7 More Quotes From “Defiant Joy”

It may sound like an oxymoron—defiant joy—but it’s a powerful combination that Stasi Eldredge unpacks in her book. Check out my full review of Defiant Joy by clicking here. 

“Times of testing can also be times of refining and growth. The counterintuitive truth is that suffering can deepen our hope. It enlarges our hearts so that we can know the love and presence of Jesus in ways that we would not if we did not go through the stretching the process.” 

“The waiting can be hard when you are hungry, but when you know a feast is coming, you know that the waiting won’t last forever. Dear ones, the waiting is not going to last. But there is no shame in being hungry while you wait. … In our waiting God often deepens our hunger as well.” 

“We are alive. And to be alive means that we will feel. We don’t need to deny it, and we don’t need to have it rule us. We dare not marry it to cynicism, and we must not fuel it with fatalism. It is not the end of our reality. It is instead a clue that we are strangers in a strange land. And we are passing through. Sadness touches us all, but God can use it to enhance the beauty and joy of the lives we are living. Sadness can fuel our hope. It can arouse our expectancy.” 

“God displayed His fierce, constant love for us once and for all on the Cross of Calvary. The essence of His heart is no longer up for question. Because of all that Jesus won for us and our choice to receive it, God promises that we actually have nothing to fear.” 

“satan comes to rob us of our joy, our peace, and our connection to and faith in God. He whispers lies to us when we are vulnerable and does his best to warp our perception of our lives with his depressing and evil spin. His endless attacks can wear a person down if they are aware that the perceptions being suggested are coming straight from hell.

“satan is very good at stealing. He’s devoted all his malice to separating us from intimacy with our good Father and the experience of deep joy that comes straight from Jesus’ heart. The evil one uses the circumstances of our lives and of the world to bring discouragement and despair. That is why we must remember that though happiness is rooted in our circumstances, joy is rooted in eternity.” 

“Depth of character doesn’t come easily. It doesn’t come at all to those who refuse to admit the difficulties in their lives are painful. It comes when we fix our gaze on Jesus and the reality that this life is only part of the grand scheme of things.” 

“There is something forged in all of us that can only be forged through fire. Perhaps intense periods of struggle, pain, betrayal, persecution, and rejection are the times when the baptism by fire that Jesus talks about occurs. When we cling to Jesus and proclaim He is good in the midst of the licking flames, our spirits rise in a strength that is proven unshakable, and God is glorified beyond reckoning. Our pain becomes the terrain of God. It becomes sacred.” 

Check out some more quotes I shared from Defiant Joy here.

Even Greater Things

I’m a third-generational Pentecostal. I’ve grown up in the church. Over many years I’ve seen and heard some incredible things.

And yet I’m so hungry for God to do more!

I’ve had an amazing last three years as the pastor of Calvary Assembly of God. We’ve seen God move in awesome ways!

And yet I’m so hungry for God to do more! 

I feel like the prophet Habakkuk who cried out,

Lord, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known. (Habakkuk 3:2)

What God has done in my personal history, and in the history of our church, is nothing compared to what I believe is coming!

You won’t find me standing on the sidelines. I’m not dreaming about “the good ol’ days.”

I’m going to live my life like Jesus taught us. He announced that His ministry was anointed by the Holy Spirit to tell everyone the good news of God’s favor (Luke 4:18-19). And then He lived this out by doing good everywhere He went (Acts 10:38).

Jesus instructed us to conduct our lives the same way (Matthew 28:19-20), living in the anointing of His Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). The same Spirit which anointed Christ Jesus for ministry will anoint your life for ministry!

I am so hungry for God to do more in me … in my church … in Cedar Springs! Like the words of the song say, “Greater things are yet to come!”

Fasting

We’re fasting today.

I believe in this: Prayer + Fasting = Breakthroughs.

Even though this looks like a mathematical formula, it doesn’t work like a formula. Jesus challenged religious people who fasted just because. Jesus was really echoing the words God spoke in Isaiah about religious people simply going through pious acts, but their hearts were still far away from God. They thought God operated on a formula: “If we fast, then God has to….” It doesn’t work that way.

We met together for a time of worship and Bible study last night, and we’ll conclude our fast with corporate prayer this evening. We are focusing on our heart attitude. Not fasting just because or even the pastor asked us to. But fasting because we are hungry for God to move … for Him to break chains … for Him to set people free … for breakthroughs!

I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in us and then through us as we spend this time seeking His heart. Prayer + Fasting = Breakthroughs.

BOGOF

Sometimes to get a point across, the only thing you can do is create a new word. Does anyone remember Rich Hall’s list of sniglets on Saturday Night Live? A list of 20 sniglets is here.

This morning we talked about the Parable of the Talents, where the servants were expected to do something with the talents God had given them. Then Jesus talks about the end of time judgment where we are divided into those who did something for God by addressing human needs, and those who ignored the human needs around them.

How do we remember this? How do we apply it to everyday life?

Then it hit me: we all eat; in fact, most of us eat every day. In order to eat, many of us go to the grocery store. And to help stretch the food budget, we often use coupons. When we get one of those buy-one-get-one-free coupons (a BOGOF), what do we do with the free one? Do we consume it ourselves, or could we give it away? Wouldn’t giving away the free one honor God by helping feed the hungry?

So we created a word — BOGOF — and turned it into a refrigerator magnet. We’re going to do our best to build into our daily lives the habit of loving others by addressing their practical needs.

Why don’t you try it yourself? Maybe you can create your own word too! If you do, please be sure to share it in the comments below.

Feeding Jesus

Even before reading The Hole In Our Gospel this thought has been haunting me — Am I doing all that I can to help the last and the least?

  • Am I speaking up for the one with no voice?
  • Am I looking out for the one who’s been ignored?
  • Am I feeding the physically hungry?
  • Am I feeding the spiritually hungry?
  • Am I representing the cause of the marginalized and ignored?
  • Am I doing this everywhere I can?

Jesus made it quite clear: after my brief life here is over, He’s going to say one of two things to me. Either I took care of the least and the last, or I didn’t. There’s no middle ground. The conversation either sounds like this…

“I was hungry and you fed Me,
I was thirsty and you gave Me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave Me a room,
I was shivering and you gave Me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to Me,” Jesus will say.

“Master,” I will answer, “what are You talking about? When did I ever see You hungry and feed You, thirsty and give You a drink? And when did I ever see You sick or in prison and come to You?”

“Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was Me — you did it to Me.”

Or like this…

“I was hungry and you gave Me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave Me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave Me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited,” Jesus will say.

“Master,” I will answer, “what are You talking about? When did I ever see You hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?”

“Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was Me — you failed to do it to Me.” (My paraphrase of Matthew 25:31-46)

Mother Teresa said that in the faces of the poor whom she served she saw “Christ, in His most distressing disguise.” My prayer is that God will open my eyes. I need to see the poor, the marginalized, the hungry and the suffering through their disguises. That’s Jesus who is poor, ignored and suffering, and it’s up to me to do something about it.

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” — Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision

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