Delight yourself in the Lord

Psalm 37:4 says that we should delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart. Verse 5 follows that up by telling us to commit our ways to him, trust in him and he will act.

Psalm 103 is a great one extolling the goodness of God to us.

1(A) Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2(B) Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and(C) forget not all his benefits,
3who(D) forgives all your iniquity,
who(E) heals all your diseases,
4who(F) redeems your life from the pit,
who(G) crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5who(H) satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like(I) the eagle’s.

6The LORD works(J) righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.


10He does not deal with us(P) according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11For(Q) as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his(R) steadfast love toward(S) those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he(T) remove our transgressions from us.
13As(U) a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion(V) to those who fear him.
14For he knows our frame;[a]
he(W) remembers that we are dust.

Matthew 7:7-11 says:

7(A) “Ask,(B) and it will be given to you;(C) seek, and you will find;(D) knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9Or which one of you, if his son asks him for(E) bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11If you then,(F) who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will(G) your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Old and New Testament thus affirm that God loves us and gives us good gifts.

why do we think that C.S. Lewis is crazy for writing something like this:

If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance. The negative ideal of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point. I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love. The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire.

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

and why do we think John Piper is crazy for agreeing with him?


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