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When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight For Joy [Kindle Edition]

John Piper
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

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Book Description

We all want to experience liberating, love-producing, risk-taking satisfaction in God. But the reality is that we often struggle to find, and hold onto, true and lasting joy—even when we have embraced the good news of God’s grace. So we face a crucial question: What should I do when I don’t desire God?

John Piper aims to help us find joy in Jesus that is so deep and so strong that it frees us from bondage to comfort and security, and impels us to live merciful and missional lives. Written with the radical hope that all Christians would experience the fullness of life in Christ, this book will help you fight for joy daily by leading you to rediscover the soul-satisfying glory of God.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?

Product Details

  • File Size: 1462 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books; Redesign edition (September 21, 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,915 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
150 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piper at His Best and Most Practical January 11, 2005
This is John Piper's best book of the last several years, which builds on (but doesn't repeat, contrary to one review) the foundations laid in Desiring God: The Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. Because the supreme duty of every follower of Jesus is to glorify God (1 Cor 10:31) and because praise on the lips divorced from delight in the heart is hypocrisy (Matthew 15:8), nothing is more important than having a heart that is so satisfied in Jesus that it can say, "Whom have I heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire beside You" (Psalm 73:25). And since sustaining that kind of desire for God is a fight, John Piper served us well by writing this helpful book.

Chapter One is entitled, "Why I Wrote This Book." From the outset Piper makes clear that "the fight for joy in Christ is not a fight to soften the cushion of Western comforts. It is a fight to live a life of self-sacrificing love." (p. 20). This is no health/wealth/prosperity handbook to grabbing as much joy in this life as possible. It is a field-manual for the believer who is dead earnest about not wasting his life on trivialities.

Chapter Two, "What is the Difference Between Desire and Delight," far from playing fast and loose in defining words, is a helpful exploration of "affections." Drawing on C. S. Lewis's "Surprised by Joy," Piper demonstrates that desire and delight are different though related, with God the all-important object of both. His discussion is laden with Scripture and his use of language wise.

Chapter Three, "The Call to Fight for Joy in God," is a serious look at God's demand that we delight in Him. Delight in God is serious because the essence of evil is to choose broken cisterns over the Fountain of Living Water (Jer. 2:13).
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397 of 435 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Word of Warning About Piper's Emphasis June 21, 2005
This is a general comment on Piper's books and ministry. I deeply appreciate the work of John Piper--especially his emphasis on missions and on living God-centered, Christ-exalting lives of worship. And I am Augustinian, so I love Piper's theology and am thrilled that he has become so popular. But I do want to provide a warning. Piper's main emphasis is (and you'll read this over and over again) "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied (or delighted) in Him." This is a biblical and wonderful proposition that Piper became aware of through the writings of Jonathan Edwards. And to Edwards, this was one small part of his theology.

But Piper has taken this idea, which he calls "Christian Hedonism," and built his whole life and ministry around it. The problem is that if you read enough Piper, you will begin to focus on the FEELING of being delighted in Christ, rather than on Christ Himself. And when your feelings don't match what you want them to be, you will become disheartened. (And let's face it, few of us have the emotional intensity of John Piper.) At that point, your feelings (of being delighted in God) become the object of your desires and, thus, an idol. Yes, they are feelings TOWARD God--but those feelings are NOT GOD. And when the focus of your life has become your emotions, it has deceptively become an idol.

I know Piper fights against this tendency. But I'm afraid he is often unsuccessful. The fact is, the Christian life is not going to be one of unending joy in God. Read the Psalms to see how often the psalmists cry out in agony and desperation and sadness to the Lord. Read Romans 7 to find out how tough and discouraging the Christian life can really be.

According to Piper, our happiness in God should be the driving motivation in our life.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope! December 28, 2004
If you've ever been frustrated by Piper's heralding statement "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him" because of your dissatisfaction in God, then this book begins to answer your frustrations. Piper has taken the most common protests and frustrations with Christian Hedonism and systematically answered these concerns with Scriptural exhortation upon Scriptural exhortation. Here is a quote from the book that really impacted me: "Make and trust a blind idol, and you become blind (Psalm 135:15-18). Apply that principle to the modern world, and think of the idols of our own day. What do we make and what do we trust? Things. Toys. Technology. And so our hearts and our affections are formed by these things. They compress the void in our heart into shapes like toys. The result is that we are easily moved and excited by things-computers, cars, appliances, entertainment media. They seem to fit the shapes in our hearts. They feel good in the tiny spaces that have made. But in this readiness to receive pleasure from things, we are ill-shaped for Christ. He seems unreal, unattractive. The eyes of our hearts grow dull."
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piper at his best! November 22, 2005
Piper is one of my favorite authors. I have also heard every sermon he has on available for audio on his website. I've heard and read a lot of his work. He says he really only has one message and that is "To seek and spread a passion for the glory of Christ to the joy of all peoples." This book is a new view on that. I've owned this book for a while and prayed that God would let me read this when it would affect me most. He did just that. I pray that would be your prayer as well. When that happens, God will make His Name sweet in your heart and beautiful on your lips. If you are struggling with your desire for God, first go to Him in prayer. Than go to His Word. Then go to your pastor, your family, and friends. Then read this book. God will reach you in your time of struggle and in your time of blessing. In Job 1:21, right after hearing of all the troubles the LORD brought on him, Job proclaimed, "Naked I came into this world and naked I will return. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, may the Name of the Lord be praised!" Praise God in both blessing and suffering. He is blessing you with both, so thank Him and praise Him in return. Let Him teach you this lesson through John Piper in this book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book.
Published 1 month ago by Basil I. Farah
5.0 out of 5 stars It is what I have come to expect from a biblical scholar like John...
Solid book! It is what I have come to expect from a biblical scholar like John Piper.
Published 2 months ago by Dan Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book!!! I read it, my dad read it!! I recommend to the world!
Published 2 months ago by KelsieHickey
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
Some chapters just seem to go on and on, but it is worth wading through for some solid inspiring moments.
Published 2 months ago by Mark Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful reading for daily living
This book is solid for any believer in Jesus. Your joy is by no means secondary but rather shows where your heart rests. Read more
Published 2 months ago by TBrott
5.0 out of 5 stars The second best book I have ever read beside the Bible
The second best book I have ever read beside the Bible! A very practical book showing how to enjoy God above everything else.
Published 2 months ago by David B. Mathis
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good Piper read
What can I say, Piper is so good. Very helpful continuation of his approach to life as a Christian hedonist.
Published 4 months ago by Janette Reeves
5.0 out of 5 stars Read and reread, repeat.
Read it ! Then keep reading it, whether you want to or not, keep reading it till it soaks in. It will help....
Published 4 months ago by Robyn Brink
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book shows how we all sometimes dont desire God ...
Excellent book shows how we all sometimes dont desire God and how to fight to keep our joy. John Piper is always awesome to read. and very helpful. thank you for this book.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by EMichels
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More About the Author

John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of more than 50 books, and more than 30 years of his preaching and teaching is available free of charge at John and his wife, Noël, have four sons, one daughter, and twelve grandchildren.

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