“Hard Does Not Equal Joyless” and other inspiring quotes


“Hard Does Not Equal Joyless.”  

This is a quote from our sermon this morning, which I thought was very inspiring!

John Piper said that “nothing hard is done in vain” and that every “hard” thing found in John 12:20-26 also has a corresponding “glory.”

See if this doesn’t inspire you:

The seed DIES (it’s hard to die)… The seed BEARS MUCH FRUIT

We are to HATE our lives in this world…we get to KEEP our lives for eternity (not a bad deal)

We are to FOLLOW Jesus to Calvary/death… We are WITH HIM wherever He is (very comforting)

We are to become SERVANTS… Servants are HONORED by the FATHER.

In Pastor John’s opening prayer, he said something like, “Awaken in us a profound willingness to be dead.”  He also said, “There’s no such thing as ultimate self-denial in the Bible.”  Denying ourselves in this world means we love ourselves, because we’re thinking about eternity.

Doesn’t this inspire you to do something hard?  Something that the world would call crazy?

(This reminds me that when I was pregnant with our fourth child, a mother of four said to me, “Having four is REALLY HARD.”  Little did she know, I find joy in a God-given challenge, so now I have seven!)

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7 responses to this post.

  1. I took this personally this morning as well (in a good way). Following Jesus when he asked me simply to “trust him” about our family planning was hard for me. Really, really hard. Having 4, 7, or 10 or 11 children and raising them lovingly and in the Lord is hard. Daily it is hard. I think it is especially hard when it feels like we aren’t even doing a great job at doing the hard thing, thinking “This shouldn’t be this hard!” But, as Pastor John said – “Hard does not mean joyless.” He repeated that several times and it struck me as it did you. Right now, especially, there is a lot of daily “hard” for me and also, by His grace, much joy. It’s the paradox of Matthew 10:39 (also found in Luke 9:24 and John’s gospel of today’s sermon). “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” I think in some ways that is finding our real life now (joy during hard), as well as later. In the same chapter, a few verses later, in Matthew 10:42 there is this verse.”And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” I love that these verses are back to back as I remember how the Lord Himself convinced me that dying to self and following Him through bearing and caring for little ones can be the “hard things” mothers are called to. Often our modern mindset is that children will keep us from “doing hard things” that are worthwhile (of if we do hard things “hampered by children”, we won’t be able to do them well enough). May he bless you, Debbie, with joy in all hard things!

    Reply

    • Well, said, Sara, and thank you! The first thing I think of when I hear, “Do hard things” is having or adopting more kids. But maybe my “hard thing” will be to NOT have any more kids and be content! I’m trying to not be envious of you!

      Reply

    • I’m back… 🙂
      As a person from outside your family, I think you ARE doing a good job! I am glad that my children have your children for friends! Also, I think that being kept so busy all the time is keeping me from wasting my life–in that, I don’t have much of a choice in how to spend my time, and taking care of my children is exactly what the Lord wants meto do right now. So it’s hard (more for you than me), but also a blessing, if I want to be kept from wasting my time! (Not that there aren’t other good ways to spend time! LOL) But I do often wonder why it has to be so hard.

      Reply

  2. There is much good in the sermon as you have reported it, but I don’t think “hating our lives in this world” is the proper interpretation of the Gospels. Certainly, we are to love God above all things, and desire to spend eternity with Him. In Matthew 10:37, Christ tells us, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Obviously, He is also referring to all the ties that bind us to this life.

    Likewise, we are taught to be in this world, but not “of” this world. We are not to reject this life, but to live it in as holy and God-pleasing manner as possible.

    Admittedly, it can be confusing when we read 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

    However, if you look at the following verses, especially 1 John 2:16–instead of reading 1 John 2:15 out of context–it becomes clear that the “world” in this case is all the sins and vices that have come about through sin. It is not a rejection of the life God has given us. It is not a rejection of this earth and universe. It is not a rejection of our existence: He created all these and pronounced that they were Good. Who are we to contradict Him?

    It is an error that hearkens all the way back to the Gnostic heresy to literally hate this existence, and everything that God has blessed us with. Yes, eternity with Him will be better. But let us be careful not to fall into ingratitude, because that is a sin also.

    If this is not what you took away from the sermon, then please forgive me for jumping in.

    With love in Christ,
    Suzanne

    Reply

    • Thank you for your thoughts, Suzanne. I understand what you’re saying, but the idea that “whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” comes directly out of Scripture–John 12:25b.

      I’m sure Jesus did not mean for us to be ungrateful and complaining, but rather, to not love this world as if this is all there is–to be somewhat detached from worldly interests because this earthly life is temporary.

      Jesus does use hyperbole throughout the gospels; maybe this is one of those times.

      I think this is basically what you were saying, and I agree with you!

      Reply

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