Christian Joys

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
I used to think that to be a Christian was to be very miserable; to have no joys, no brightness in life, What a mistake! A Christian truly following Christ is, on the contrary, the only really happy person, because his joy depends neither on anything within him nor around him, but on what the Lord is to him, and has done for him. "Rejoice in the Lord alway.”
I remember asking a Christian why he looked so miserable sometimes, instead of happy, as he should be. He said that he could not be happy because atmospheric influences and bodily condition were often against him.
Atmospheric influences! Bodily condition! Well, let us try and see if such reasons are enough in themselves to tip over the balance of a Christian's joy. Look at Paul and Silas in Acts 16. Anyone who knows what the prisons were in Roman days, in the southern countries, can imagine that the atmosphere of that inner cell was not very invigorating or savory. Look at them! thrust into the inner prison, their feet made fast to the stocks.
What about their bodily condition? Their backs were lacerated by the Roman scourge, and bleeding from the many stripes that had just been laid upon them. Was that a condition of body likely to produce joy? No, indeed. Atmospheric influences and bodily condition certainly did not help these two prisoners. It was night, though little difference would there be between day and night there, for no ray of sunshine could pierce as far as that inner prison.
Ah! but do they not sink under such treatment, and groan beneath such burdens? Let us see. "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God.”
Surely atmospheric influences and bodily conditions did their worst here, but only with the effect of forcing prayers instead of grumbles; and praises instead of groans from the prisoners. Why? Because Christ was the object of their hearts. The joy of the Lord was their strength. The other prisoners heard them; strange sounds, indeed, to them,-praises to God at midnight.
Fellow believer, we are not told to rejoice in ourselves, nor in our circumstances, but
“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice." Phil. 4:44Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4).