Familiar, But Never Dull

Joy That Endures


The Christian life is marked by ebbs and flows. Season come and go and everyone experiences periods of winter or drought. What should followers of Christ do to fight through the dullness? Even more, how do we keep our hearts aflame when the circumstances of life grow stale and familiar? Mark Mellinger poses these questions to Alistair Begg who has pastored his church for over three decades. Reflecting on his many years of experience, Alistair offers a vision for holding on to joy in the midst of routine.

Mark Mellinger is the Indiana Public Affairs Director for Bott Radio Network and talk show host for 1090 Today, a radio program that showcases local ministries and encourages Christian living. Alistair Begg is the Senior Pastor of Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio.


Alistair mentioned Jesus as the Suffering Servant being one of the aspects about the Savior that speaks to him most deeply. What aspect or characteristic about Jesus stands out to you? Why? How do His sufferings comfort you in the midst of your own suffering? How do they help you endure?
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What have you found to be the greatest joy of your time in ministry? What has been your greatest difficulty? What has God taught you in each of these?
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Have you experienced "dull" periods in your walk with Christ? How did you face them? What did you learn about your heart as a result? How has this given you a healthier perspective for facing similar feelings in the future?
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Alistair shared that he has learned more in the midst of disappointment and failure than in times of laughter. Have you experienced this to be true? What has God taught you through difficulty and failure? How have you grown in your walk with Christ as a result?
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Alistair also touched on the ways that he fights for humility, namely, through the support of his family and by seeing his successes as gifts from God rather than the result of his own doing. How do you fight for humility in your own walk with Christ? In what ways could you stand to grow in humility? Who can you ask to partner with you in this process for prayer and accountability?
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Familiarity should not dull us towards Christ. Rather, it should enhance our ability to rejoice in Him. When we experience these periods of our walk with the Savior, it's important to trust that God is at work on the attitudes of our hearts. Wherever you find yourself today, know God brings all things together for the good of His children. He uses our dryness, disappointments, and disasters to teach us His sovereignty and compassion along the way.


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