Book Report: Enjoy

Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts by Trillia J. Newbell

Relationships. Sex. Work. Rest. Money. Food. Nature. Art. Each intended to be a blessing from a good Father to a grateful heart with the goal of helping us enjoy Him more; each warped by sin but still carrying seeds of redemption. Trillia makes much of the gospel as she explores the various gifts God delights to offer us—and none better than the gift of Himself. As readers work through the simple pleasures found in this world, they end up looking forward to heaven with more excitement than ever. In a culture that teaches our souls to grow either intoxicated by idolizing gifts or stunted by neglecting them, we need permission to echo the Lord’s happy song over the work of His hands: it is good.

Some of my favorite quotes include:

As followers of Christ, we are what I call leaky vessels. We forget to remember that it is the gospel … that enables us to live and enjoy life. The gospel isn’t something we simply hear once and move on from; it should guide our every moment.

In His goodness and grace He holds all things together—ultimately for His glory but also because He delights in what He has made.

I think we mothers do each other a disservice if we pretend that every moment of every day is filled with wonder and excitement and joy. It’s hard. It’s work. It’s good, hard work. This work must be shored up by something other than sentimentalism.

None of God’s good gifts will fulfill our every need, except for one: Himself. Every other gift is icing on the cake.

Having an ambition for the gospel pushes us to do things we never expected … The gospel stokes ambition by making audacious claims upon it.

We must not take ourselves so seriously that we forget the wonder, we forget to delight, we forget the joy of living, and most important, we forget the God who gives it all to us.

At the end of the day, we must look toward eternity for all our satisfaction … Our deepest and greatest treasure must be Christ.

The concept I’ve kept circling back to is this:

We aren’t necessarily after spiritual highs every time we engage God’s Word. If you approach the Word with the mind-set that if you don’t feel something, then you aren’t getting anything from it, you won’t read it. Once you change the focus from yourself to God, it’s not only proper but it’s also freeing. We find joy in Scripture not because it makes us feel good but because it leads us to the One who spoke it into existence.

I found huge encouragement in this truth. As you probably know, we’ve been dwelling on John’s gospel for over a year now. While our study schedule is packed with rich depth and goodness for the soul, I very seldom walk away from my Bible time feeling emotionally stirred. After a few months of no warm fuzzies, a girl can start to wonder, am I doing it wrong? Trillia’s take on the issue reassures me that these regular trips to the well don’t have to overflow in ecstasy to matter on a spiritual level.

Ten journaling questions based on the text:

  • How can legalism creep in when I’m seeking to enjoy God?
  • Which of the three enemies of joy (discontentment, ingratitude, or guilt) most often shows up in my heart?
  • What would happen if I learned to play well?
  • If bitterness has invaded my marriage, what gospel truths do I need to preach to myself about my husband?
  • Upon what have I been resting my current peace and future hope?
  • Where might I need to step up to a challenge rather than hide in my comfort zone?
  • What are specific ways I can glorify God with the work I’m doing currently?
  • How might I cultivate a posture of prayerfulness?
  • What is work for me? What is rest?
  • Which of the “one another” commands in Scripture have been comforting to me lately? challenging?

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