Life with God: Suffering or Joy?

Joy and suffering. I have experienced my share of both. In my early years, my parents divorced and my life was torn apart. As an adolescent, I survived cancer through radiation therapy, and a related brain tumor as an adult. I have known the joys of family, marriage, fatherhood, several opportunities to apply my mind to challenging careers. All of these have been enriched through my relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Ayn Rand characterizes the philosophy of her detractors, the looters, as a philosophy of suffering and doom. Any worldview that places an arbitrary entity (an entity other than the self) above the self, is quenching/inhibiting the joy of the individual. It must be. But Ayn Rand doesn’t consider ALL of the ways that joy comes to individuals. 

The premise of John Piper’s book, Desiring God, is that God is the ultimate fulfillment of our longing for joy. He puts that longing in our heart, and leads us to the only stream that flows with living water: Himself. 

The prayer of Augustine reflects that longing: “Lord, our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Thee.”

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