“Too many of us are passive when it comes to our spiritual affections. We are practical fatalists. We think there is nothing we can do. ‘Oh well, today I have no desire to read. Maybe it will be there tomorrow. We’ll see.’ And off to work we go. This is not the way the psalmists thought or acted. It is not the way the great saints of church history have acted either. Life is war. And the main battles are fought at the level of desires, not deeds… Don’t wait until you have lost the desire before you start praying for this desire. If the desire is present, give thanks and ask him to preserve it and intensify it. If you sense that it is cooling, plead that he would kindle it… Jesus died so that our prayers for renewed love to him and his word could be mercifully answered. We are not asking him for fresh desires for his word on the basis of our merits. We are asking him on the basis of Christ’s blood and righteousness. We don’t argue with God that he owes us anything. He doesn’t. Everything we receive is a free gift of grace.”
John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally, 255–57.
“Closely related to God’s holiness is his wrath, i.e., his holy reaction to sin. Scripture speaks of the wrath of God in high-intensity language, and it is important to note that a substantial part of the Bible’s storyline turns on God’s wrath. No doubt, God is forbearing and gracious, yet he is also holy and just. Where there is sin, the holy God must confront it and bring it to judgment, especially given the fact that sin is not first…
First Peter 2:2–3 lays on Christians a good and wise command from God. It is a surprising command, and easy to overlook. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2-3 In this verse God doesn’t command us to study his Word or obey his Word (although he certainly does this elsewhere in his Word), but instead to “long for”…
“A sleepless night is just as much a gift from God as is a night’s sound sleep! Not that we usually look on it that way—but David did! Those ‘watches of the night,’ so often occasions of restlessness, always time when the day’s ‘mole hills’ become mountains of anxiety, he turned into opportunities to ‘muse’ about God (Psalm 63:6), and to come, not to a fresh place of worry, but to a fresh place of joy and all-around assurance (63:7-11)….
“It is a not uncommon instinct among contemporary Christians to encounter difficulties and immediately conclude they have fallen into divine disfavor… We are not the best interpreters of divine providence. Nor is our conviction of the Father’s love for us grounded in his providential ways with us. The fatal mistake here is to base our assurance of grace and salvation on the fact that ‘God is blessing my life.’ When we do so, we have no anchor when life turns…