In August-September 2011, John Piper is in Australia to preach at a number of events hosted by KCC. This blog series, 5 Reasons to Rejoice in Persecution, is taken from his article “Suffering: The Sacrifice of Christian Hedonism” which is featured in Voice of the Martyrs book “The Triumphant Church”.
The Calvary road with Jesus is not a joyless road. It is a painful one, but it is a profoundly happy one.
When we choose the fleeting pleasures of comfort and security over the sacrifices and sufferings of missions and evangelism and ministry and love, we choose against joy. We reject the spring whose waters never fail (Isaiah 58:11).
The happiest people in the world are the people who experience the mystery of “Christ in them, the hope of glory” (Colossian 1:27), satisfying their deep longings and freeing them to extend the afflictions of Christ through their own suffering to the world.
God is calling us to live for the sake of Christ and to do that through suffering. Christ chose suffering; it didn’t just happen to Him. He chose it as the way to create and perfect the church. Now He calls us to choose suffering. That is, He calls us to take up our cross and follow Him on the Calvary road and deny ourselves and make sacrifices for the sake of ministering to the church and presenting His sufferings to the world .
Will You Rejoice?
It’s pretty easy to read about rejoicing in persecution, but it can be tough to live it out and rejoice when we find life difficult. So how can we apply this to our lives? What can we do with what we’ve learned?
Here are two simple things you can do this week:
1. Pray for persecuted Christians, that they will rejoice in persecution.
2. Rejoice: when something doesn’t go as planned this week, when there’s some small (or large) disappointment, when life seems really tough, remember what God has done for you. Remember your great reward in heaven. And rejoice!
Tip: write the word “Rejoice!” somewhere you will see it, and remember to do it this week!
All of John Piper’s sermons, books, articles and other resources are available for free at DesiringGod.com
- 5 Reasons to Rejoice in Persecution
- Your Reward is Great
- Persecution Deepens Assurance
- Persecution Leads to Glory
- Others See the Worth of Christ