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Blessed Are the Unsatisfied: Finding Spiritual Freedom in an Imperfect World Paperback – February 13, 2018
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"In Blessed Are the Unsatisfied, Amy Simpson considers questions many Christians think about but have been unwilling or unable to openly express. In her personal and engaging style, Amy encourages us to embrace the unsatisfied life because it leads to greater intimacy with the only one who is able to satisfy. A must-read for any believer struggling to live out the 'Christian life.'" (Matthew S. Stanford, author of Grace for the Afflicted)
"In Blessed Are the Unsatisfied, Amy Simpson puts a positive spin on what is usually perceived as a negative state of mind. She avoids making unrealistic promises of full and perfect satisfaction in this fallen world, as some are inclined to do. Instead, she shows how 'unsatisfaction' can motivate us to pursue a deeper relationship with God and with others, to learn, grow, and change ourselves, and to invest our energies in making this world a better place for others. Seems we could all use a little more unsatisfaction." (Carolyn Custis James, author of Half the Church and Malestrom)
"The first emotion I had reading Blessed Are the Unsatisfied was sheer relief. Raised in the church, I've heard a thousand glib assurances that anyone who trusts Jesus for salvation will be completely satisfied and I've despaired a thousand times as I've felt that satisfaction elude me. How freeing to hear that being unsatisfied doesn't mean I'm a defective Christian! The second emotion I felt was hope. Simpson gave me permission to stay hungry for ultimate satisfaction while providing strategies for pursuing the abundant life of which Jesus spoke." (Drew Dyck, senior editor, CTPastors.com, author of Yawning at Tigers)
"The truth is that there are promises of Jesus that are 'here and now, but not yet thoroughly experienced' until we are in heaven. Amy Simpson does an exceptional job of digging deep into God's Word and exposes the truth that we are not completely satisfied in Jesus in this life." (Brad Hoefs, president, Fresh Hope for Mental Health)
About the Author
Amy Simpson is an award-winning writer and the author of numerous books, including Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission and Anxious. She is a former publishing executive who has worked for Tyndale House Publishers, Group Publishing, Gospel Light, Standard Publishing, LifeWay, Focus on the Family, and Christianity Today. She is also a life and leadership coach. Amy has published articles with Christianity Today, Leadership Journal, Today's Christian Woman, Christian Singles, Group magazine, Relevant, Her.meneutics, and others. She holds an English degree from Trinity International University and an MBA from the University of Colorado. She and her husband, Trevor, live in Illinois and have two children.
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One thing that makes this book helpful is how the author shares from her own life the struggle with unsatisfaction. She possesses insight into this issue and how to work toward a better, deeper meaning of life. Included in each chapter are suggestions for things to do to help grow in your faith and how to deal with an area of unsatisfaction.
I found the book to be a blessing as I considered how to think about these issues and work through them. There were several chapters that I read at times when they blended and agreed with sermons at church or other books I am reading to point me to new truths or think about ways to improve my life and faith. I will continue to work through the process over the next couple of months as my small group will be using this book for our weekly discussions for the next 9 weeks. I think my small group, and others who choose to read this book, will resonate with the idea of living an unsatisfied life, and how it can propel us forward to greater growth and work in the world and in our faith.
I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
Blessed Are the Unsatisfied is not specifically about mental illness and the church's mission, but it is inclusive of it and addresses a whole lot more. It is a deeply personal book written by a woman of faith who profoundly feels the spiritual longing that leaves us unsatisfied in this life. Simpson appeals to readers who have been let down by false promises of the world, particularly the false promises of a health, wealth, and prosperity so-called gospel. Being a disciple is not being a passive recipient of what we most want. It is following Christ, often where we don't want to go.
Blessed Are the Unsatisfied may not make you feel better about your faith, but it will help you honestly deal with your feelings about yourself, your world, and your hope. God does not often give us what we want when we want it. Yet, God always gives us what we need when we need it. And in God's own time, we will be discover that our puny satisfactions pale in comparison to the great blessings ahead.
Amy gives us permission to remain disgruntled in all the best ways -- to press deeper into God as a result of our feelings that things are not okay. They are not okay. And God is not the insta-fix to meet our every craving. Instead, our hearts must align with his for the world to be made right once again. She distinguishes between “dissatisfied” and “unsatisfied,” the former leading to negativity and complaint and the latter driving us to go after God. In the counseling arena we call this “distress tolerance,” something sorely needed for our spiritual lives if we are going to not only make it but thrive as we walk towards heaven.
This book is both comforting and inspiring, and I believe it is a prophetic word for our hearts. If you long for your eternal home but don’t want to let that stop you from finding meaning here and now, this book is for you. With practical exercises at the end of each chapter and a discussion guide, you can take your time to work through this book slowly with a friend or two. The settledness of your soul may very well depend on it.