“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” Proverbs 17:22
A Christian lady was always so bright and cheerful that everyone wondered at her joyous spirit. “But sister,” said a friend, you must have some clouds in your life.” “Clouds?” she replied, “Why, of course. If there were no clouds, where would the showers of blessing come from?”
There is no joy like the joy of a Christian. It is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The best of this world’s joy is but for a season, but that of the Christian is a joy that remains [John 15:11]. It is a joy of which only sin can rob him. Hence David cried, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” [Psalm 51:12]. It is a “joy unspeakable and full of glory” [1 Peter 1:8].
Human language is inadequate to describe it. Truly, the joy of the Lord is our strength [Nehemiah 8:10]. Through despondency of spirit the disciples failed to watch and pray with the Lord in Gethsemane’s garden. Yet the same men, strengthened by the joy of the Lord, “Departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” [Acts 5:41]. It was for the joy set before our Lord Jesus that He endured the cross, despising the shame.
Christian here is the best of all medicines: “Rejoice evermore” [1 Thessalonians 5:16]. One day we shall hear the blessed invitation, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:21]. Thomas Watson put it well when he said, “What joy shall the soul have when it bathes itself forever in the pure and pleasant fountain of God’s love? …If a cluster of grapes here be so sweet, what will the full vintage be? How should all this set us a-longing for that place where sorrow cannot live, and joy cannot die.”[From an article by Rev. Michael Patrick].
THE CANADIAN FEDERAL ELECTION
Canada went to the polls last Monday and the result was almost the same as the last election two years ago- a Liberal minority. But 600 million hard-earned taxpayers dollars were spent in the process of what turned out to be a totally unnecessary vote. Despite the unhappiness of many voters with the result, the Christian must bow to the providential work of God with, “Thy will be done.”
HOW THE JOY OF THE LORD CAN BE LOST
When David penned his penitential Psalm 51 he had obviously lost his joy in the Lord. He cried, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” [v12]. How he lost his delight in the Lord can be a lesson for all of us. God gave His joy. It is ours to lose. Note that it is not salvation we lose, but the “joy”.
It is obvious that David lost out because of his sinfulness. A look became adultery, then deception, followed by murder. David deliberately disobeyed God’s Word. We may not have fallen to David’s level, but we can just as deliberately disobey God’s commands. Sin is a sure cause of the loss of God’s joy.
Selfishness was another of David’s problems. He was more concerned about his pleasure than he was about the welfare of Israel. Ego is a dreadful problem. When my will is more important than God’s will we have a recipe for disaster.
Slackness. David forgot who he was. While his faithful soldiers were at the battlefront David was at home enjoying himself. Have we forgotten that we are children of the King? Are we slack in our devotion? To Bible reading? To prayer? Are we half-hearted? Are we lukewarm? All these lead to loss of joy.
Thank God the joy can be restored. Read the whole of Psalm 51 prayerfully and carefully. God will answer. Jesus said, “Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
THE COMING OF THE LORD
The Lord gave clear signs of His second coming. He spoke of wars, famines, earthquakes and pestilences [Matthew 24]. These have existed from Bible times until the present and there will be more. Jesus said these are but “the beginning of sorrows” [v8]
Jesus gave another sign – the “days of Noah” [v 37ff]. Noah’s days are remarkably like ours, with iniquity, unbelief, and indifference. The people in Noah’s day rejected the warning and perished. Despite the present-day Gospel outreach most do not listen, nor turn to God.
There is yet another sign of the coming of the Lord that is vitally important. It has not been fulfilled until recently. Jesus said, “This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come” [Matthew 24:14]. With the advent of computers and cell phones anyone, anywhere, can listen to the Gospel.
“Yet a little while and He that shall come will come” Hebrews 10:37