About a month or so ago I received a free sample copy of a small book from Bibles for America entitled “A Life of Forbearance but without Anxiety” written by Witness Lee. They asked me if I would read it and review it before its release in May. I replied that I would be happy to since I’ve always received tremendous help from the writings of Witness Lee and his co-worker, Watchman Nee. This book, or more like booklet, is short (consisting of only 7 chapters) and is actually taken from some spoken messages Lee gave on the book of Philippians. For the past month this little booklet has been everywhere with me – on my nightstand, in my gym bag, in the diaper bag. I’ve enjoyed reading through it, praying over it, and quoting it to friends.
These seven chapters unpack the last chapter of the book of Philippians, especially two verses (4:5-6) in which the apostle Paul tells us to “let our forbearance be known to all men” and “in nothing be anxious.” Lee makes it wonderfully clear from the Word that not only is it possible and normal for us as believers to live a life full of forbearance without anxiety, but even more, that it is God’s charge to us. He states very simply but profoundly that anxiety is the totality of human life, whether it’s anxiety related to our marriage, families, children, jobs, etc., and no human being is exempt from it. But just as anxiety is the totality of the human life, forbearance is the totality of the Christian life. What is forbearance? It’s simply Christ in us as an all-fitting virtue and to live a life of forbearance is to live Christ as the one who is reasonable and suitable in every situation. So while God might assign certain circumstances, and even sufferings to us, He never assigns anxiety to us. If we realize that those circumstances and sufferings are for our perfecting and transformation, and if we would come to the Lord in everything, as Paul encouraged us to do, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, then it is fully possible for us to live a human life as a Christian without anxiety. How marvelous is that?
I think anyone would receive help and encouragement from this book, whether you’re a new believer or have been a Christian for a long time. Let’s face it, we all deal with anxiety though it may be in different degrees. Lee’s words are a reminder from God’s word that an anxious life is not the kind of life we’ve been called to. I love how the chapters are peppered with real life examples and experiences that we can all relate to and is full of practical help for our daily life.
The book will be available starting May 5th. Go here to order a copy for yourself and maybe one for a friend! You won’t regret it!