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When his first son was born, Jason Hague had glowing expectations of fatherhood. But when the boy regressed into the distant, wordless world of severe autism, those hopes were crushed.

As Jason walked through the barren land of unanswered prayer, he discovered that he was not alone—so many in the church today are overwhelmed with pain and doubt. We think our faith is supposed to guarantee us a sense of emotional stability, even in the midst of soul-crushing circumstances; but by avoiding the brokenness inside ourselves, we end up missing the beauty of a God at work deep within us.

Aching Joy is a road map for anyone facing a difficult, unresolved situation. We can embrace both the sorrow and beauty of the land of unanswered prayer in order to find renewed hope in the greatness of God and the expectation of good.

The goal of Aching Joy is not to see the silver lining in the midst of our hardships but to encourage us to follow the example of Christ, who entered fully into both the joy and the sorrow of human experiences with confidence that His Father’s eternal kingdom would outlast and outshine them. When we open our hearts to the restoration that only Christ can perform, we will begin to find a deeper gladness that has no veneer and wears no mask. We will find a joy in the midst of the aching.

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