“When God commands you to praise him, he is not an egomaniac. He is love. Because he is calling you to bring your joy to completion — to consummation. God is infinitely enjoyable. Praise is the consummation of that joy. Therefore, God’s command to praise him is a summons to our full and everlasting happiness.” John Piper
Many Christians are being taught that the “joy of the Lord” is not something to be pursued, but is a gift they should already have and experience simply by virtue of their faith in Christ. They’re told, “If you’re not experiencing this joy, something is wrong.”
What little comfort for the Christian who is depressed, or suffering with sadness, grief or disillusionment.
Life on this side of heaven is hard, and filled with suffering. Rather than seek comfort in worldly pleasures and panaceas which never satisfy for long, one of God’s greatest gifts to us as we long for our heavenly home is the experience of heavenly joy here and now.
In the following sermon, John Piper — who has spoken openly about his bouts with depression — tells the wonderful story of his own journey to joy, and what he discovered not only about God, but about God’s desire for us. I hope you will be encouraged!
Do you prefer the written word? You can read the entire transcript of “How God Made Me Happy in Him” on the Desiring God website.
Joyful in Hope,