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John Piper – The Gospel Of The Glory Of The Happy God

14 Nov

There is a beautiful phrase in 1 Timothy 1:11 buried beneath the too-familiar surface of Bible buzzwords. Before we dig it up, it sounds like this: “The gospel of the glory of the blessed God.” But after you dig it up, it sounds like this: “The good news of the glory of the happy God.”

A great part of God’s glory is his happiness. It was inconceivable to the apostle Paul that God could be denied infinite joy and still be all-glorious. To be infinitely glorious was to be infinitely happy. He used the phrase, “the glory of the happy God,” because it is a glorious thing for God to be as happy as he is. God’s glory consists much in the fact that he is happy beyond our wildest imagination.

As the great eighteenth-century preacher, Jonathan Edwards, said, “Part of God’s fullness which he communicates, is his happiness. This happiness consists in enjoying and rejoicing in himself; so does also the creature’s happiness.”

And this is the gospel: “The gospel of the glory of the happy God.” It is good news that God is gloriously happy. No one would want to spend eternity with an unhappy God. If God is unhappy then the goal of the gospel is not a happy goal, and that means it would be no gospel at all. But, in fact, Jesus invites us to spend eternity with a happy God when he says, “Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23). Jesus lived and died that his joy—God’s joy—might be in us and our joy might be full (John 15:11; 17:13). Therefore the gospel is “the gospel of the glory of the happy God.”

~John Piper~




The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2000), 24-26

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John Piper – God is Happy and Sovereign

13 Aug

Can you imagine what it would be like if the God who ruled the world were not happy? What if God were given to grumbling and pouting and depression, like some Jack-and-the-beanstalk giant in the sky? What if God were frustrated and despondent and gloomy and dismal and discontented and dejected? Could we join David and say, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1)?

I don’t think so. We would all relate to God like little children who have a frustrated, gloomy, dismal, discontented father. They can’t enjoy him. They can only try not to bother him, or maybe try to work for him to earn some little favor.
Therefore if God is not a happy God, Christian Hedonism has no foundation. For the aim of the Christian Hedonist is to be happy in God, to delight in God, to cherish and enjoy His fellowship and favor. But children cannot enjoy the fellowship of their Father if He is unhappy. Therefore the foundation of Christian Hedonism is the happiness of God.

But the foundation of the happiness of God is the sovereignty of God: “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). If God were not sovereign, if the world He made were out of control, frustrating His design again and again, God would not be happy.

Just as our joy is based on the promise that God is strong enough and wise enough to make all things work together for our good, so God’s joy is based on that same sovereign control: He makes all things work together for His glory.

~John Piper~




Desiring God (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2003) p. 32-33.

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John Piper – Witness-Bearing Pleasure

12 Jun

Our calling here is to fight for joy — ours and the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. The aim is that God’s worth — his infinite desirability — be known and prized and praised in all the world. This is what we mean by God being glorified. He is most glorified in and through his people when we are most satisfied in him. The intensity of our pleasure and our desire bear witness of his worth to the world, especially when we are freed by this (present and hoped for) pleasure to leave the pleasures of this world for a life of sacrifice and love
for others.

~John Piper~




When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2004) p. 29.

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John Piper – A Liberating and Devastating Doctrine

4 Apr

Christian Hedonism is a liberating and a devastating doctrine. It teaches that the value of God shines more brightly in the soul that finds deepest satisfaction in him. Therefore it is liberating because it endorses our inborn desire for joy. And it is devastating because it reveals that no one desires God with the passion he demands.

~John Piper~




When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2004) p. 13.

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John Piper – A Prayer for Your Joy

4 Mar

I pray that you will hear and follow the call to find your joy in all that God promises to be for you in Jesus. And I pray that the expulsive power of this new affection will go on freeing you from the fleeting pleasures of sin and empower you for a life of sacrificial love.

~John Piper~




Future Grace (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2011) p. 15.

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John Piper – Feast on God!

4 Feb

This is the great business of life—to “put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.” I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than to gain a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in God. One of the reasons this book is still “working” after seven- teen years is that this truth simply does not and will not change. God remains gloriously all-satisfying. The human heart remains a ceaseless factory of desires. Sin remains powerfully and suicidally appealing. The battle remains: Where will we drink? Where will we feast? Therefore, Desiring God is still a compelling and urgent message: Feast on God.

~John Piper~




Desiring God (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2003) p. 12.

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John Piper – The Good News of God’s Happiness

20 Sep

It is good news that God is gloriously happy. No one would want to spend eternity with an unhappy God. If God is unhappy then the goal of the gospel is not a happy goal, and that means it would be no gospel at all. But, in fact, Jesus invites us to spend eternity with a happy God when he says, “Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23). Jesus lived and died that his joy–God’s joy– might be in us and our joy might be full (John 15:11; 17:13). Therefore the gospel is “the gospel of the glory of the happy God.”

~John Piper~


The Pleasures of God (Sisters, OR; Multnomah Publishers; 2000) p. 26.

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