The essence of the Christian life is learning to fight for joy in a wayJohn Piper, When I Don’t Desire God
that does not replace grace. We must be able to say at the end of our
lives, “I have fought the good fight.” But we must also say, “It was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” I have pursued Christ as my
joy with all my might. But it was a might that he mightily imparted. We must fight for joy in such a way that we prove Jesus true when he said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). We will succeed in this battle when we can say with Paul in Colossians 1:29 that we are “struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” We struggle to bear the burden and carry the yoke. But he gives the power. All burdens are light to him. All yokes are easy to him. This too is something glorious to see in him. This too makes us glad in him. Trust him for this. Our joy in him will be the greater because we see him as the one who gives both the joy and the strength to fight for it.
My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O LORD;
let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!
(Psalm 119:25-32 ESV)