The Dangerous Duty of Delight, chapter 5 (part 2)

Pursue your Joy in the Joy of the Beloved

If you've not yet been able to get a copy of the book (eBook available here for $7), then you can read chapter 5 here. 

A lifetime of finding joy in God sounds like one of mystical serenity; unmoved by the pain, tragedy, loss and suffering of others. The second half of chapter 5 explains how seeking our highest pleasures in God does not insulate and isolate us from pain here and now. Instead, our joy in God is pursued through the challenges and hurt of a fallen world and broken people.

Piper directs our attention to Jesus, and his motivation as he anticipate the horrors of the cross.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1b-3

The greatest labour of love that ever happened was possible because Jesus pursued the greatest imaginable joy, namely, the joy of being exalted to God’s right hand in the assembly of a redeemed people. For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross!

Christian Hedonism is utterly committed to loving like Jesus. We do not presume to live by motives greater than the ones he lived by. What hinders love in the world today? Is it that we are all trying to please ourselves? No! It is because we are all too easily pleased.

John Piper, The Dangerous Duty of Delight, p45

For your consideration and prayer

  • In the midst of the challenges of your current situation (whatever you perceive them to be), what is the joy that has been set before you?
  • If you find yourself in a particularly difficult situation, take some time to write out the content of that ‘joy set before you’ in your journal.
  • How might that joy sustain and motivate you through your current situation?

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