In Chapter One of Desiring God, Dr. Piper sets out to show us biblically that the “Happiness of God (is the) Foundation of Christian Hedonism”.
Having read this before and having heard the good doctor teach on this many times, I was pleasantly strolling along in my reading until something struck me on a deep personal level. A striking that was indirect of the teaching/writing but direct from the Lord today. The kind of correction that the Lord is pleased to dish out because He loves me and His glory, and in this case, loves my children and wife with a passionate resolve. Read the following and then we’ll pick up after that:
“Can you imagine what it would be like if the God who ruled the world were not happy? What if God were given to grumbling and pouting and depression, like some Jack-and-the-beanstalk giant in the sky? What if God were frustrated and despondent and gloomy and dismal and discontented and dejected?
Could we join David and say, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1)?
I don’t think so. We would all relate to God like little children who have a frustrated, gloomy, dismal, discontented father. They can’t enjoy him. They can only try not to bother him, or maybe try to work for him to earn some little favor.” ~John Piper, Desiring God (32)
I am guilty of being a frustrated, gloomy, dismal, discontented father that cannot be enjoyed by my kids! Shame on me. But praise God my shame was placed on Jesus so I could be (1) forgiven and (2) transformed.
So I turn to my heavenly Father, not primarily as an example, but as my Water provider! I find myself in these funks due to forsaking God and drinking from broken cisterns that hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13). So I must drink when my soul thirsts for my happy, sovereign, loving Father and faints for my strong strength provider. There is no water to be found outside of the Lord. I do not want to create an atmosphere that is like a dry and weary land without water for my kids and wife to wander through. By grace Lord, make me drink. For the sake of my soul and the nourishment of my family, bring my lazy bones and rebellious flesh to your well of Living Water….to Jesus. Bear fruit, bountifully. Fruit that shouts “Glory to our all satisfying Happy God”.
I can turn to God because I know He is supremely happy. He is there for me for His great Name sake. He is not like me, He does not waver. I too want my kids to turn to me and ultimately to Him, not for my Name but for His. I want them to see a glimpse of God through my smiles, patient demeanor, hopeful spirit, and contented soul due to resting in my Sovereign happy God.
My happiness in God will show itself through trusting in Jesus and His Gospel, the good news, in all of life. My sin exposes to my wife and kids that I am looking elsewhere for joy. Often, and burdensomely, I am looking for it in them. This is a weight they cannot bear, it is not their design nor their duty. It can produce daddy pleasers who try to earn love and relationship. When I depend on The Lord for my joy, I work, in His strength, out of my new transformed nature that loves seeing the old nature mortified. This dying to my flesh makes way for fresh streams of water to flow to my heart and to my family through the Holy Spirit richly supplying the rewards of Christ.
Because God is eternally happy and unshakable, I can confidently and joyfully turn to Him through faith and repentance. It’s my duty to delight in Him. By grace I will.
As a husband and dad, God is most glorified in my family when I am most satisfied in Him.