The Cross Needs to be the Object of Our Affections

As to the object of your affections, in an especial manner, let it be the cross of Christ, which has exceeding efficacy towards the disappointment of the whole work of indwelling sin: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).  The cross of Christ he [Paul] glorified and rejoiced in’ this his heart was set upon; and these were the effects of it – it crucified the world unto him, made it a dead and undesirable thing.  The baits and pleasures of sin are taken all of them out of the world…If the heart be filled with the cross of Christ, it casts death and undesirableness upon them all; it leaves no seeming beauty, no appearing pleasure or comeliness, in them.  Again, says he, “It crucifies me to the world; makes my heart, my affections, my desires, dead unto any of these things.”  It roots up corrupt lusts and affections, leaves no principle to go forth and make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.  Labor, therefore, to fill your hearts with the cross of Christ…that there may be no room for sin.

– Jonathan Edwards

as quoted byPiper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 106

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To See Superior Glory and Joy

The fight for joy is the fight to see and believe Christ as more to be desired than the promises of sin.  This faith and sight come by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.  We look to the Word, we ponder and we plead with God that the eyes of our hearts would be opened to see the superior glory and joy.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 105

Christianity Would Look Very Different If…

Christianity would look very different in many places if Christians pursued the joy of seeing God with this life-and-death seriousness and felt a deadly urgency in fighting the desires that deceive us and blind us to the all-satisfying glory of God.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 104

The Pursuit is Not for that Which is Profitable, but that Which is Pleasureable

We come with double forces against the wicked, to persuade them to a godly life…The common argument is the profitableness of religion, but alas, the wicked man is not in pursuit of profit; ’tis pleasure he seeks.  Now, then, we will fight with them with their own weapons.

Jonathan Edwards

as quoted byPiper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 103

Self-Control is Another Phrase fo All-Out War

…there is a mean streak to authenticate self-control…Self-control is not for the timid.  When we want to grow in it, not only do we nurture an exuberance for Jesus Christ, we also demand of oursevles a hatred for sin…The only possible attitude toward out-of-control desire is a declaration of all-out war…There is something about war that sharpens the senses…You hear a twig snap or the rustling of leaves and you are in attach mode.  Someone coughs and you are ready to pull the trigger.  Even after days of little or no sleep, war keeps us vigilant.

– Ed Welch

as quoted byPiper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 102

The Bible Leads to More and Lasting Joy

There are many different reasons why the Bible has this joy-producing effect.  I don’t want to minimize this diversity or belittle the range of benefits that the Bible has in our lives – more than any of us realizes.  But I want to stress that ultimately, in and through all its benefits, the Bible leads us to superior and lasting joy because it leads us to Christ, especially to see his glory and enjoy his fellowship.  All the varied benefits are beneficial finally because they show us and bring us more of Christ to enjoy.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 97