Monday, October 15, 2007

John Piper on Joy (surprising that)

“Therefore, the joy [Jesus] demands now is not chipper. It is not joy-lite. It is not superficial or marked with levity. This is the mistake of too many people and too many churches. They think that Jesus’ demand for joy is a demand to tell jokes or weave slapstick into Christian corporate life. I don’t smell the Jerusalem-bound Jesus in that atmosphere. Something has gone wrong.

“What’s wrong is that the aroma of suffering is missing. For Jesus the demand for joy is a way to live with suffering and to outlast suffering. Therefore, this joy is serious. It’s the kind you fight for by cutting off your hand (Matt. 5:30) and selling your possessions (Matt. 13:44) and carrying a cross with Jesus to Calvary (Matt. 10:38-39). It has scars. It sings happy songs with tears. It remembers the dark hours and knows that more are coming. The road to heaven is a hard road, but it is not joyless."

(from What Jesus Demands from the World)

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