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In Any Circumstance, No Matter What You Feel

“In the world you now inhabit, communion with Me is not defined by an experience of Me. Nor does it depend on blessings from Me.

To really live is to release My Son’s life through yours, in any circumstance, no matter what you feel; to relate as He related, giving when no one gives back, loving when no one returns love, forgiving when no one deserves forgiveness, suffering in the place of those who suffer.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, God’s Love Letters to You, Page 71

Questions for Reflection:
• How might your celebration of Christ’s birth change if your focus is not on experiencing His felt presence or visible blessings during the Advent season but rather on revealing Him to others?
• What would communion with Him entail for you if you spend time during the holidays with people who are a challenge to love?

Everything Would Be As It Should Be

“…My work of hope reaches into the center of your soul to strengthen your character and deepen your resolve in any circumstances of life.

I gave advance notice that My Son would come; that He would be hated and killed; that what His killers meant for evil, I meant for good; that I would then open the eyes of those I invite to the party to realize what they did in killing My Son; that I would meet them in their brokenness with a cleansing fountain; that I would then set My Son on the throne of this world, and everything would be as it should be.

Live in hope!”

Dr. Larry Crabb, God’s Love Letters to You, Page 56

Questions for Reflection:
• What sure hope has God guaranteed for us?
• How does His promise differ from the way we usually think of hope?

My Son’s Mission

“My Son’s mission was to change your life, to bring you into My kingdom of love by forgiving your self-worshipping rebellion that keeps you falling short of My way and by empowering you to bring My kingdom near to others. He never intended to keep you visibly good and pleasantly happy until heaven.

He came to reveal My nature for your sake and to change your nature for Mine.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, God’s Love Letters to You, Page 62

Questions for Reflection:
• How does Jesus’ mission in coming to earth collide with your expectations?
• In what ways does God’s plan promise something far greater than the dreams for which we often settle?

Your Agonizing Brokenness Will Be Transformed

“The joy I offer grows in the soil of emptiness and brokenness.  In My Spirit’s hands, your felt emptiness will become a consuming thirst to know My Son.  Your agonizing brokenness over the ongoing corruption in your soul will transform into overwhelming gratitude for My Son’s forgiveness.  It is empty and broken people who at the same time are thirsty and grateful who discover the power to live in ways they never thought possible.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 268

Questions for Reflection:
• What stirs in you – fear, longing, hope – as you ponder the thought that the joy God gives grows out of emptiness and brokenness?
• In what ways have emptiness and brokenness, thirst and gratitude opened your heart more deeply to the life of God?

Full Abandonment, Real Trust

“We will not encounter Christ as our best friend, as the source of all true goodness, as the One who provides the sweetest pleasure to our souls, until we abandon ourselves to Him. And full abandonment, real trust, rarely happens until we meet God in the midst of shattered dreams, until in our brokenness we see in Him the only and overflowingly sufficient answer to our soul’s deepest cry.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 172-173

Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas of your life are you holding on to other things, perhaps good things, as your source of goodness and pleasure in ways that keep you from abandoning yourself to Christ?
• What freedom might result in your life and what power might be released to others if you embrace Christ as your greatest treasure?
• Would you be willing today to ask God to reveal Himself to you as “the only and overflowingly sufficient answer to [your] soul’s deepest cry”?

The Most Passionate Yearning Of Your Heart

“When you realize that your desire for God is the most passionate yearning of your heart, you’re in the spiritual condition to recognize God’s hand when He makes it visible.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 88

Questions for Reflection:
• Do you recall a time when you were deeply aware that your desire for God was the most passionate yearning of your heart?
• What were the circumstances that stirred your hunger for Him?
• In what ways did you encounter His faithfulness during that time?
• Spend some time today offering your heart to Him anew and asking that He open your eyes to His presence and purposes.

Be Encouraged That It Bothers You

“If you’re seeking God in the middle of shattered dreams, if you’ve become aware of your desire for Him but are having trouble finding Him, be encouraged that it bothers you. The more you’re bothered by not finding Him, the more aware you’re becoming of how badly you want Him. Abandon yourself to God. Let the Cross bring you confidence that He is with you and will reveal Himself to you.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 88

Questions for Reflection:
• Take a moment to quiet your heart before the Lord.
• Share with God your longing or lack of longing for Him.
• What do you want to ask Him to do in your heart today?

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