~ John Piper
I finally finished the first 400 pages of John Piper’s Future Grace. It’s taken a few months. And I still haven’t read the endnotes (which, yes, I feel compelled to read before I can officially put the book back on the shelf). To me, it was not a raking kind of book. It was digging, i.e. work. But the diamonds I found made the digging worthwhile.
“The key to fighting sin is to battle unbelief, and keep the fire of faith in God’s promises red hot. The power of sin is the false promise that it will bring more happiness than holiness will bring. Nobody sins out of duty. Therefore, whatever breaks the power of sin is faith in the true promise that the pleasures of sin are passing and poisonous, but at God’s right hand are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11).”
“Covetousness is desiring something so much that you lose your contentment in God. Or: it’s losing your contentment in God so that you start to seek contentment elsewhere. But this contentment in God is just what faith is. John 6:35 “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes on me shall never thirst.” In other words, what it means to believe in Jesus is to experience him as the satisfaction of my soul’s thirst and my heart’s hunger. Faith is the experience of contentment in Jesus. The fight of faith is the fight to keep your heart contented in Christ—to really believe, and keep on believing, that he will meet every need and satisfy every longing.”
Digging can be sweaty work, but it's a good sweat if there is purpose in it.