Sermon: Today’s Mercies for Today’s Troubles; Tomorrow’s Mercies for Tomorrow’s Troubles Matthew 6:34 and Lamentations 3:22–23 -- By: John Piper

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 07:4 (Winter 2003)
Article: Sermon: Today’s Mercies for Today’s Troubles; Tomorrow’s Mercies for Tomorrow’s Troubles Matthew 6:34 and Lamentations 3:22–23
Author: John Piper


Sermon: Today’s Mercies for Today’s Troubles;
Tomorrow’s Mercies for Tomorrow’s Troubles
Matthew 6:34 and Lamentations 3:22–23

John Piper

John Piper has been the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 1980. He has the Dr. Theol. in New Testament from the University of Munich and taught for six years at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of a number of books and articles, including God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards (Crossway). Additional sermons and resources by Dr. Piper are available through Desiring God Ministries (www.desiringgod.org).

Introduction

Sometimes I have reinforced a sermon by following it up with a STAR article (The STAR is Bethlehem Baptist’s weekly newsletter). Today I want to reinforce a STAR article with a following sermon. The STAR article last week was called, “Today’s Mercies for Today’s Troubles; Tomorrow’s Mercies for Tomorrow’s Troubles.” There were several points. One was this: Every day God appoints a measure of pleasure and pain for that day—like the old Swedish hymn says:

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what he deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Kind beyond all measure, the Lord gives pain and pleasure to each day as he deems best. We don’t always agree enthusiastically with what God deems best for us. It is hard for us to feel that he is kind beyond all measure when he gives us pain. Causing pain is not generally equated with showing kindness, especially if God’s measure for one day is a lot more than another day. But it’s true, as we will see more fully in a moment. God gives each day his wise and loving measure of pain and pleasure. That was the first point of the STAR article.

The second was that there is fresh mercy from God for each day’s appointed pain. Today’s mercies are not designed to carry tomorrow’s burdens. There will be mercies tomorrow for that. Today’s mercies are for today’s burdens. But tomorrow? What about tomorrow? What will become of our children? Will they believe? Or will they forsake the way of righteousness? What will become of our health? Will we go blind or deaf or lose our memories? Who will take care of us? Will we spend the last 10 years of our lives out-living all our friends and family, abandoned, slumped over in a wheel chair at a rural nursing home? What will become of our marriages? Will we ever trust again? Will we laugh and play and pray and talk in peace? Will we be there for the children? Will we be there for each other? Will it be sad and strained and dissatisfying for 30 or 40 more years? What will it be l...

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