Published on October 20, 2016 by Joshua R Monroe

Crossway, 2013 | 268 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

About the Author

John Piper is a well-known Christian author and preacher. He served as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church for thirty-three years. He is the founder of the ministry Desiring God and maintains an active teaching role in the evangelical world.


Piper’s Desiring God is a contemporary Christian classic that led many believers to see the need of glorifying God by delighting in him and enjoying him forever. When I Don’t Desire God is written to help believers work through the difficult and dry times they inevitably encounter in their pilgrimage to Zion. There are times when we need to fight for joy, to fight against sin, and to fight for the glory of God. Piper examines these principles in this book and provides biblical and theological reflections to aid Christians who are struggling to enjoy God as they want to (and should).

Table of Contents

Preface to the Tenth-Anniversary Edition
Preface and a Prayer
Chapter 1 Why I Wrote This Book
Chapter 2 What is the Difference between Desire and Delight?
Chapter 3 The Call to Fight for Joy in God
Chapter 4 Joy in God Is a Gift of God
Chapter 5 The Fight for Joy is a Fight to See
Chapter 6 Fighting for Joy like a Justified Sinner
Chapter 7 The Worth of God’s Word in the Fight for Joy
Chapter 8 How to Wield the Word in the Fight for Joy
Chapter 9 The Focus of Prayer in the Fight for Joy
Chapter 10 The Practice of Prayer in the Fight for Joy
Chapter 11 How to Wield the World in the Fight for Joy
Chapter 12 When the Darkness Does Not Lift


Chapter One

Why I Wrote This Book

Christian hedonism validates our inner desire for joy, but it also devastates us because we realize that nobody desires God with the passion and intensity he deserves. Indwelling sin continues to keep us from fully seeking satisfaction in God. Since God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him, this failure to find our joy in God is a sin against his glory. Christian hedonism frees us from legalism and works, but what it calls us to is impossible in our own strength. Only God can give us hearts that want what they ought to want. We can make legalistic choices, but only God can reorder our affections. That we ought to desire Christ with all that we are is a truth that has been taught by great saints in the history of the church. Christian hedonism is biblical Christian living. What wounds us, however, is that we don’t always desire God, and we never desire him as much as we ought. The desire and joy we want is not something that will make us more comfortable, but something so profound it will spur us on to sacrifice, missions, and even martyrdom. We will only be able to sustain a life of God-honoring sacrifice when we live for and hope in a greater joy.

Chapter Two

What is the Difference between Desire and Delight

The Bible teaches us to desire God and to have delight in him. Psalmists and prophets and apostles describe their longing and desire for God. They also speak of their delight in God and their enjoyment of him. We are commanded to seek the Lord and find our delight in him; we are commanded to rejoice and be joyful. This is oversimplified, but we desire something when it is not present but future, and we delight in something when it is present with us. Our desires, however, are part of pleasure, and we have the desire because we have tasted of the delight. Desire is a pleasurable anticipation of the delight. We can desire God because—even though he is present—there is. . ..

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When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy

Crossway, 2013 | 268 pages

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