Some Kindling for Your Embers
We all feel small.
That’s because we are small. John Piper may seem like a big fish in the little evangelical pond. But in the ocean of the world, I am statistically a nobody.
But we are attached to the Creator of the world through his Son Jesus, and we are part of his global purpose for all nations that cannot be stopped.
Fire Up Your Hope
Take three minutes and let yourself feel the astonishing and invincible plans for all the nations of the world. When Paul had finished describing the mindboggling, roundabout way God would save the nations, he said, “How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33). The plan is amazing.
What Paul had just said was this: Because the nations disobeyed God, he chose Israel for himself. And because Israel disobeyed, he showed mercy on the nations. And because of the mercy shown to the nations, mercy would also come to Israel (verses 30–31). “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all” (Romans 11:32).
In everything God does, he is never doing just one thing. He is always doing thousands of things whenever he does anything. So it’s not surprising that to us all his deeds seem complex and roundabout.
But what is crystal clear is this: God is pursuing all the nations. And sooner or later he will have them.
Attach Your Life to Something Massive
Take just a moment and let God’s purpose to have the worship of the nations grab hold of you. Once it does, your little life will be attached to something massive.
Leave aside for the time being the New Testament commands to make disciples of all nations. Just look at a few of the Old Testament Exhortations and Promises and Prayers for the nations.
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! (Psalm 47:1).
Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard (Psalm 66:8).
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! (Psalm 96:3).
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! (Psalm 96:7).
Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! (Psalm 117:1).
I will make the nations your heritage (Psalm 2:8; cf. 111:6).
Nations will praise you forever and ever (Psalm 45:17).
The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. (Psalm 47:9).
All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord; and shall glorify your name (Psalm 86:9).
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich foods (Isaiah 25:6).
All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God (Isaiah 52:10).
My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples (Isaiah 56:7).
The time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory (Isaiah 66:18).
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy. . . . Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! (Psalm 67:3–5).
May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! (Psalm 72:11).
May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! (Psalm 72:17).
God’s purpose to have the worship of the nations cannot be stopped. “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:10).
So never bemoan your smallness. As God’s child and God’s emissary, you are attached to the greatest cause in the world.
I hope you’ll consider joining us at the new Cross student missions conference in December, or encourage any college students you know to attend. We’re praying that the kindling will be piled high, and that the fire will fall.
More recent posts on missions from John Piper: