Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lessons in faith...

I've been reading Larry Crabb's book 'Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Path to Joy' for awhile now. I've been going slow... not because it's a difficult read, but because it's some pretty heavy stuff to digest. As it says on the back cover, "[Shattered Dreams] is a wise, hopeful, honest, and realistic examination of life's difficulties and tragedies. He (Crabb) wraps insights around the bold story of Naomi and Ruth in the Bible's book of Ruth."

It's not a 'feel-good' book, but it's been really good for my soul to read it. I am thinking of ordering a bunch of copies for people in my church (we've had our share of tragedies). There is also a workbook in the back of this book, and I think it would be great to go through that with a group - though I'm not getting my hopes up.

Anyway, this isn't a review (I may do one later), but I just wanted to jot down something from chapter 17. He gives three lessons on "true faith":
  1. The journey to God will always, at some point, take us through darkness where life makes no sense. Life isn't easy; it's hard, sometimes very hard.
  2. The felt absence of God is a gift to gratefully receive. During those seasons of darkness He is doing His deepest work in us.
  3. Feeling good is not the goal. When we feel bad, we have the opportunity to do battle against the enemy within that keeps us from entering the Presence of God with no greater passion than to glorify Him.

I thought those were some pretty profound (and true) statements. He ended this chapter with a quote from his friend David Shepherd:

Faith, as I am growing to understand it more, is about looking beyond my circumstances to a person. To have faith in better circumstances, even in God creating better circumstances, is not true faith. I want to be the kind of man who can watch every dream go down in flames and still yearn to be intimately involved in kingdom living, intimately involved with my friend the King, and still be willing to take another risk just because it delights Him for me to do so. And my flesh shivers to think about it.

Yeah... that's the kind of person I want to be too. Good stuff.

Peace out; and in.