Adopted with permission from The Place of Help by Oswald Chambers (Copyright 1935 Oswald Chambers Publications Association).
The biographies (or autobiographies) of great Christians-Augustine, Wesley, Hudson Taylor-are often held up as encouragements to live a more enduring, committed Christian life. But do these stories of, say, Praying Hyde developing leathery knees or Adoniram Hudson losing children, wife, and health in missionary endeavor bolster us with determination? Or browbeat us into despair? Do great Christians spur us on by their example, or sack our resolve with their untouchable spirituality?
Oswald Chambers, a preacher in England during the first two decades of this century, wrestled with this question. Chambers is best known for his book My Utmost for His Highest, ranked by LEADERSHIP readers a few years ago as their number one devotional resource. This excerpt from Chambers's The Place of Help offers encouragement for those who want to be more like the legendary saints but ...1