I have begun to read John Piper. I have done this in the past, but did not take what he had to say all that seriously. Now though, I have come to see his wisdom and honesty. I have bought Desiring God and just began reading it today. His wisdom is already jumping off the pages and grabbing hold off me. Here are some of the highlights and reflections that grabbed me the most:

People lift their hand to rebel against the Most High only to find that their rebellion is unwitting service in the wonderful designs of God. Even sin cannot frustrate the purposes of the Almighty. He himself does not commit sin, but he has decreed that there be acts which are sin-for the acts of Pilate and Herod were predestined by God’s plan. (p. 26)

The hardened disobedience of men’s hearts leads not to the frustration of God’s plans, but to their fruition. (p. 27)

God’s sovereignty over men’s affairs is not compromised even by the reality of sin and evil in the world. It is not limited to the good acts of men or the pleasant events of nature. The wind belongs to God whether it comforts or whether it kills.

In the end one must finally come to see that if there is a God in heaven, there is no such thing as mere coincidence, not even in the smallest affairs of life: “The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). Not one sparrow “will fall to the ground without your Father’s will” (  Matthew 10:29).

Therefore when I say the sovereignty of God is the foundation of his happiness, I do not ignore or minimize the anger and grief God can express against evil. But neither do I infer from this wrath and sorrow that God is a frustrated God who cannot keep his creation under control. He has designed from all eternity, and is infallibly forming with every event, a magnificent mosaic of redemptive history. The contemplation of this mosaic (with both its dark and bright tiles) fills his heart with joy. (p. 30)