When it comes to recommendations I’m a broken record. I tend to stick with just a few tried and true resources that I know will lead my heart closer to Christ. Melissa Kruger is one of those resources. You’ve seen me share her articles and teaching videos before, and now I am so excited to share her latest book with you. Take a look at what makes “In All Things” a must-read this year.
Q&A with Melissa B. Kruger, Author of
In All Things: A Nine-Week Devotional Bible Study on Unshakeable Joy
(June 5, 2018; Multnomah)
- Tell us about your new book, In All Things: A Nine-Week Devotional Bible Study on Unshakeable Joy.
I’m truly excited to get to share about In All Things. My hope is that this book will help women study God’s Word on a daily basis, as well as discover truths about joy and contentment that will encourage them and sustain them throughout various seasons of life. To help allow the Bible to be as accessible as possible, we’ve included all the Scripture passages, commentary, and questions together so that busy women can take this book wherever they go and have all they need for their study right there with them.
- Why is the topic of joy important to you?
On the eve of his death, Jesus spoke these words to his disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). Jesus, on the night before he was to suffer the agony of the cross, was concerned about his disciples’ joy. Isn’t that amazing? Our joy—and our fullness of joy—matters to Jesus! Therefore, it’s a topic I want to talk about with others.
- If you could describe a visual image of contentment, what would it look like?
I like to describe a woman standing before the ocean, and she’s desperately thirsty. She mistakenly believes that if she could just take a drink, her thirst would be satisfied. However, we all know that if she drinks ocean water, she will only find herself thirstier still. It’s not that the ocean is a bad thing—it’s actually a good thing. But it was never intended to satisfy our thirst. In contrast, if this woman stood before a spring of water and drank, her thirst would be fully satisfied. To me, that’s an image of contentment: a deep thirst being fully satisfied. Our souls may search for satisfaction in many good things, but we will never find true joy until we find Jesus.
- What made Paul’s joy so different from the happiness we tend to seek? Why are we so tempted to find our significance outside of Jesus?
Paul’s joy was built on the foundation of his salvation. No matter what suffering he might endure, nothing could threaten his status as a child of God. Paul rejoiced because he knew that all of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ and since he had Christ, he was sure to receive all the promises of God. When we forget the amazing news of our salvation and the goodness of our God, we’re tempted to look for joy in other people and places. While many of these things are good, they are temporary. We have an eternal thirst, so we need an eternal source from which to find joy.
- How do you believe Paul’s shift from persecutor to preacher to persecuted influenced his ministry?
We often think of Paul as the “perfect Christian”—the one who never did anything wrong. However, Paul greatly persecuted the Church before his “road to Damascus” conversion story . . . he gave approval to the death of Stephen and arrested men and women because of their faith. Paul’s joy wasn’t because he was perfect, but because he had the perfect Rescuer. Paul’s understanding of his own need of salvation fueled his joy because he realized the greatness of the gift he’d received. His passion for sharing that gift with others flowed from love and thanksgiving, and he was willing to suffer so that the message of the gospel could go to all the world.
- What did you learn about God and about yourself while writing this study?
I learned in new ways the tender love of God for his people. He desires good things for his people, even though sometimes we go through very difficult things. God is always in the process of redeeming and restoring broken lives and broken people, shaping and fashioning us to look like Jesus. He loves us too much to give us the lesser lives we would often choose for ourselves.
For more spring/summer reading, check out:
“For the Love of Discipline: When the Gospel Meets Tantrums and Time-Outs” is a must-read for moms in the trenches. Theology meets practical application in this relatable, personal account of discipline in action. Available on Amazon, P&R Publishing, Westminster Bookstore, and Christian Book Distributors.
“The Gospel-Centered Mom” Bible study is a breath of fresh air for every mom in need of grace – both receiving it for herself, and passing it along to her kids. Written for busy moms by a busy mom, this study meets moms right where they’re at. This book is perfect for a group study or a personal devotional. Available on Amazon and Etsy.