Desiring God by John Piper

“Just as our joy is based on the promise that God is strong enough and wise enough to make all things work together for our good, so God’s joy is based on the same sovereign control: He makes all things work together for His glory. 

“I am God, and here is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

“The purpose of God cannot be frustrated; there is none like God. If a purpose of God came to naught, it would imply that there is a power greater than God’s.” (p.33)

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It’s an interesting question, what brings God joy? Things that bring me joy are usually unexpected things, or at least things I’ve not experienced yet. When I get home after work and walk through the door and my daughter runs up to me with her arms up saying “Daddy!” That brings me so much joy. She’s excited to see me. But that’s something that happens to me. God does not necessarily experience things. He’s writing it all. It’s all within His sovereign control. Nothing surprises Him. Nothing “occurs” to Him. And it’s this glorifying narrative that brings God joy. Like a master craftsman looks back on His handiwork and says, “this is good.” God is an artist that is satisfied with His work.

God’s joy comes from bringing Himself glory. When He made the universe, He looked back and said that it was good. He has an admiration for His own creation. And why not? This may seem narcissistic but whose work should God admire but His own? He makes all things work together for His glory. 

God will accomplish His purpose. He is a God who gets what He wants and what He wants is good, because it glorifies Him. The purpose of the universe, especially when it comes to man, is not about us living “our best life now,” or merely our health, wealth, and prosperity. As Piper will state alter, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. God will accomplish this in the lives of His people. 

If God wants something to happen, there’s no way that it cannot happen. This is especially encouraging for the Christian. Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Christians often think that we can be out of God’s will for our lives, or that we can even thwart His plans. But the truth is, if it happens then it was His will, for our good and for His glory.

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