When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight For Joy

by John Piper

Paperback, 2004

Status

Available

Call number

LIV 138 ENG

Publication

Crossway Books (2004), 272 pages

Description

What do you do when you discover that you're not satisfied in God the way he wants you to be? Joy is more than an afterthought of the Christian life; it is the sustaining fruit of a relationship with God. With a radical passion for Christ's glory, John Piper helps you find the joy God wants you to have.

User reviews

LibraryThing member BeulahChurchLibrary
This is a DVD sermon series based on the book of the same name. The subtitle says it all--How to Fight for Joy. Joy in God is not something that automatically happens when one becomes a Christian. At some times in our lives--dark times of the soul--we really have to fight for that joy. This is deep stuff, but Piper communicates beautifully and inspirationally. It is a lot of theology, but practical ways to fight are also discussed at the end of the series. Highly recommended, both for groups and individuals.… (more)
LibraryThing member Amzzz
Last few chapters were particularly helpful!
LibraryThing member lmathews
This is actually a Piper book that I did enjoy. I read this book during a period in my life where I completely changed the direction I was heading and I believe this book contributed alot to it. Of course, you still have to go through alot of the Piper jargon non-sense, but some of the latter chapters ministered to me in ways you cannot believe. I read it during a point in my life when I needed to, and it helped me to live more for Jesus and look at ways I can please Him.… (more)
LibraryThing member jerrikobly
For over twenty-five years John Piper has trumpeted the truth that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him." He calls it Christian Hedonism. The problem is that many people, after being persuaded, find that this truth is both liberating and devastating.

It's liberating because it endorses our inborn desire for joy. And it's devastating because it reveals that we don't desire God the way we should. What do you do when you discover the good news that God wants you to be content in him, but then find that you aren't?

If joy in God were merely the icing on the cake of Christian commitment, this book would be insignificant. But Piper argues that joy is so much more. Our being satisfied in God is necessary to show God's worthiness and to sustain sacrifices of love.

Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. He tasted it. It sustained him through the deepest suffering. His Father was glorified. His people were saved. That is what joy in God does.

The absolutely urgent question becomes: What can I do if I don't have it? With a pastor's heart and with radical passion for the glory of Christ, John Piper helps you answer that question.
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LibraryThing member eclecticdodo
I've tried to read this book before but not got very far, now I know why. The first half of the book basically deals with why we should desire God and enjoy Him. It's pretty hard going. However, the second half switches to practical things you can do. In some ways it's fairly predictable: read your Bible, pray, meet with other Christians. But there are also things like enjoying creation and the arts, and reading great Christian authors. I found it really did reignite a passion to know God better. And more importantly, it makes it feel attainable rather than something beyond my grasp. It's not going to be the solution to all your problems (it doesn't claim to be), but it certainly helped me.… (more)
LibraryThing member sparkleandchico
I'm abandoning this. I picked it up from our church bookstall for 50p thinking I couldn't go wrong at that price. I was also curious because I really didn't like Desiring God which made me feel that I wasn't saved because I didn't experience certain feelings and emotions that are apparently essential.

Beginning this book, there was a familiarity to it. It is basically exactly the same as Desiring God. The same principle of Christian hedonism which I can't find in Scripture, the same emotionalism and the same repetitions. The title is obviously different and maybe the author is coming at the subject from a different angle, but the material is the same. I feel cheated out of my 50p!

I know there are a lot of Piper fans out there and I have read a few of his earlier books which were quite helpful. I don't, however, recommend this or the prequel.

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LibraryThing member mejerrymouse
Have you ever gone through a period of time in which you had little desire to read your Bible? Or maybe a time when you pondered which book to pick up next but just felt kind of "blah" about the whole thing? I went through a phase like this about six months ago. I was more aware of my failures than God's grace. I knew that I needed to focus on what God has done for me through the blood of Jesus Christ rather than reading another Christian living title that would reveal my many shortcomings in my marriage, parenting, and every other area of my life. A short time later, I began reading When I Don't Desire God by John Piper. It was hard reading for this sleep-deprived mama, and it was slow going most of the time. However, it was well worth the effort. God used this book to encourage me greatly. It was comforting for me to realize that "...no one ever desires God with the passion he demands" (pg. 13). Ironically, when I realize that I don't desire God enough, I'm actually in a better place spiritually than when I think I'm doing well, even if I do feel worse.

This book is classic Piper; he's singing the same tune: "...God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him" (pg. 19). The first half of the book is largely foundational and philosophical while the latter portion is immensely practical. For example, we all know that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, so why is Piper writing a whole book about fighting for joy? I'll let him answer:

"The apostle Paul said, "If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed" (1 Cor. 16:22). Love is not a mere choice to move the body or the brain. Love is also an experience of the heart. So the stakes are very high. Christ is to be cherished, not just chosen. The alternative is to be cursed. Therefore life is serious. And so is this book" (pg. 19).

As for the practical, there's nothing essentially new here: we fight for joy mainly through God's Word and prayer. However, Piper does have many helpful insights as to how the Word and prayer help us in our fight for joy and how to use them to this end. As usual, Piper says many thought-provoking things making this a book in which you’ll likely want to spend some time. I’ll leave you with a quote that was meaningful to me in my situation; may it whet your appetite.

“The fight for joy always involves both [prayer and meditation]. Prayer without meditation on the Word of God will disintegrate into humanistic spirituality. It will simply reflect our own fallen ideas and feelings—not God’s. And meditation, without the humility of desperate prayer, will create proud legalism or hopeless despair.

Without prayer we try to fulfill the Word in our own strength and think we are succeeding and so become proud Pharisees; or we will realize we are not succeeding and will give up in despair” (pg. 149).
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Language

Original language

English

Physical description

272 p.; 5.39 x 0.71 inches

ISBN

1581346522 / 9781581346527
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