- We want God to change situations. God wants us to change in them. We want relief. God wants repentance. We want happiness. God wants holiness. We want pleasure. God wants piety (p 15).
- We want God’s plan so we can trust the plan. God hides the plan so we will trust him. So we will wait on him (p 18).
- Because Jacob refused all comfort in his wailing, he had no one who could speak into the real reasons for his grief…Jacob permitted no one around him the freedom to be honest (p 48).
- God made us to hunger. The pangs we feel in life comes from his original design. He also created, along with that need, what we require to satisfy the hunger. some pangs are true needs, others are godly desires, and still others are just flat-out misdirected lusts. At times, the burning we feel can make it seem impossible to tell the difference between lust and longing. But this much we can know for certain: whatever our hunger, each of our pangs finds its origin – and its solution – in God’s design (p 58).
- There is a huge difference between waiting on God’s blessings and waiting on God. We may feel it’s the same, but it isn’t (p 62).
- Never stand toe-to-toe against sexual temptation. That’s too close. Your rare earth magnet will snap together in a fatal attraction. Don’t try to analyze how safe you are. God’s Word has already done that for you and gives you a simple, understandable command: run for your life! Or perhaps we could say for the sake of your life. With sexual temptation, you face a threat that will not only rob your innocence but also rape your mind with memories you’ll regret for the rest of your life – God’s forgiveness not withstanding. Ask anybody you know who has crossed the line. It’s never worth it (p 72).
- You may experience some days in life when you really, really don’t think you can hold out. The weight of disappointment feels far heavier and more real than the promise of God that lies beyond it. Enduring a difficult situation seems impossible until you realize you only have to make it through the day. Then tomorrow, through that day…Do this one day at a time, and you’ll wake up one day with the reality that you’ve endured a difficult situation for five, ten, even fifty years. Some people call that ridiculous. Crazy. A waste of life. God calls it perseverance (pp 115-116).
- Our walk with God is not an appointment we keep each day – and then move on – like climbing the rungs of a ladder. Instead, our time with him forms the foundation that supports all we do. We stand on it. We build on it. We don’t climb past it (p 125).
- There’s an important distinction between becoming a weaker person and becoming more aware of one’s weaknesses. One is regression and the other maturation (p 147).
- When we try to escape the struggle God has us in, we only run to another struggle…When we run, God merely changes his agent of change. Any other situation we chase will only reveal the same weakness in our hearts (p 150).
- God gives you room to take care of the problem before the problem overwhelms you. If you’ve been given space to repent, you’ll do one of two things: you’ll either use it wisely by taking action while you can, or you’ll make the common mistake of mistaking space for repentance as permission to continue. That’s easy to do, because we tend to be consequence-driven. when we get away with something once, we’re inclined to think we’ll get away with it indefinitely (p 151).
- But I’ve discovered that entering the “what-ifs” room gives a person nowhere to stand. That kind of thinking comes to nothing, like searching for a flicker of a light in a yawning black cavern. What-ifs only intensify grief and invite blame-shifting (p 157).
- Sometimes, either willfully or unintentionally, we withhold forgiveness because it represents the one part of the situation we think we can control. Or we’ll refuse to forgive as a kind of payback to our offender. But in truth, unforgiveness gives more misery to us than to anyone else. Significant depression results from this choice. With good reason, the Bible commands us, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:26-27). The wounds we have suffered at the hands of others hurt us deeply, but God can heal those wounds through forgiveness and time (p 187).
- Although our feelings are real, they may not represent reality. And even if what we feel does have some connection to reality, it never reflects all of reality. There’s always more God sees that we cannot see. We view life from a limited perspective, so we need to resist the assumption that because we feel something strongly, it must be true. True feelings don’t equate with truth (p 229).
- If we could see life from God’s perspective, we would realize the obedient way is the best way. the path of obedience always leads to the life we want because it always follows the big picture God sees. we need to make it a habit to evaluate our feelings through the grid of God’s Word. We should always ask ourselves, What does the Bible say about this decision? What is the obedient way? And what should we do when there is a contradiction between our heart and the Bible?
We should betray our feelings. We mustn’t follow our heart. Remember Jeremiah’s question…”The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). On the contrary, we should trust in the Lord with all our heart and never lean on our own understanding (see Prov. 3:5-6).