A Tribute to My Father

John Piper's dad

My father was the happiest man I have ever known. Not that he never grumbled (he was a golfer who lost a lot of balls). But he was rooted so firmly in the glory of God’s grace that nothing could keep him down for long.

He loved the promises of God. I just heard him say yesterday on an old recording, quoting William Carey, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.”

He really believed Romans 8:28. He prayed it and sang it and preached and lived in the joy of it.

And he led people to Christ in droves. Under God’s promises, he would have said this was the key to his joy. I asked him one time: What’s the key to joy. He answered without hesitation: Soul winning.

John Piper's dad

This is no mystery. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Freely you received. Freely give.

He and mother would sing in the front seat of the car while driving long distances with my sister and me in the back. “Isn’t He wonderful.” “Down at the Cross.” “Heavenly Sunshine.” “When We All Get to Heaven.” “Love Lifted Me.”

They were not performing. They were exulting.

I am still catching up.

What a legacy of Christ-exalting joy!

Thank you, Father, for my father.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.