministry. Most, if not all of the writers, should be familiar to the modern Christian. Randy Alcorn is the youngest writer in Stand, “clocking in” at the ripe old age of fifty four. Jerry Bridges began serving on the staff of Navigators when Randy Alcorn was a mere infant so it’s safe to assume he has a thing or two to share about running this life race well.
Each contributor to the book shares enough of their story (some more so than others), their own struggles and triumphs, to assure the reader that they are well-equipped to be discussing the struggles of life. Each admits that we are faced with trials and temptations on a daily basis. The battles we fight and the wars we win and lose can cost us dearly. However, they speak with one voice in saying, “YOU can live as a victorious Christian and remain victorious until the end of your story.”
A quote from John Piper’s father marks the opening of this book in which he stated, “The Lord is more precious to me the older I get.” The reader is then exhorted to life in such a way as to reach the end intending to give God the greatest glory in their life. Basically the idea of the book is to say that as the clock ticks on, we shouldn’t be thinking so much about retiring or hunkering down and living quietly. Rather we should be living for Jesus until the end of our days. We don’t stop running until we hit the tape at the end of the marathon. We press on joyfully so that when we die, God is praised and glorified by a life that was enthusiastically and humbly lived.
I found this book encouraging. Although in someways it comes across as being written by older people for older people, I think it’s a useful book for ages 8 and up. It’s an inspirational book in reminding you that no one’s life is easy but every Christian has the same call on their life – to glorify God and then to enjoy Him forever. It is well-written, well-edited to make the individual articles flow and come together, and is very thought provoking.
My husband and I have thought about the “American dream” of retirement. We know that we aren’t the type to sit still and that not having anything pressing to do isn’t a lifestyle that suits us very well. We do not anticipate a change in our personalities or circumstances. Even knowing that though, I had never thought about the idea of staying busy forever and finding ways that God might want to use me into my “happy golden years”. I’m just a wee pipsqueak right now, I do realize (very much so)! Still I think and I dream and I think this book was helpful in my reevaluating my entire life goal instead of just thinking in terms of Season 1 and Season 2, as if I am a DVD set that can be categorized conveniently. I’m more complex than that and I’m coming to realize that the timeline as I saw it really doesn’t exist.
All in all, this is a great book. I don’t normally go for compilation type reading materials but this was exceptional and I enjoyed it very much for what it had to offer. It is a thinking book. It is inspirational. It is good.
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.