Tag Archives: John Piper

Preferring Righteousness

You can’t lose when you turn to God. … The way to fight lust is to feed faith with the precious and magnificent promise that the pure in heart will see, face to face, the all-satisfying God of glory.

The challenge before us … is not merely to do what God says because He is God, but to desire what God says because He is glorious. The challenge is not merely to pursue righteousness, but to prefer righteousness. The challenge is to get up in the morning and prayerfully meditate on the Scriptures until we experience “joy and peace in believing” the “precious and magnificent promises” of God (Romans 15:13; 2 Peter 1:4). As faith in future grace satisfies us with the joy set before us, the biblical demand for purity of heart will not be burdensome (1 John 5:3), and the power of lust will be broken. Its deceitful compensation will appear too brief and too shallow to lure us in. – John Piper, Future Grace

Quest for Maximum Joy

When faith has the upper hand in my heart I am satisfied with Christ and his promises. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “He who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). When my thirst for joy and meaning and passion are satisfied by the presence and promises of Christ, the power of sin is broken. We do not yield to the offer of sandwich meat when we can small the steak sizzling on the grill.

The fight of faith against lust is the fight to stay satisfied with God. … “Faith is not content with “fleeting pleasures.” It is ravenous for joy. … Faith will not be sidetracked into sin. It will not give up so easily in its quest for maximum joy. – John Piper, Future Grace

Love of Money vs Faith in Grace

All the sinful states of our hearts are owing to unbelief in God’s super-abounding future grace. All our sin comes from failing to be satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus. Misplaced shame, anxiety, despondency, covetousness, lust bitterness, impatience, pride — these are all sprouts from the root of unbelief in the promises of God.

… the heart that loves money is a heart that pins its hopes, and pursues its pleasures, and puts its trust in what human resources can offer. So the love of money is virtually the same as faith in money — belief (trust, confidence, assurance) that money will meet your needs and make you happy. Love of money is the alternative to faith in future grace. It is faith in future human resources. Therefore the love of money, or trust in money, is the underside of unbelief in the promises of God. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and mammon.” You can’t trust in God and in money at the same time. Belief in one is unbelief in the other. A heart that loves money — banks on money for happiness — is not banking on the future grace of God for satisfaction. – John Piper, Future Grace

Worn Out for God

David Brainerd, the young missionary to the American Indians from 250 years ago, struggled painfully and valiantly with the loss of joy. His journal is still encouraging people today.

Sunday, December 16, 1744. “Was so overwhelmed with dejection that I knew not how to live: I longed for death exceedingly: My soul was ‘sunk in deep waters,’ and ‘the floods’ were ready to ‘drown me’: I was so much oppressed that my soul was in a kind of horror.”

But he never stopped fighting the fight. And again and again the joy was restored for his short life of 29 years.

April 17, 1747. “O I longer to fill the remaining moments all for God! Though my body was so feeble, and wearied with preaching and much private conversation, yet I wanted to sit up all night to do something for God. To God the giver of these refreshments, be glory forever and ever; Amen.”

February 21, 1746. “My soul was refreshed and comforted, and I could not but bless God, who had enabled me in some good measure to be faithful in the day past. Oh, how sweet it is to be spent and worn out for God!”

By John Piper, Future Grace

The Difference between Two Skydivers

Two Skydivers
Photo reposted from: rgbculture.com

Picture two skydivers. They are both free-falling. Their speed is the same. They both seem to be free. They are not entangled in any cords. They are not restrained by any safety wires. They are as free as birds – it seems. But there is one crucial difference: only one of them has a parachute.

Does this change the sense of freedom that they enjoy? Yes. Both are free to full with gravity, but only one of them is free not to. The other is a slave to gravity, and gravity will kill him in the end. If he can somehow deny that he has no parachute he might be able to have an exhilarating experience. But if he realizes he is doomed he will be enslaved through fear during his entire fall, and all the joy of this so-called freedom will vanish. He must either deny the reality (which will mean slavery to illusion), or succumb to fear (which will mean slavery to terror), or be rescued by someone with a parachute.

So it is in this world. Apart from Christ, we are subject to slavery all our lives through fear of death. – John Piper, Future Grace

God’s Grace Glorified

The Lord gives grace and glory … O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in Thee! (Psalm 84:11-12)

He exults in the blessedness of the person who trust in the God of all grace. We need to let it sink in that grace is not only gotten by faith, but glorified by faith. This doubles our blessing in being people who trust in God. On the one hand, we long for the blessings of God’s future grace, and they come to us by faith. But on the other hand, we long for God’s grace to be glorified in our lives, and this too comes by faith. Faith receives the goodness of future grace, and faith reflect the glory of future grace. It is a double wonder. These two things are not at odds — our receiving the joy and God getting the glory. O, how this should set our hearts on a passionate quest to trust God hour by hour for all the need — for God’s sake! Every moment of faith is a tribute to his grace.

By John Piper, in Future Grace

Living by Faith … in Cars?

fancy car

Very little in our culture encourages us to live by faith every hour of the day. On the contrary, billboards, radio, television, newspapers and magazines mount a relentless appeal for us to look away from Jesus as the source of our hourly strength and guidance. We are told that cars will work for us and food will work for us and clothes will work for us. They will supply not just transportation and nourishment and covering, but more importantly, they promise that they will also meet the longings of the heart for attention and power and excitement and esteem.

If you and I are to live by faith in the hourly fellowship and performance of Jesus on our behalf, we need to set our minds steadfastly — starting now — to consciously think of him and look to him and trust his promise: “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you … I am with you always, even to the end of the age … I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand … (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20; Isiah 41:10).

I encourage you to join me in forming spiritual habits of hourly looking to Jesus for the fulfillment of promises like this.

– John Piper, The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in Future Grace