What is the deepest root of your joy: What God gives to you? Or what God is for you?
One way to get at the question in your own soul is to ask: “Why did Jesus die and rise for me?” Of course, there are glorious answers like he died to forgive my sins. To take away the wrath of God and to give me deliverance from hell and to give me imputed righteousness and to give me entrance into heaven and to cause my body to be raised from the dead. To give me entrance into the new heavens and the new earth and take away all my tears.
Piper: “What is the deepest root of your joy: What God gives to you? Or what God is for you?”
That would be right and gloriously true, and we should rejoice in it, but none of them is the ultimate reason for why he died.
First Peter 3:18 says, “Christ suffered the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” He died to bring us into fellowship with God, because in God’s presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore, and all the other works of redemption are a means to that (Psalm 16:11). It says in Psalm 40:16, “May those who love your salvation say continually, ‘Great is the Lord!’” It doesn’t say, “May those who love your salvation say continually, ‘Great is your salvation,’” but “Great is the Lord!”
Of course, our salvation is great and we should love it as great. Mainly, our salvation is happening to us and all the gifts of God are coming to us that we might know God, love God, treasure God, be satisfied in God. The biblical answer to the question, “What is my ultimate deepest source of joy?” is not his gifts. It’s him, known and enjoyed in and through his gifts.