The following is a lightly edited excerpt from a letter I wrote to a friend on joy, suffering and making our lives count. I recommend reading it as if I wrote it to you.
“…I will be praying for you and encourage you to focus on what cannot be seen. What God is doing in your suffering, difficulties, and trials (2 Cor. 4:16-18. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is something we ought always to keep in mind. As Piper says, it is “the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain.” That’s in “Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. Another of my favorites quotes from that book is this: “If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high and your joy will be full. This is not a book about how to avoid a wounded life, but how to avoid a wasted life. Some of you will die in the service of Christ. That will not be a tragedy. Treasuring life above Christ is a tragedy.” Don’t waste your life. Behold Christ in His word and become like Him in the process. Live by prayer. Let “practicing the presence of God” be your constant occupation. Whether at work or play, in action or rest. Always keep your mind on Him and your adoration for Him. We can do nothing but sin apart from Him. Seize His grace in prayer and let growing in the knowledge of Him grow your love for Him.
Know joy in suffering and pain and many other things that seem strange to this world and are only found in God. As Russ has said, “If we set our expectation on persons, places or things; they will disappear and disappoint. But if we set our expectation on God, He will never disappear or disappoint.” Pursue Him. Don’t Waste Your Life, Spend it for Him.
P.S. Check out page 76 of Don’t Waste Your Life. Know the blessedness of the Calvary road of joy and suffering.
Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
Image Credit: Aaron Burden/Unsplash