Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The happiness of God

As I woke this morning, tired and sore, tired from getting to be after midnight and sore from an hour and a half of pick-up hockey, I fought to clear my mind and focus my energies on waking up. I began to prepare my mind for a day of work; always tougher after playing hockey the night before. I had some coffee, oatmeal, and toast, and sat down to get a post up on the blog. I opened God Is The Gospel to find something I uplifting and edifying. In the pre-dawn stupor and fogginess of my mind, I read this:
Imagine being able to enjoy what is infinitely enjoyable with
unbounded energy and passion forever.(102)
Considering my mental and physical state, this statement grabbed my attention. My, that type of enjoyment does sound wonderful. In this chapter of his book, Piper explains one of the grounds for God's joy and happiness:
The happiness of God is first and foremost a happiness in his Son. Thus when we share in the happiness of God, we share in the very pleasure that the Father has in the Son. Ultimately this is what makes the gospel good news. It opens the way for us to see and savor the glory of Christ. And when we reach that ultimate goal we will find ourselves savoring the Son with the very happiness that the Father has in the Son. (101)
This is Piper's starting point for the joy he asks us to imagine in the statement that caught my attention this morning. Infinite enjoyment and pleasure and happiness is only possible if the object of that joy is infinite, namely, Jesus Christ. Even in my morning grogginess of brain and body that sounds enticing. Piper goes on,
If God’s pleasure in the Son becomes our pleasure, then the object of our pleasure, Jesus, will be inexhaustible in personal worth. He will never become boring or disappointing or frustrating. No greater treasure can be conceived than the very Son of God. Moreover, our ability to savor this inexhaustible treasure will not be limited by human weaknesses. We will enjoy the Son of God with the very enjoyment of his omnipotently happy Father. God’s delight in his Son will be in us, and it will be ours. And this will never end, because neither the Father nor the Son ever ends. Their love for each other will be our love for them, and therefore our loving them will never die.

This is the ultimate reason why the gospel is good news. If this does not come true for Christ’s people, there is no good news. Therefore, preaching the good news must endeavor to lead people to this. We must make plain to people that if their hope stops short of seeing and savoring the glory of God in Christ, they are not fixing their hearts on the main thing and the best thing Christ died to accomplish—seeing and savoring the glory of God in the face of Christ with everlasting and ever-increasing joy. (102)

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