16 April 2008

Fighting for Joy

Excerpt from John Piper's When I Don't Desire God

(Chapter 3 - The Call to Fight for Joy in God)

Do these two things really go together? Fighting and joy? Fighting sounds so pressured and violent. Joy sounds more relaxed and peaceful. It just seems strange to talk about fighting for joy. You may as well talk about fighting to like hot fudge sundaes. Either you do or you don’t, right? What’s the fight? No, it’s not that simple. Physical tastes like hot fudge vs. caramel are morally neutral. It’s not right or wrong to like the one over the other. But having a spiritual taste for the glory of Christ is not morally neutral. Not to have it is evil and deadly. Not to see and savor Christ is an insult to the beauty and worth of his character. Preferring anything above Christ is the very essence of sin. It must be fought.
Always you renounce a lesser good for a greater; the opposite is
what sin is. . . . The struggle to submit . . . is not a struggle to
submit but a struggle to accept and with passion. I mean, possibly,
with joy. Picture me with my ground teeth stalking joy—
fully armed too as it’s a highly dangerous quest.
F L A N N E R Y O ’ C O N N O R
Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for
your joy.
2 C O R I N T H I A N S 1 : 2 4


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