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Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Pathway to Joy Paperback – April 16, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

If God loves me, why does life hurt so much?

"A new way to live is available to us," writes widely respected author and counselor Larry Crabb, "a way that leads to a joy-filled encounter with Christ, to a life-arousing community with others, and to a powerful transformation of our interior worlds that makes us more like Jesus."
You'll see how God moves you from shattered dreams to better dreams to the highest dream– and the joy that comes from dreaming it.

This is a book that will...
draw you to your closest Friend,
help you discover your deepest
spiritual desires,
point you to your greatest hope,
help you face your deepest pain,
and invite you to your highest joy.

Join Larry Crabb on a life-changing adventure of encountering God in the midst of life's most difficult times. And learn to live beyond your Shattered Dreams.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Dr. Larry Crabb is the founder of New Way Ministries and a best-selling author, counselor, and psychologist who is known internationally not only through his many books, but also as a leading seminar and conference speaker for the past two decades. Some of his landmark books include Inside Out, Finding God, The Marriage Builder, and Connecting. He has been a professor at Colorado Christian University since 1989 and has also taught at Regent College, Grace Theological Seminary, and the University of Illinois. He had a private practice in clinical psychology for ten years. Larry and his wife, Rachael, have two sons and two grandchildren and live in Denver, Colorado.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (April 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578565065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578565061
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Larry Crabb is a well-known psychologist, seminar speaker, Bible teacher, author, and founder/director of NewWay Ministries. In addition to various speaking and teaching opportunities, Dr. Crabb offers a week-long School of Spiritual Direction and a weekend conference, Life on the Narrow Road. He is also Scholar in Residence at Colorado Christian University and serves as Spiritual Director for the American Association of Christian Counselors. His many popular books include Inside Out, Finding God, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, The PAPA Prayer, Soul Talk, and his life work, 66 Love Letters. For additional information visit

Customer Reviews

Regardless of if life is wonderful or painful, I'd recommend reading this book.
Ruth Johnson
It will explain how living the joyous life of being broken to God is the only way to really experience heaven on earth.
Also, Crabb makes some good points about how we treat people who are going through the agony of shattered dreams.
David T. Wayne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 146 people found the following review helpful By David T. Wayne on June 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
With this book Crabb hopes to start a revolution. I am a little suspicious of anyone who actively tries to start a revolution. It seems to me that the people God used to start revolutions in the Bible wanted anything but to start a revolution. It seems that the main thing that qualifies someone to start a revolution is a reluctance to start said revolution.
Haivng said that, after revolutionaries are touched by God, they must move out. And maybe that is what has happened here - maybe this is the fruit of years of God's preparaiton of Crabb.
This book has some profound insights into the ways of God with man that could revolutionize the way we relate to God. I say "revolutionize" to say that this would change the way we think about God, pray to God and what we expect from God. In saying that, I don't mean to say that our life will suddenly become a bed of roses.
Shattered Dreams would make an interesting companion book to Desiring God by John Piper. Crabb says much the same thing that Piper says - our greatest joy is found in God, not from God. It has been several years since I read Desiring God but my recollection is that Piper seeks to foster our satisfaction in God by motivating us to pursue our pleasure in knowing God. Crabb, on the other hand, demonstrates how God fosters satisfaction and pleasure and passion in Him by stripping away all of the lesser pleasures of this earth.
IMHO the three most helpful insights that this book offers are:
1. The goal is that God be glorified in us, not that He be useful to us. Crabb says that we have taken the "Holy God of Passionate Wrath," and turned Him into the "Helpful God of Useful Principles.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book because my dreams and life have been shattered. Though I have been a Christian for over 30 years I have known the pain of a deeply abusive childhood, then the deep desire to find a soulmate, and the shattered dream of a marriage to a good wife who loves me and whom I love, but with whom there is no connection. The intense pain of loneliness and aloneness, and the deeper pain of knowing one who is a soulmate, but who I cannot, will not run to, has broken me. This book did nto take the pain away, and that is the best part. It is real, not empty cotton candy advice from one who has felt no pain. It asks all the quetions I have asked. Why won't God answer, why does he not hear, where is he when I hurt so bad that my whole personality aches with loneliness?
There are no easy answers here, only real answers that do not deny the real pain and the real suffering while looking into the eyes of a loving Father who wants you to love him more that any easy fix of your life. He calls us to a higher passion that the passion to be at ease, even when the ease would be good and holy.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Crabb has done it again! With every sucessive book he writes, he only gets better in his understanding of the Christian life. In his most recent book, "Shattered Dreams," he reviews the book of Ruth from the perspective of Naomi. Through his delving into Naomi and his understanding of Naomi's shattered dreams of a better life he allows us to understand why God brings suffering into our lives. Dr. Crabb also allows us to understand the struggles we have with our flesh during our suffering and how God uses those struggles to bring about a deep desire within us to glorify Him and become intimate with Him. If you have ever truly, really struggled with trials and tribulations you thought would never end, I would heartily encourage you to first read his previous book, "the Safest Place on Earth" and then immediately afterwards read "Shattered Dreams." These two books will minister to you like you never thought imaginable. They truly will consol and comfort your soul.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Diane Woerner on June 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"More frequently than untested Christians expect, God removes the one source of joy and meaning that we were counting on to make our lives worth living, and replaces it with nothing." This seed of radical insight, buried in Larry Crabb's previous book, "The Safest Place on Earth," matures into full flower in "Shattered Dreams."
The backdrop is Naomi's poignant pilgrimage from bitterness to blessedness, but the substance of his message rises convincingly out of Larry's own encounter with the faithfulness of God. With characteristic clarity, he encourages us to consider that our sufferings, rather than being a sign of God's disfavor, are actually the sole pathway into His presence. In Larry's words, "Only when we discover a desire for Him that is stronger than our desire for relief from pain will we pay the price necessary to find Him."
"Shattered Dreams" draws us into a depth of honesty about ourselves and our experience of God that is startling and compelling. For example, most of us struggle to understand how a God who loves us seems at times to be utterly unresponsive to our pain. Larry suggests there are three ways to deal with this. First, we can stop expecting any help from God and simply cope with life as best we can on our own. Or, we can see our anger at God as being sin, and effectively "smother our souls" by attempting to disregard the hurt.
Or, option three. "Scream and holler until the terror of life so weighs you down that you discover solid ground beneath your feet. The solid ground is not doctrine. It is not merely truth to believe. It is not recommitment and trying harder to believe and do right. It is Him.
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