6 Truths that Will Lead You to True Joy
- Published Aug 22, 2016
1. God created us for his glory.
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth . . . whom I created for my glory. (Isaiah 43:6-7)
God made us to magnify his greatness—the way telescopes magnify stars. He created us to put his goodness and truth and beauty and wisdom and justice on display. The greatest display of God’s glory comes from deep delight in all that he is. This means that God gets the praise and we get the pleasure. God created us so that he is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
2. Every human should live for God’s glory.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
If God made us for his glory, clearly we should live for his glory. Our duty comes from his design. So our first obligation is to show God’s value by being satisfied with all that he is for us. This is the essence of loving God (Matt. 22:37) and trusting him (1 John 5:3–4) and being thankful to him (Ps. 100:2–4). It is the root of all true obedience, especially loving others (Col. 1:4–5).
3. All of us have failed to glorify God as we should.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
What does it mean to “fall short of the glory of God?” It means that not one of us has trusted and treasured God the way we should. We have not been satisfied with his greatness and walked in his ways. We have sought our satisfaction in other things and have treated them as more valuable than God, which is the essence of idolatry (Rom. 1:21–23). Since sin came into the world, we have all been deeply resistant to having God as our all-satisfying treasure (Eph. 2:3). This is an appalling offense to the greatness of God (Jer. 2:12–13).
4. All of us are subject to God’s just condemnation.
For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
We have all belittled the glory of God. How? By preferring other things above him. By our ingratitude, distrust, and disobedience. So God is just in shutting us out from the enjoyment of his glory forever. “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thess. 1:9).
The word hell is used in the New Testament twelve times—eleven times by Jesus himself. It is not a myth created by dismal and angry preachers. It is a solemn warning from the Son of God who died to deliver sinners from its curse. We ignore it at great risk.
If the Bible stopped here in its analysis of the human condition, we would be doomed to a hopeless future. However, this is not where it stops . . . .
5. God sent his only Son Jesus to provide eternal life and joy.
The good news is that Christ died for sinners like us. And he rose physically from the dead to validate the saving power of his death and to open the gates of eternal life and joy (1 Cor. 15:20). This means God can acquit guilty sinners and still be just (Rom. 3:25–26). “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). Coming home to God is where all deep and lasting satisfaction is found.
6. The benefits purchased by the death of Christ belong to those who repent and trust him.
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out. (Acts 3:19)
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31)
Repent means to turn from all the deceitful promises of sin. Faith means being satisfied with all that God promised to be for us in Jesus. “Whoever believes in me,” Jesus says, “shall never thirst” (John 6:35). We do not earn our salvation. We cannot merit it (Rom. 4:4–5). It is by grace through faith that we are saved (Eph. 2:8–9). It is a free gift (Rom. 3:24).
We will have it if we cherish it enough to receive it and treasure it above all things (Matt. 13:44). When we do that, God’s aim in creation is accomplished: He is glorified in us and we are satisfied in him—forever.
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books, including Don’t Waste Your Life,This Momentary Marriage, Does God Desire All to Be Saved?, and Bloodlines.
Publication date: August 23, 2016