the forward gaze of faith

“When it comes to spelling out the spiritual dynamics of how practical Christian obedience happens, the Bible does not say that it comes from the backward gaze of gratitude, but that it comes from the forward gaze of faith.” – John Piper (all quotes listed in this entry)

Piper refers to this concept as future grace.

And it’s rocking my world.

He challenges his reader in the same-titled book, Future Grace, to scour the Word of God and try to find passages that infer that it’s by overflowing gratitude that life-change happens. Like a child who just realized the tooth fairy looks just like her mom, I’m stunned to realize the void of passages.

Instead, here’s what I find:

  • O you of little faith (not o you of little gratitude) in Matthew 6:30
  • Live by faith (not live by gratitude) in Galatians 2:20
  • Walk by faith (not walk by gratitude) in 2 Corinthians 5:7
  • The Hall of Faith (not hall of gratitude) in Hebrews 11

He’s not saying that gratitude over past instances of God’s grace doesn’t have a very important place. It does.

“Gratitude empowers service by feeding faith with the joyful expectation of future grace on the basis of past experience.”


“Consider Moses–by what power did Moses break free from the ‘fleeting pleasures of sin’ in the courts of Egypt? The answer of Hebrews 11:24-26 is that he was set free by the power of faith in future grace. By faith Moses [chose] rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered abuse suffered for Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he looked to the reward

The promise of God overpowered the promise of sin.


One Response to the forward gaze of faith

  1. Jim says:

    Piper always has a bringing out profound truths.

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