Monday, September 17, 2012

Here is how John Piper connects the dots (in commenting on how Jonathan Edwards connected joy & suffering together):

Yes, becoming a Christian adds more trouble to life and brings persecutions, reproaches, suffering, and even death. Yes, there are overwhelming sorrows. But the pursuit of infinite pleasure in God, and the confidence that Christ has purchased it for us, does not contradict these sufferings, but carries them.

By this joy and this hope we are able to suffer on the Calvary road of ministry and missions and love. "For the joy that was set before him" Jesus endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). He fixed his gaze on the completion of his joy. That gaze sustained the greatest act of love that ever was.

The same gaze-the completion of our joy in God-will sustain us as well. The pursuit of that joy doesn't contradict suffering, it carries it. The completion of Christ's great, global mission will demand suffering. Therefore, if you love the nations, pursue this God-entranced vision of all things.

Amen!

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