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Posts Tagged ‘joy’

A few months ago, John Piper paid a visit to Park Street Church in Boston as part of their bicentenial celebration.  I often listen to the sermons at Park Street during my commute to work (indeed, said sermons, in conjunction with the Mars Hill Audio Journal, are among the short list of things that make my commute tolerable).  Piper preached a two part sermon that centered around what is arguably one of the cornerstones of his ministry:  Joy.  Specifically, Piper’s thesis is that God is most exalted and glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.  Similarly, our greatest joy is found in God, so God’s frequent call to worship, adore and love Him is the most loving thing God could do, because God is the greatest good in the universe, and we find maximum satisfaction when we’re satisfied with Him.  Even more, as we fervently pursue maximum joy in life (as we ought), that works out as an unselfish, loving joy that blesses others.  (Piper develops this very well in his sermons, as well as his other writings (e.g., The Dangerous Duty of Delight), so please don’t take my three sentence paraphrase as doing any justice to this powerful message.)

While I thoroughly agree with Piper, I often struggle with what it looks like for our satisfaction to rest in God.  I’m reminded of a Simpsons episode wherein Lisa saw a sign advertising the works of Australian actor Yahoo Serious.  The sign reads “Yahoo Serious Film Festival.”  Lisa remarks, “I know those words, but that sign makes no sense.”  Well, ditto.  I know the words “find your satisfaction in God,” but I struggle with what it actually means.

How does finding satisfaction in God make itself manifest in our lives?  What does it actually look like?  Piper offers answers here, and I have some thoughts myself.  However, I wanted to try a more interactive post, and throw the question out to our reader(s).  What does that mean to you?  How do you find satisfaction in God?  How is God the wellspring of your joy?  Is it a mental exercise?  An intellectual recognition of who He is and what He’s done?  Is it spontaneous praise when you experience some wonder of His creation?

To make matters worse, how does one keep satisfaction in the Creator separate from satisfaction with creation?  I am indeed filled with love and joy when I look into my son’s eyes, or share a special moment with my wife, but am I misplacing this satisfaction in creation and not the Creator?  Am I loving the painting but not the Painter?

I eagerly await your thoughts and comments, and hopefully through our interaction we can flush out these questions some more.  Interaction for mutual edification is one of the goals of this website, so let’s not be shy and give it a go!

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