If Only: Finding Contentment in the Face of Lack and Longing – Jennie Pollock

If Only Jennie Pollock
If Only: Finding Contentment in the Face of Lack and Longing by Jennie Pollock
Published by Good Book Company on November 1, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
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Life doesn't always go the way we hope it will. Whether it's singleness, childlessness or some other big disappointment, it's hard to be content when life lets us down.

Author Jennie Pollock knows what it's like to feel discontent. With warmth and honesty, she answers common doubts that arise when life doesn't go the way we had hoped: Is God good? Is he enough? Is he worth it?

She walks readers through the process of taking our eyes off the things we wish we had and instead enjoying the character of the God we do have--a God who is good, who meets all our needs, and whose promises are worth the wait.

Drawing on encouragements from the Bible and the stories of others, this book helps readers to trust in God's plan for their lives and enjoy true contentment through a genuine conviction that Jesus is better than even our most keenly-felt hopes and longings for this life.

In If Only, Jennie Pollock encourages Christians to find contentment within their hard circumstances, knowing that God is with them, loves them, and has their good in mind. To illustrate this, she shares her personal story of coming to terms with her singleness, showing her perspective changed over time as she delved deeper into her relationship with God. She also shares stories at the end of each chapter from different individuals or couples who also have stories about finding contentment in difficult situations. This book is a short, simple read, and is full of solid teaching and gentle encouragement.

Pollock emphasizes that even when we desire good things, if we are unable to live without them, then our longings are a barrier between us and God. She explores what the Bible has to say about different common questions, such as “Is God good?” and “Is God worth it?”, and pushes back against the works-righteousness idea that we can earn or demand God’s blessings because of our own good behavior. She also shares practical advice for issues like avoiding the comparison trap, dealing with temptation, and engaging with the family of God even when you feel isolated and discontent.

Many books like this conclude with the author’s happy ending, suggesting that if you surrender to God, your dreams will also come true. However, Pollock is still unmarried, and this gives the book additional power, showing that ongoing contentment in the midst of unfulfilled desires is truly possible. If Only: Finding Contentment in the Face of Lack and Longing is a great book for any Christian struggling to feel satisfied with life, and even though this book has a feminine cover design, the content and messages are completely applicable to men as well.