The Apostle Paul famously said that his “heart’s desire” and his “prayer to God” is that his fellow Jews “may be saved” (Rom. 10:1). The problem was that these “kinsmen according to the flesh” were lost—bound for an eternity without God—which filled Paul’s heart with “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” (Rom. 9:2-3).
Because we are sinners, we can take a true doctrine (God’s absolute sovereignty) and make it incompatible with an appropriate emotion (unceasing anguish for the lost). In a sermon from several years ago, John Piper explained three ways we can experience a disconnect between the biblical doctrine and the appropriate emotional state: