Melissa Kruger is a woman I admire for her wisdom as a ministry leader, writer, wife, and mother. I also am so honored to be her friend, even if it only includes occasional face-to-face meetings every couple of years! I am excited about her new book, In All Things: A Nine-Week Devotional Bible Study on Unshakeable Joy, that releases this week! I hope you will be as encouraged by her as I am! Below is an interview about her new study. Read, be encouraged, and buy the study!
1. 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.
2. What inspired you to write a devotional Bible study on the book of Philippians and Paul’s ministry?
My friend Shanna is a missionary in Prague. She asked me to write some questions on Philippians for her group of women, many who had never studied the Bible before. I was glad to help her and that led me to years of studying, meditating, and enjoying this book. I’m grateful I said “yes” to her request all those years ago—it’s been a personal blessing for me and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share the treasure of God’s Word with other women.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. How has your role as a women’s ministry coordinator and speaker influenced your writing and the way you relate to your readers? Have you noticed a need for more joy in women’s lives?
Being a women’s ministry leader at my church influences everything I write about. I’m not writing to nameless women with imaginary problems, but real women, with whom I’ve wept, laughed, rejoiced, and prayed. I see their faces and remember their stories when I write. It causes me to ask myself: How would I say this if we were sitting down over coffee? What would I want to make sure to clarify? How do we compassionately talk about joy when people are suffering all sorts of difficult trials? All the writing I do is simply an outworking of the ministry I’m doing within the church context. I’m thankful for the opportunity to do both.
6. Where can readers find more information about In All Things?