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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?

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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.

Larry Crabb On Focus on the Family July 30-31

Larry’s going to be on the Focus on the Family broadcast speaking on “Trusting God When We Don’t Understand His Ways,” scheduled to air Monday-Tuesday, July 30-31, 2018.

Here are the links for the broadcasts:

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast/trusting-god-when-we-dont-understand-his-ways-pt1

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast/trusting-god-when-we-dont-understand-his-ways-pt2

Trusting God When We Don’t Understand His Ways (Part 1 of 2)

When He Seems Most Distant

“God is never more near to us than when He seems most distant from us.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, Chapter 7, “A Hands-Off God?” pg 97

Questions for Reflection:
• Do you remember times in your life during which you felt abandoned by God but that you now look back on and see His hand at work in your life?
• If the times when God appears silent and detached are actually the seasons when He’s doing His deepest work in you, how does that change your perception of His seeming distance?
• What opportunity for worship are you being given today in the parts of your life that don’t make sense to you?
• Although it’s easy to withdraw from God when He appears unconcerned with the pain we long to escape, honestly share your heart with Him today and then offer Him your willingness to wait before Him with an open heart for the gifts that can only come through silence.

Even When God Seems Distant

“Trust that leads us toward joy is rooted in truth that no one naturally believes, the truth that our supreme good is the enjoyment of God as He is, not as we might wish Him to be. Even when God seems distant, unresponsive, and indifferent to our pain, wise trust is confident that He is doing us good, the good of doing what must be done to draw self-centered, proud people closer to Himself.

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, Chapter 5, “Trembling” pg 93

Questions for Reflection:
• What is your heart’s response to the statement that “our supreme good is the enjoyment of God as He is,” and how does that belief reveal itself in your life?
• When do you most experience dissonance between God as He is and God as you wish Him to be?
• Is the way you typically approach God when you’re struggling with His seeming unresponsiveness marked by openness and honesty?
• In what ways can that tension between your desire and Who God is, coupled with authentic trust in God’s goodness, offer a unique opportunity for worship and deeper joy?