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This empowering 40-day devotional exceeded my expectations as it fed and nourished my own spiritual walk with sacred, invisible “bread.” When I opened the pages of Bread for the Resistance, I expected it to be a book of devotions focusing on passages and Bible narratives that underscored the importance of biblical justice work. While that would be a good theme for a devotional, this debut by Donna Barber, cofounder of The Voices Project, has a very different emphasis. I thought it would be about the why of the work, not how to sustain oneself while doing the work. Here readers are given daily fuel and sustenance to feed, renew, and root them so that they are well nourished for their Kingdom endeavors, especially those that resist injustice. 

Because justice work, like any ministry endeavor, can be exhausting and disillusioning, Barber offers life-giving words of hope, rekindling courage and strengthening burned-out souls. “When your legs are tired from marching and your knees are bruised from kneeling, you can experience rest and healing.”

Each day, as I read the day’s devotion, I was struck by the freshness and vitality of Barber’s words and her unconventional take on both common and rarely read passages of Scripture.

In a devotional called “Defiance,” based on Psalm 94:16, “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” Barber writes: “Jesus’ entire life was an act of defiance. From the moment of his conception in the womb of a virgin to the day he stepped out of the borrowed tomb, Jesus pushed against the custom and concept of law. In walking through Samaria rather than going around it, when talking with a woman at a well, by healing on the Sabbath, and when laying hands on lepers, he embodied what it meant to defy. … So we too choose to live our lives out of disruption. We resist. We oppose. And we cry. Like our Savior, we dare contest hatred and defy evil. And in resurrection power we stand.”

For anyone who has ever been discouraged and depleted in their ministry calling, Bread for the Journey brings life, healing, and rest. A unique element of this book: There are QR codes throughout the book, with worship songs one can scan on one’s smartphone, songs by Urban Doxology that fit the theme of that particular section. This futuristic feature elevates the work and brings another dimension—music—to Barber’s potent words.

“Eat and may your soul be refreshed, your heart cleansed, your mind renewed and courage restored,” Barber writes. “May you be moved again and again to do justice as you respond first to God and then to the needs of others.” (IVP)

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