Monday, August 27, 2007

Heaven Tethers- repost from my blog :)

Hi friends! This is something I posted last week on my blog. I was so encouraged when I listened to John Piper's Cowper biography and the question and answer session, that I felt I wanted to share it. I trust it could be helpful for all of us including those who might struggle for joy, purpose, spiritual health and fellowship. I highly recommend you listen to the sermon if you have some time. Cowper was a man who truly struggled his entire life with crippling depression and despair. Piper does a remarkable job of bringing his story to life and offering hope and joy through the events and other people in Copwer's life, including John Newton, whom Piper described as the healthiest and happiest preacher of that time!

I recently listened to John Piper's biography of William Cowper (for free from Desiring God's resource page). After the excellent sermon, Pastor Piper took questions from the audience of the Pastor's Conference where it was preached. In an answer to a question about helping those who despair, Piper talks about rehearsing the mercy of Jesus.
George Muller said the number one task when you get up in the morning is to be happy in Jesus.
Piper goes on to say that you better fight the battle on your knees to be glad in God in order to be of use to anyone else. We should try to find something in our morning time with God to hang on to and be able to share it with someone who is in need. He says it's always better than a canned 'well, I've got four texts ready on depression...' It's always better to share "here's what I'm hanging on to today, here's the rope that's around me and hooked in heaven..."

So how do we do that? Pastor Piper talks about that morning having read Matthew 23, a hard chapter with tough (not tender) teaching full of woe. But toward the end we see Jesus saying "How often I would have gathered you as a hen gathers her brood" Time was spent meditating on Christ with the 'hen's' heart. Then at the end Christ says, "you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' and more time was spent meditating on the coming of Christ. So John Piper, that day, hooked to heaven with joy and happiness in dwelling on the heart of Jesus, gathering His chicks and dwelling on the second coming and finding joy in knowing that he will be one of the people who will be saying, 'Blessed is the Lord' and that's what was going to carry him through the day.

What will you find in the morning that will hook you to heaven for the day in gladness. Something that you can rehearse about the mercy of God and the sufficiency of the atonement for you? If you read the morning coffee sections, find a tether and be joyful.

3 comments:

David Warren Fisher said...

Lisa:

Thanks for posting this here. I think William Cowper and I are kindred spirits. When I visited in March I went to the Cowper/Newton museum, looked inside the Summer House where Cowper composed many of his hymns and poems and I bought a copy of the Olney Hymns.

At times my depression is such that I can relate with Cowper. Piper's book (I forget the title) in which he speaks of Cowper's battles has been such a wonderful encouragement to me.

Glad you're a PILGRIM PAL, Lisa J.

Have a wonderful week!

David

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Pilot Mom said...

Lisa, what an excellent post! Thank you for sharing. I am going to go listen to the whole sermon.