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What’s Your Basis For Joy and Meaning In This World?

“God went to great lengths to insure our eternal wholeness and joy. But we dishonor His love when we take on the responsibility to arrange our experience of personal well-being, to look to the good things of life and good treatment from others as the basis for our joy and meaning in this world. His call is clear. We are to entrust our well-being to God while we live to reveal Him to others by the way we relate as men and women.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Fully Alive, Page 195

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways have you been focused on arranging life for your own sense of well-being?
• Is there something specific that God is asking you to release to Him, to allow Him to care for you as only He can?
• What makes it difficult for you to trust God’s heart for you?
• Take some time to confess the ways you cling to a life you can manage on your own terms.
• Thank Him for the fulness of His provision for you, with all of the freedom and rest He offers!

Treasure Comfort Or Safety Above God Himself?

“We cannot count on God to protect us from suffering of any kind or measure. The worst evil can happen to the best Christian. but we can count on God to enable us to draw near to Him whatever happens and, eventually, to experience deep joy when we do.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Pressure’s Off, Page 195

Questions for Reflection:
•In what areas of your life are you more focused on relief of pain or pressure than you are on drawing near to God?
•In which relationships are you more focused on protecting yourself than you are on giving God the joy of having you reveal Him to another?
•Take a few minutes to ask God to forgive you for the ways you’ve treasured comfort or safety above God Himself.

Only God Has The Life Our Souls Desperately Need

“…It’s in the pain that we discover our desire for God, and it’s in the frustration of that desire that we come to realize how sturdy it is. We face the truth that there is no other answer. To whom else shall we go? Moving toward anything else we might desire is idolatry and foolishness. Only God has the life our souls desperately need. We come to really believe that.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 86

Questions for Reflection:
• What currently has you feeling empty or frustrated with your life?
• How might that emptiness or frustration actually further God’s purpose of deepening your hunger for Him?
• In what ways is your confidence in God being strengthened right now, without a change in your circumstances?

Finding Joy In Unfulfilled Desire

“Our generation has lost the concept of finding joy in unfulfilled desire. We no longer know what it means to hope. We want what we want now. Unsatisfied desire has become to us like a bad toothache that justifiably demands quick relief at any cost. It was meant to be road sign pointing us on to a better place.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 85

Questions for Reflection:
• Consider a current frustration or loss in your life.
• In what ways are you responding to it with a demand for immediate relief?
• How might it instead be an opportunity to deepen your joy and hope in God Himself?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a vision of what He desires to do within you and in those around you through this difficulty.

Following My Ways

“It hurts Me to see My people chase after a lesser good than knowing Me. It disturbs Me to watch them follow so-called proven methods to make good things happen and to value those managerial methods more than the holy and self-denying relating that pleases Me no matter what happens….Following My ways will lead you through trouble and emptiness to real laughter, to the laughter that only persons in holy relationship can enjoy.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 40

Questions for Reflection:
•Take some time to ponder the history of your relationship with Jesus.
•When have you been most satisfied with Him?
•In what areas do you have most difficulty trusting Him amidst uncertainty?
•In what ways have blessing or loss deepened your hunger for knowing Jesus?
•What opportunities do you have right now to bring delight to His heart?
•Spend some time thanking Him for His faithfulness, and live today attuned for the eternal joy that is coming.

Where You Will Never Hurt Again

“The beauty of grace frees you to reveal that same beauty – never perfectly but substantially – in the way you relate, especially to people who hurt, disappoint, betray, or assault you.  The yet-to-be-revealed beauty of glory–-if you have the faith to wait in the light of hope–will sustain you in relating well with the certain prospect of dancing in a community where everyone moves in rhythm with perfect love, where you will never hurt again.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 302-303

Questions for Reflection:
• Take a moment to think of a way you’ve experienced God’s grace today.
• What opportunities are you being offered to give others a taste of the grace you’ve received?

Joy That Nothing Else Can Bring

“My Son has set you free to love, to believe I am good and that the good story I am telling is unfolding under His control. Faith in Me and hope for tomorrow frees you to love today. And loving with divine power releases a kind of joy into your soul that nothing else can bring.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 259

Questions for Reflection:
• What sources of comfort or satisfaction do you typically pursue when life is hard and relationships are tense?
• Does that source of comfort or satisfaction strengthen or undermine your opportunity to live in God’s story in a way that brings Him joy?
• How would you like to express your love for Jesus today, amid the challenges you face and the relationships that are wearying?

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