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Waiting For God Isn’t A Passive Thing

“To wait for God means to wrap ourselves around him. It isn’t a passive thing. We confess our unworthiness, our inadequacy, our self-centeredness, our lack of trust, our fallenness. But we keep going to him.

Dr. Larry Crabb, SoulTalk, Chapter 10 “Know That You Have Something to Say,” pg 136

Questions for Reflection:
• In what unresolved areas of your life have you numbed out rather than continuing to wait on God?
• What changes in how you approach God would be involved for you to cling actively to Him?

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Suffering Is Inevitable As We Await Eternal Perfect Joy

“God is love and God is holy. He is the God of holy love, the God whose love never compromises His holiness and whose holiness never trivializes His love. It is this God who tells a story that requires us to tremble, because He cannot and will not allow true disciples to be satisfied with less than the depths of His holy love. Suffering is inevitable in order to combat premature contentment with a comfortably blessed life. God can and will do a good work in us that empowers us to patiently endure life’s difficulties He does not prevent as we wait eagerly for the eternity of perfect joy He promised.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “Final Comments,” pg 228

Questions for Reflection:
• When injustice or other suffering is unrelenting, how do you draw near to God rather than numbing out or pulling away from Him?
• Although suffering is an inevitable part of life in a fallen world, does the knowledge that God works good in and for us in the midst of suffering give purpose to how you endure pain and how you engage God amid loss?
• Take some time to share your heart honestly with God today. If you can embrace enduring the hard things you’re facing as part of becoming like Jesus, thank God for that hope. However, if you feel crushed by the burden you’re facing, pour that out in His presence as well, trusting that His love can hold onto you even when you’re too overwhelmed to draw near to Him.

Why Doesn’t God Step in More Often?

This is a digital feature article in the current issue of Outreach Magazine regarding Larry Crabb’s newly released book When God’s Ways Make No Sense! Read the Outreach article at the following link: “Why Doesn’t God Step in More Often?”

Only Then…

“Only as immature faith yields to trust in God’s unthwarted sovereignty will we welcome suffering and value the deeper good of knowing God through it. Only then can we rest in hope and enjoy His sovereign love.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, Chapter 16, “What Does It Mean to Say God is Sovereign?” pg 205

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways does immature faith masquerade as confidence in God?
• How does a genuine confidence in God that includes valuing what He accomplishes amid suffering differ from quietly hopeless resignation or martyred posturing?
• What is God giving you the opportunity to trust Him with today?
• Is your trust marked by both honest conversation with Him and a willingness to see and respond with His heart to the needs of those around you?
• How does the opportunity to draw near to and reveal God in every situation in life provide rest amid the circumstances that most rock your world?

In All That Makes Us Tremble

“In all that makes us tremble, we can trust that God is doing us good.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, Chapter 16, “What Does It Mean to Say God Is Sovereign?” pg 205

Questions for Reflection:
• What has been causing you to tremble this week?
• Take some time to read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ final week leading up to His resurrection.
• How do you relate to expectations and shock that the disciples experienced during that time?
• As you read, ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fresh vision of the ways that your current struggle was and continues to be impacted by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Love Well Now, Like Jesus

“Only when we give up our expectation that God will satisfy us with heaven before we get there (our inconsolable longing) will we discover our passionate desire to love well now, like Jesus (our consolable longing).”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, Chapter 13, “The Consolable Longing,” pg 162

Questions for Reflection:
• Is God’s promise of abundant life that transforms you into Jesus’ likeness a source of joy for you or a cause of frustration?
• Do you find yourself at odds with Him, demanding that He provide the kind of comfort and ease that only heaven can provide?
• Is that frustration something you bring to Him, or do you attempt to justify or manage it on your own?
• Take some time to offer that tension to the Lord, and ask Him to attune you to His shared life which offers hope amidst all that you face today.

Beyond An Easy-To-Maintain Faith

“Only when life hauls us beyond an easy-to-maintain faith that God is good will we discover a Spirit-granted faith that keeps us steady during life’s earthquakes.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, Chapter 8, “Hands-Off but Present (And Still in Control)?” pg 107

Questions for Reflection:
• What life experiences have propelled you “beyond an easy-to-maintain faith that God is good”?
• How did the way you relate to God change as a result?
• What factors – Scripture, the experience itself, the impact of others, a clearer view of your own heart, etc – played the most significant role in those changes?
• Do you think those changes in the nature of your faith are good or are you struggling to believe that an anchoring, Spirit-produced faith can result from your situation?
• Take some time today to ponder Romans 15:13 and to invite the Holy Spirit to deepen His hope in your heart.