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Always.

“Shattered dreams are the prelude to joy. Always. In the middle of our pain, God is working for our joy. At some point, He works in ways we can see.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 72

Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas of your life today is it difficult to believe that joy could ever be restored?
• Does the thought that shattered dreams are a necessary precursor to joy strengthen your endurance?
• Take some time to write down any ways that you can see God at work.
• Share your heart with Him about the pain that remains unresolved.

You Long To Be Part of MY Plan

“In the deepest part of your soul, you long more than anything else to be a part of My plan, to further My kingdom, to know Me and please Me and enjoy Me.  I will satisfy that longing.  You have the power to represent Me well no matter what happens in you life.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 43

Questions for Reflection:
• Is there anything currently making it difficult to believe that your deepest longings are only satisfied in your relationship with Jesus?
• In what areas are you feeling powerless to represent Christ well in your present circumstances?
• Present yourself, with those unmet desires and felt weaknesses, to the Lord today in prayer and ask Him to reveal Himself to you in the midst of them.

The Branch Must Draw Life From The Vine

“A recognized desire for God exposes our idolatry and sets us on a better path.  But only a fulfilled desire for God provides the power to consistently resist the lure of lesser pleasures and to stay anchored in Christ when life’s storms rage. The branch must draw life from the vine or it withers and dies.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 91

Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas of your life are you most tempted to live from your own resources and expect God to bless your efforts?
• When you live conscious that He alone is your source of life, how are your choices and relationships impacted?

The Only Cure For Addiction

“The only cure for addiction is the gospel. We will not find the power to resist the pull toward lesser desires until we discover a more powerful desire that we long to fulfill, a desire the Spirit creates within our hearts when the Father forgives us. We must discover our desire for God.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Pages 90-91

Questions for Reflection:
• What lesser desires do you pursue when you feel empty?
• As you ponder the cross and the heart of God for you, what desires rise?
• How does that stirred desire for God impact your battle with areas of recurrent sin?

The Love I Have Planted In Your Heart Can Never Be Destroyed

“You will be irresistibly drawn to My love and able to give it to others when you discover in your own experience that the love I have planted in your heart can never be destroyed by rejection, betrayal, criticism, or any other form of unlove you receive.  True love reveals itself as the strongest of all passions when your impulse to hate those who hurt you is fully felt….When I told Hosea to bring back to his home the woman who had thrown the sharpest daggers into his heart, he caught sight of the kind of love I pour out on My adulterous people.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 141

Questions for Reflection:

• Can you remember a time when, in the midst of pain and anger over another’s sin, you also experienced a deep desire for their redemption?
• What brought about the shift in your perspective?

Understanding The Nature of True Love

“No one understands the nature of true love without feeling the agony of betrayal and the hatred it releases.  Only then will the true nature of love reveal itself beneath the hurt and anger.  Real love, the only kind capable of building enduringly rich relationships among fallen people, draws its passion from the character of the one who loves, not the one loved.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 140-141

Questions for Reflection:

• What opportunities for growing in love might be present amid pain you’re experiencing because of another’s failure?
• Ponder the love of God expressed to us through the cross.   If your love for another is not based on the other’s character but on the life of Christ at work within you, what kind of holy passion do you long to offer the one who has injured you?

It Causes Great Delight!

“Spiritual friends see a facet of Christ in us and bring it out as no one else can….When they see what is unique about us, it causes them great delight; and then, giving way to the powers of daring imagination, they envision what we could become. The vision excites them – with Paul, they see us where we are and feel pains of labor till Christ is formed in us (Gal. 4:19).”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, Page 172

Questions for Reflection:
• What role has a vision for God’s glory played in your conversations today?
• How might you delight in the Spirit’s work in the life of a friend who is still struggling deeply?

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