On Simple Pleasures in Contending for the Faith

by Perryn Pettus

Highlighted Verse: Jude 1:3
Full Reading: Isaiah 30; Jude

Guest Author: Perryn Pettus

Stumble | I often stumble with the small, seemingly innocuous things. Preoccupation with my outfit for a friend’s upcoming wedding. Dreaming of places I’d most like to travel. Reading blogs of “friends” I’ve never met. These things seem simple enough until I realize how much of my devotion and attention they’ve swallowed. On a good day, all I have to show for it is a heart that is captured by what I’m wearing, places I’ve never been, and people on blogs I don’t know.

Contend | Why should I be concerned about taking joy in the simple pleasures? Is it because they are inherently sinful and should not be enjoyed? Not at all! It is because of the perpetual state of mind in which they can keep me. They can become a constant distraction of passive worldly joy rather than an eternal joy that will endure. Jude exhorts us, “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” [1].

Fight | Christians are called to contend daily for the faith. Jude reminds us in his letter that the gift of salvation has already been given to the saints, once for all. He begins and ends his letter with the good news of a God who is willing and able to keep us from stumbling. Yet John Piper warns that, even though the ultimate victory has already been won, we should remain diligent. Piper says, “The promise of victory assumes valor in battle. When God promises that his church will be kept from defeat, his purpose is not that we lay down our sword and go to lunch, but that we pick up the sword of the Spirit and look confidently to God for the strength to fight and win” [2]. Contending for the faith isn’t necessarily banning simple pleasures from our lives. Instead, it urges us to actively train our minds to think on God’s eternal promises for our lasting joy.

Prayer | Lord, We marvel at your provision of a faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Forgive us for not being diligent in our daily fight in order to contend for the faith. Thank you for being willing and able to keep us from stumbling. Amen.

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Footnotes

[1]  Jude 1:3 ESV  |  [2]  John Piper. “Contend for the Faith.” 25 November 1984 (sermon).

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3 Comments to “On Simple Pleasures in Contending for the Faith”

  1. Great reminders.

  2. thanks for this great news from Jude–

  3. thank you for this encouragement, perryn! challenged me to pray for a heart that’s captured by Him and His promises.

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