Revelation 2:10 says to those who are being thrown into prison for their faith, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” This is very different from the mood of Western Christianity. Here something infinite and eternal hangs on whether these Christians hold fast to the joy of faith whole in prison. But today worship services, Bible studies, prayer meetings and fellowship gatherings in many churches do not have a spirit of earnestness and intensity and fervor and depth because people do not really believe that anything significant is at stake in the fight for joy – least of all their eternal life. The all-important priority seems to be cheerfulness, even jollity.
– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 37-38