Tuesday, March 9, 2010

If You Struggle With Joy, You're Not Alone

A central purpose in my writing this blog has been to encourage Christians who aren't experiencing satisfaction in their relationship with God and to share what has helped me. One of the greatest gifts I've received has been the ministry of John Piper, and one of the chief reasons that he has been a gift is the fact that he is open and humble about his own deep struggles with fighting for joy and satisfaction in God. John Piper is probably best known for writing Desiring God, which makes a compelling case from Scripture that God intends for Christians to be joyful and happy, and that this happiness and joy comes from enjoying God Himself as our treasure. But he has also written this, and for anyone who feels discouraged in trying to find joy or satisfaction, this book is a great kindness. (and you can read both books online for free)

John Piper is absolutely right that our greatest satisfaction and joy comes from God, but there are many difficulties and challenges in life that make it hard for us to enjoy God the way we ought to be able to. I thank God that Piper has also been blessed with the humility to talk transparently about how these struggles affect him, and how he fights through them. If you're not experiencing joy right now, don't lose heart. Seek the Lord and trust His promise that He will be found by those who seek Him, and take encouragement from other believers who share how they face their own battles.

[W]hoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6

The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever!
Psalm 22:26

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart... .

Psalm 119:2

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