In preparation for this Sunday’s message in Romans 8:18-25, I’m re-reading Larry Crabb’s book, Shattered Dreams. One theme he deals with is how suffering produces a new hunger for God, who is the source of true soul satisfaction and eternal joy. Here is a challenging excerpt:
“If we are satisfied with good health, responsible children, enjoyable marriages, close friendships, interesting jobs, and successful ministries, we will never hunger for [God]. We will never worship. I’ve come to believe that only broken people truly worship. Unbroken people—happy folks who enjoy their blessings more than the Blesser—say thanks to God the way a shopper thanks a clerk.”
A recurring theme I am working through that fits with this quote is how, when I face hardship, I need to know that God is not working against me, but in me—working a deeper satisfaction in Him that will lead to a greater joy. After all, Psalm 16:11 says, “In the presence of God is the fullness of joy.”
What Crabb is getting at is that sometimes God will strip away lesser joys in order for us to experience the greater and ultimate joy, which is to know the presence, power, love and grace of God as Abba, Father.
What do you think? Does this resonate with you? Challenge you? Encourage you?