Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast

Why Should We Love the Return of Christ? – John Piper

Episode Summary

Pastor John Piper joins the podcast to share a hopeful vision for the second coming of Jesus. Hear how anticipating the return of Christ can help people who are suffering with hardship and disability today, plus the importance of cultivating a deep love for the Savior as we await his return.

Episode Notes

Pastor John Piper joins the podcast to share a hopeful vision for the second coming of Jesus. Hear how anticipating the return of Christ can help people who are suffering with hardship and disability today, plus the importance of cultivating a deep love for the Savior as we await his return.

John Piper serves as founder and teacher at Desiring God and is chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. For 33 years, Piper served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. He has authored more than 50 books, and more than 30 years of his preaching and writing are available at







Read more in Pastor John Piper's book Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Second Coming of Christ.

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Joni and Friends envisions a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ. Founded by  Joni Eareckson Tada, we provide Christ-centered care through  Joni's House, Wheels for the World, and Retreats and Getaways, and offer disability ministry training.

Episode Transcription

Crystal Keating:

This is the Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast and I'm your host, Crystal Keating. Each week we're bringing you encouraging conversations about finding hope through hardship and practical ways that you can include people living with disability in your church and community. As you listen, visit to access the resources we mention or to send me a message with your thoughts.

Pastor John Piper is joining us on the podcast to give us a hopeful vision for the second coming of our Lord Jesus. Today, we'll be talking about how loving the return of Christ is helpful for those who are suffering with disability or otherwise, because it attempts to lift our spiritual gaze from both the allure and hardships of the here and now to the reality of our great hope.

The day Jesus comes for his bride and ushers us into an everlasting existence of joy, I cannot wait. John Piper serves as founder and teacher at Desiring God Ministries and as Chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. For 33 years, Piper served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. He's authored more than 50 books, of which many I've enjoyed. And more than 30 years of his preaching and writing are available free of charge at

Welcome to the podcast, Pastor John. It's such an honor to speak with you today. I'm so excited for our conversation. 

Pastor John Piper: 

Thank you. It's great to be with you. 

Crystal Keating: 

Well, many people are curious and even confused about the second coming of Christ.

Maybe they're asking questions like, what will it be like? When will it happen? What are the signs that come first? And in your most recent book, Come, Lord Jesus, you do address these issues, but really emphasize that those who love the second coming of Christ will receive a crown of righteousness. So, in our conversation today, we will be talking about cultivating a love for the return of Jesus. But I thought it would be helpful to begin by hearing from you about what the Bible says about what will happen when Jesus comes back. Pastor John, what are some of the most significant events that will occur when the Lord Jesus returns?

Pastor John Piper: 

Well, it might be helpful just to bullet-point a few passages. First Thessalonians 4, the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command. With a voice of an arch angel, with the sound of the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. And we who are alive who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. That's probably one of the fullest and briefest descriptions of what happens. It's not all though. 

Second Thessalonians, he will come to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at among all who have believed. That sentence has gripped me for many years. He's coming to be marveled at. He intends to have our marvel at the second coming or probably the one that might be of very special interest to your audience, at least as I understand the wonderful ministry of Joni and Friends, our citizenship is in heaven. And from it, we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus, who will transform our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him to subject all things to himself.

I mean, people with a disability, I mean, all of us. I'm 77 years old and my body is increasingly disabled, right? Even though I'm relatively healthy, I know it's going to get weaker and weaker. And therefore, in the passage of 1st Corinthians 15, the body is sown in weakness.

It is raised in power. It is sown in dishonor. It is raised in glory. Those are simply staggeringly, precious promises for those of us who are getting weaker and older and, and for people who've had a disability, oh my goodness. What good news we have for everybody in the world that for the billions of years that lie before us with the Lord, everything will be new.

“Our bodies will shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father.” That's a quote from Matthew 13:43. “He will come, and lightning will flash from one horizon to the other.” But let me give you one other glimpse of what's gonna happen because I think this may be the most breathtaking thing of all, even though the spectacular nature of the event seems to most people like that would be the most amazing.

But this one is amazing. It says, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you. He will dress himself for service and have them recline a table, and he will come and serve them.” That's Luke 12:37. I just find that breathtaking that once the spectacular nature of the event is passed and the millions of angels have taken their proper place, he's gonna have his saints sit at table, as it were.

And he, again, binds himself with the garments of a servant and he serves us. I can hardly imagine the king of the universe. So that's a glimpse of some of the things that I'm anticipating.

Crystal Keating: 

You know, everything you're saying is extremely significant. We're not gonna miss it. We won't think that Christ returned and somehow, we didn't notice. These are life-changing events, and you know, to think that those of us that suffer or live with disabilities and their families, it's the ongoing daily focus toward the body and the hospital visits and the emotions that go with caring for one another in this. That we will no longer bear anymore or what an amazing, amazing anticipation that we have.

Pastor John Piper: 

You know, I, I believe in divine healing. I pray for everybody that wants me to pray for them to get well. I pray for them to get well. But it is clear from history and from scripture that God ordains that not every disability is healed and therefore, we really need the resurrection of the body for good news. If our only good news is our healing ministry, we're gonna disappoint millions of people. 

Crystal Keating: 

Well, and it makes me think when Jesus came and he did heal people in their suffering and disability, it wasn't just a physical healing.

He was restoring people to community, and we can't forget that that is a real part of the suffering of some who live with disability. It's the communal isolation, it's the rejection. And we will one day be all together. And so, I know we anticipate that. 

You know, Pastor John, to be a Christian is to love Christ. We can't forget that. It's faith in Christ, but it's loving him, and loving him is a way that we persevere in faith through the temptations of this life, through the reality of wanting to throw in the towel and give up on trusting God, because life isn't often going the way we planned. And so, in your book, you talk about how loving the Lord goes deeper than obeying his commands but encompasses a heart affection for him.

So, I'm just curious, how can we cultivate a deeper affection for the Lord when we long for his return?

Pastor John Piper: 

The verse that triggered this book pushed me over the edge from wanting to write a book on the second coming to actually doing it. What was that phrase? “The Lord will give a crown of righteousness not only to me,” Paul said in 2nd Timothy 4:8, “But also to all those who have loved his appearing.” And the reason I stress the affectional nature of the love is because the very next verse says, “Demas, in love with the present world, has forsaken me.” So, what that means is Demas didn't do what Paul said. He loved the world and that means he desired the world. He had affections for the world. He wanted the world and his wanting and delighting in and treasuring Jesus faded away. So, it is the absolutely crucial question to say, how can we cultivate?

I think, the first answer is, by seeing Christ. Paul said, beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to the next and that transformation is the transformation of our affections. It's becoming more like Jesus in what he loved, what he delighted in, what he approved and treasured, and so beholding is the key to becoming.

So, we should be constantly praying, oh God, open my eyes to see the wonder of Christ in the Word because it's in seeing him that we are transformed to be like him, which is gonna happen fully at the second coming. We don't know, what it will be. John said in 1st John 3, but when we see him, we will be finally and fully like him.

I think the second thing I'd say is that the seeing I'm talking about has a particular focus when you want to cultivate a love to Christ, and that the focus is on the dying love of Jesus for you. Ever since I was a, a college student, Galatians 2:20 has been really precious to me. “I'm crucified with Christ.

It is no longer, who, but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God” and in these next words, “Who loved me and gave himself for me,” only a handful of times. Does Paul speak of Christ loving me, the personal, singular pronoun me, not us? He says us all the time, which is glorious.

But every now and then he lets his heart show in the sense that he loved me. He loved me, and I've got doctrinal reasons why I think that's very precious. Cuz, I think Jesus did, even though he died in one sense for the whole world, he died in another sense for his bride. Paul says that he gave himself for his church.

He had John Piper, and Crystal Keating in view on the cross, and he loved us individually. That really sweetens my affections for Jesus. And I suppose then you would broaden out from that center of his dying love to soak in the word to the degree that you fill yourself with the superiorities of Jesus.

I mean, you say to young people, why do you admire this singer? Why do you admire this athlete? Why do you admire this actor? And they'll name one or two things. And you say, but Jesus is more intelligent, more kind, more humble, more sacrificial, more wise, more strong, more God-like, more lasting, more gracious, more patient, more pure, more eternally glad. He's everything up to the nth degree. So, how could he not be the most precious and loved person in your life? And, of course, the reason for that is sin. 

Crystal Keating: 


Pastor John Piper: 

Which hearts are so drug down into the immediate, pleasures of this world that we lose our capacities to cherish him?

And, and maybe the last thing to say is how, how do we fight for affection for Jesus in his coming? Renounce, every known sin in your life because sin, whether tiny or big competes with Christ. It does. All sin is a preference for something other than Christ as your supreme treasure.

And so, you gotta put sin to death or it will be killing you if you don't kill it. So, I think those are some of the ways that I at least fight the battle for joy in Jesus and his coming. 

Crystal Keating: 

Amen. You know, just this morning I was asking the Lord, please give me love for the things that you love. Let me feel for the things that you feel for. Cuz sometimes my affections go to places that I don't even want. Or, you know, intellectually I know, this is not what I really want. And so that God would cultivate that kind of heart in me, that I would love the things that he loves. And you know, it says that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

And so, I'm always praying, Lord, help me to sense your love, to sense your care for me that your nearness is so evident. And those are the things that fuel my affections for him and make it, just so real. 

Pastor John Piper: 

To underline what you just said, cuz you're highlighting your prayer life this morning and how you seek the Lord for the sensing of his presence. I think there are just many people who have a fatalistic attitude about their emotions.

They say that's just not me. I'm just not wired that way. All you emotional type people who are so passionate for Jesus, you're just another kind of human being and they surrender to their emotionless and there are a lot of broken people. They grew up in homes where there wasn't anything but anger, right?

That's the one emotion they can feel. And I wanna say to those people, you know, the Bible knows you exist, and the Bible has some things to say to you like, prayers. Satisfy me in the morning with your steadfast love. That's a prayer. Psalm 90:14. Satisfy me. So, if somebody comes to me and says, I just don't feel any satisfaction in Jesus.

I ask them, how many times have you cried out to God earnestly that he would grant you that satisfaction? And it's amazing how many people don't. They don't cry out because they're fatalistic. They don't think God can change them. 

Crystal Keating: 

That is so good. Because he's living in reality, and it is a relationship and he's all-powerful. The changing of our hearts to me is the greatest blessing that God gives us, that we don't remain as we are. 

Well, Pastor John, in many of your books, just as we were speaking, you talk about treasuring Jesus Christ. And in the midst of suffering or the ongoing daily relentless hardships that some with disabilities and their families face, what is the practice of treasuring the Lord look like and what spiritual impact could this have on our lives? 

Pastor John Piper: 

Well, it's not much different than what we just said, treasuring somebody has a two-fold dimension. One is you see, and you make an evaluation objectively. That thing or that person is really valuable. I mean really valuable. And that's what the doctrinal dimension of reading our Bibles and listening to preaching and studying God's word, that's what that does. We form an objective evaluation. That's the true foundation of what happens next. And what happens next is treasuring. So, now you've objectively assessed the treasure and it's Jesus.

And by the way, the reason I'd like to focus on treasure is because that's the word used by the Apostle Paul in 2nd Corinthians 4:7, after he talked about the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. And he said, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” So, we're talking about Christ indwelling as our treasure. So, you see the treasure and you then plead with him, now open the eyes of my heart that I might treasure the treasure. Feel the value of the treasure. That's the warfare. And so, it makes a huge difference because if you treasure Christ above all things, which is what Philippians 3:8 says, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing value or treasure of knowing Christ Jesus.

If that happens, then when the providence of God strips you of health or some person that you love and they're gone, then you have not lost your supreme treasure. He's always there as the massive foundation underneath all the other losses hurt, and the Bible encourages us, we grieve, but not as those who grieve without hope.

And so, I would say, as we cultivate the capacity to actually value or treasure or delight in or be satisfied with Christ more than his gifts like a spouse or health, then when the losses come, they don't destroy our lives because even though they were precious, they weren't the main thing. Jesus is the main treasure, and he is an unshakable foundation.

He's present with us through it all. He'll be there before, during, and after every other good thing that comes or goes. So, I think treasuring him is enormously relevant for the living of our embattled lives.

Crystal Keating: 

It is, it is. You know, let's turn our focus to the epidemic of loneliness. I mean, I just see how many people struggle with despair and even depression because there's a sense of disconnection, especially in so many young people.

I feel like depression is often marked by teens and those in their young twenties by a sense of hopelessness, sometimes overwhelming guilt and shame, like a loss of perspective and confusion about what is true. So, Pastor John, how can anticipating the coming of Jesus, and all that it entails benefit our mental health?

Pastor John Piper: 

Well, that's a remarkable question. And the reason it feels remarkable is because of how immediately it relates to one of Paul's concerns about the second coming. When the Thessalonians moved towards hysteria, thinking that the day of the Lord had already come, Paul said something to them that relates directly, it seems to me, to mental health.

He said, this is 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-2. “Now, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus, and are being gathered together to him. We ask you, brothers, not to be quickly….” And then a literal translation says not to be quickly shaken from your mind or alarmed. Now what was happening there is that those people were losing touch with a rational clear, biblical, assessment of their true situation. Technically, they were losing their minds. So, when you think of young people losing their bearings in every which way. And not just young people. Goodness, gracious. There are so many destabilizing forces in the world today that our souls, our minds become wobbly.

We tip this way. We tip that way, and it doesn't feel like there's anything stable anymore. And Paul wants to say if there's anything Christ and the hope of glory give you, it is a stability of mind so that you don't have to be shaken and blown around by every wind of doctrine out of your mind.

It's the same kind of thing that Paul referred to in Philippians, isn't it? When he said that if you pray to the Lord with your requests, he will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. So, on the one hand, he doesn't let your mind be shaken out of its rational perception of things.

And here he puts guards around our hearts and our minds so that we don't lose our bearings. Here's maybe one or two other things that come to my mind when I think of people who face a world of injustice, which a lot of young people are very concerned about.

And they see all of the world's enormous injustices, happening with man to man. And I think the second coming is to have the effect on us at that point to say, look, you're absolutely right. The world as it presently is, is not just, it's not. And you can either be tempted to take matters into your own hands and say, vengeance is mine. Or you can say no! At the second coming, the Lord says, vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord. If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he's thirsty, give him something to drink. In other words, the fact that the second coming involves judgment, ironically, is intended to make us now not take judgment into our hands, but to trust God's gonna make it right.

God is going to make it right. Which means as young people face a world of, of injustices on all hands, they can sink their roots down into a God of justice who says, look, not a single wrong in this world will go unpunished. Everything will be set right. It will either be punished on the cross for those who trust Jesus, or it will be punished in hell for those who don't. This will be a just universe.

When all is said and done, I, I have found in my own life, that is a massive stabilizing effect. And the last thing I would say with regard to mental health, is people need to be apprised that this world is very brief, very temporary. And they are going to rise from the dead and shine like the son in the kingdom of their father if they trust Jesus. So, I, I think if you take the causes of the destabilizing mental health issues, one at a time, virtually all of them find a remedy in the hope that we have in Jesus. 

Crystal Keating: 

That is so comforting. He is truly an anchor to which we can cling to. 

Pastor John Piper: 

Exactly. That is a great word.

Crystal Keating: 

I love that.

Well, how would you encourage the person living with severely debilitating disabilities and pain who desperately wants Jesus to return, but doesn't feel like he can tolerate one more day on this earth? I mean, we hear from people here at Joni and friends who are those considering physician-assisted suicide, even believers because they are so overwhelmed. What would you say to somebody like that? 

Pastor John Piper: 

Yeah, well, it's almost presumptuous for me to say what I would say because I need to know them. 

Crystal Keating: 


Pastor John Piper: 

And I need to know the pain they're in right now while we're talking because you can only say so much to a person who can't attend cause they're in such pain. But I'll address the question in principle, knowing that all of my words would be adjusted according to the actual living moment in which I find myself.

I think I'm gonna need to deal with the issue of whether suicide is biblically permissible in God's view. And I would say things like you and your body were bought with a price when Paul said that in 1st Corinthians 6:19. “You are not your own. You were bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God with your body.”

Your body was bought by the Lord Jesus when he died. He didn't just buy your soul. He bought your body, which means he intends for your body to be a means of glorifying him. And you need to ponder seriously whether your choosing to end the life of your body would be an honor to Jesus. The second thing I would say is life and death are the prerogatives of the Lord.

“The Lord gives, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21. And then I would move to probably the most controversial for them. They would just shake their head maybe, depending on how much faith God gives them, and say from 1st Corinthians 10:13, God will not let you be tested.

Beyond what you are able, you know, sometimes we translate that verse, God won't let us be tempted. And we shut that verse into a few temptations. Sexual temptation or money temptations, or whatever. The word for temptation and test in Greek is the same word. I think this verse ought to be translated, God will not let you be tested beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, will make a way of escape that you may be able to, and then surprisingly, he says endure it. He doesn't say escaping. He said, he'll make a way of escape that you may be able to endure it. So, the escape is escape from the temptation to not endure it.

That's a crucial, crucial word. And then I would say perhaps, even though for you it feels like endless, endless nights and days. But in God's perspective and the perspective you will one day have, this is a light and momentary affliction. Now that's almost offensive to say that to somebody in the middle of great suffering. But if you can help them trust God implicitly, that's what he says.

And by, by momentary, he means like 80 or 90 years. That's what momentary means. I mean, what has it been for, for Joni age 17 to what, 73?  That's a lot of years called momentary affliction. And yet, it seems to me that Joni has been, for all of us, a wonderful interpreter of these things. And I would say with Romans 8:18, the glory that is coming means that the suffering of this present time is not worth comparing to what will be revealed to us.

And then I would say, look, I can't get in your skin. I can't feel what you feel. I know that it must be horrible beyond words, but you have a heavenly Father. He has promised to provide you what you need. He will not require of you anything. He will not give you the grace to give and therefore call out to him if you ask for bread.

He won't give you a stone. If you ask for a fish, he won't give you a snake. He will give you what you need. And I suppose the last thing I would say is unless they doubt that it's appropriate. I would say, ask the doctors, the medical people for all the help they can give you to minimize your pain.

I mean, my mother-in-law just passed away and in the two days of her life, she had bedsores. She was 101 years old. She was ready to meet Jesus.

And the question was, shall we use morphine and take away her consciousness and pain or shall we not? So that you can keep trying to communicate with her and the family made the decision to relieve her. Relieve her. And so, they said their goodbyes. They gave her the dosage that she would need to get the relief, and they never communicated with her again.

As far as they know, I mean, I'm always encouraging people to speak into that ear as loud as you can to 101-year-old. So those would be a few attempts that I would make to help a person get over the hump that, that suicide is the solution. I don't think it is the biblical solution.

Crystal Keating: 

Well, thank you for that pastoral and gracious response. And you know let's talk about you as a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church for over 30 years. How did your congregation live out Jesus' call in Luke 14 to seek out and invite those with disabilities into relationship with himself? How is your understanding of discipling those with disabilities been shaped through the years? 

Pastor John Piper: 

Well, not as good as it should have been, I'm sure. I would not put myself or Bethlehem up as an ideal, but I can tell you some of my attempts. In 1980, when I came to Bethlehem, came in July, that November Thanksgiving arrived and I thought, what shall I preach on for Thanksgiving? And that text from Luke 14, when you give a feast, which is what we all do at Thanksgiving, right? When you give a feast invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you'll be blessed because they can't repay you. You'll be repaid at the resurrection of the just. That text just took hold of me. And so, I think the sermon you can go to Desiring God and find it. I think the title is, “Who Should You Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner?” Now, at that moment, I was mainly thinking of immigrants who were here and didn't know anything, couldn't speak the language. We had hundreds of them at our church. They were coming mainly from Laos. And I said, look, this text implies that we do uncomfortable things. I mean, most of us don't do that kind of thing because it's so awkward. We can't speak the language.


Or if you have a, a certain kind of disability, you don't know if they'll be able to feed themselves. You don't know if they'll be able to communicate as much as you'd like. But the implication was clearly there. And over time, especially with the cognitively impaired, the ministry took off. I attribute my wife. You know, when we were married out in California, I mean, that's where we lived in the first three years of our marriage, Noel threw herself into disability ministries at Lake Avenue Church from the beginning. She's always had an unusual heart for the cognitively impaired.

And so, she created classes for these folks and those classes emerged at Bethlehem over the years, and then emerged into care nights, you know, where parents would never seem to get out because they're always tied down with a child or an adult child who needs constant attention. Bring them to that care night. We'll take care of them, and the parents can have a night out. That sort of thing. You know what really set in motion the ministries to disabled folks is a few of our folks having children with profound disabilities. God woke us up. He didn't give us any choice. We were either going to care for these little ones who grew up into adults while I was there. Or we were gonna have to lose these parents and say, we don't have any solution for you. And so, they became the teachers to us. 

The parents of those disabled children became the teachers of the pastors in those days for what was needed and pointed us to texts in the Bible, like in 1st Corinthians 12 where it says that the least honorable should get the most honor among you, and you should make an effort to apply special love and care to those who seem to be the least among you. 

But I think that the most important thing that I did, and I would say this to pastors, is- I tried to preach over time, week after week, a theology of suffering, sovereignty of God and suffering so that there was a theological bedrock for how to understand what just happened to me when my whole life got turned upside down. When a child was born into my life who had no eyes or who had a condition that meant they would never speak and I've had, I don't know, a half a dozen moms say to me years into this, if you had not taught us about the sovereign goodness of God and that he has a purpose for everything and that he's in control, I would have gone insane. So, I believe that pastors do the most important thing by laying a foundation of a right theology of suffering.

Crystal Keating: 

Yes. Right. Thank you for saying that. And it goes back to that stabilizing theology. What, what do we rest our lives on when everything else is shaken and nothing makes sense? How do we make sense of God's purposes in those things that really, we can't wrap our minds around? So, I do thank you for your ministry.

You know, Joni and I, on many a Friday mornings when I'm getting her up, we listen to “Ask Pastor John,” your podcast where people write in real questions about things such as this, and we enjoy it so much because you give such a biblical perspective with that pastoral heart. And so, I, I wanna ask you one more question as we close our time together. Knowing Christ may not return in our lifetime, and that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, how can Christians encourage their brothers and sisters who are overwhelmed by their suffering to continue to trust God and serve him well in the waiting?

Pastor John Piper:

As I'm listening to your question, what's new in your question is serving? We've talked a good bit about treasuring and enduring and coping. But now if I understand your question, how do you help people press on not only in coping or enduring, but rather serving, being useful?

Right. And that's a remarkable question because we don't usually ask that about disabled people or people who are coping with friends and children or parents who are disabled. And yet I think that is a very, very good question. And I, think maybe a couple of things to say would be in Isaiah 58, when Isaiah talks about the kind of fast that pleases God. He says, the fast that pleases me, quoting God-

“Share your bread with the hungry. Bring the homeless, poor into your house. When you see the naked, cover him. Don't hide yourself from your own flesh.” And then he says, here's the promise, “Then shall your light break forth, break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily. Your righteousness shall go before you.

The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. You shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.” What I hear there is, if in your weakness you give what you can give, God will provide energy. He'll provide strength. We, we often take our temperature, strength-wise, and say, I just don't have the strength to add anything to my life.

I don't, and I wanna say yes in a sense that's true. But you were made to serve, not just to endure, and what if you were to put your hand to this plow and discover his yoke is easy and his burden is light and there is strength for the new ministry? A related thing is 2nd Corinthians 9:8 where Paul says, “God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” Now, that's an overwhelming statement, but it doesn't mean every good work in the world, like the good works that need to be done in China right now. I'm not responsible to do them. I'm only responsible to do the good works God appointed for me and for a disabled person or a person stressed by caring for a disabled person. There are good works yet to be done and as you feel led to do them and you feel too weak to do them, go ahead, venture, and see whether or not God doesn't with the very obedience, provide the renewed energy that it takes to do it. You, you may find, and I'd say this to pastors who feel like, we can't add a ministry to the disabled.

We're just overwhelmed as a pastor. There are energies that come for obedience that may give more life to your church than if you didn't do this. I would say that individually. I'd say that to churches.

Crystal Keating: 

Well, that is certainly that future grace that God promises as we walk in obedience and trust him.

Pastor John, you are the author of “Come, Lord Jesus, Meditations on the Second Coming of Christ.” What an encouraging book it was to me. Thank you so much for your time on our podcast today. It's been truly uplifting. 

Pastor John Piper: 

Well, it's been a privilege for me. Thank you so much. 

Crystal Keating: 

Thank you for listening today. For more episodes, find us wherever you get your podcasts, and be sure to subscribe. We'd also love it if you would tell a friend. And for more encouragement, follow Joni and Friends on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, and visit our website at 


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