A portion of a sermon preached by C.S. Lewis in 1941.
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.
John Piper writes, “We have settled for a home, a family, a few friends, a job, a television, a microwave oven, an occasional night out, a yearly vacation, and perhaps a new personal computer. We have accustomed ourselves to such meager, short-lived pleasures that our capacity for joy has shriveled. And so our worship has shriveled. many can scarcely imagine what is meant by “a holiday at the sea”–worshiping the living God!”
“…We must see and feel in the incomparable excellency of the Son of God. Incomparable because in Him meet infinite glory and lowest humility, infinite majesty and transcendent meekness, deepest reverence toward God and equality with God, infinite worthiness of good and greatest patience to suffer evil, supreme dominion and exceeding obedience, divine self-sufficiency and child-like trust.”-Jonathan Edwards
My friends, I have for too long been satisfied and content with the “joys” of this world. May I wake up to the insatiable joy that comes from Christ and reveling in His glory! How sick I am of contentment with mud pies when I have the Bread of Life knocking at my door.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me…Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10, 12
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26
Jesus, I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou has bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou has made me whole.
-Jean Sophia Pigott