Joy: October 2013

Table of Contents

1. Joy
2. The Pursuit of Happiness  -  Joy
3. The Joy of the Lord
4. Joy in Heaven
5. Rejoice With Me
6. Joy in God
7. Our Joy in Heaven
8. The Joy of Obedience and Submission
9. We Also Joy in God
10. Drink Offerings
11. Man of Sorrow, Patience and Joy
12. Rejoice Evermore
13. His Joy Greater Than Ours
14. Joy in Suffering
15. Heaven’s Joy


“Many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy” (Ezra 3:12). Some rejoiced and some wept at the same event. Why? At a funeral, we often find both joy and weeping. Why? When we remember our Lord Jesus in His death, we sometimes sing, “With joy and sorrow mingling we do remember Thee.”
May we each profit, as we read this issue, by pondering what we find our joy in and, by contrast, what we find our sorrow in. Is our joy selfish in character? Do we only find our joy in what gives natural pleasure to us? Or do we find greater joy in seeing what brings good to others?
God finds His joy in His Son and the blessing of the sinner. He finds sorrow in what dishonors and brings pain to His Son and in what hinders the sinner’s blessing and brings judgment upon him.
We will each benefit as we learn more and more to find our joy in God and in what He finds His joy. We “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Pursuit of Happiness  -  Joy

Everyone endeavors to achieve happiness, but not all agree on how happiness is realized. The lifestyle of the rich farmer — “take thine ease, eat drink, and be merry” — is attractive. Others may think it lies in having power, like Pilate who said, “Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?” (John 19:10). Without multiplying other pursuits men endeavor for their enjoyment, let us observe what made the Lord Jesus rejoice. While He was on earth, we may observe that in the four Gospels there were two things that made Him rejoice. First, He rejoiced that God was honored, and, second, that mankind was blessed (see John 4:36). Never did He rejoice because of what He obtained or because of His beneficial circumstances. He was rather known as the Man of sorrows, as He is now the Man of patience, waiting for the coming kingdom when all will rejoice together. Yet in His time of affliction and sorrow, He did rejoice, and so may we.
Throughout the Scriptures, there are many couplets of joy; the first is found in the prayer, or song, of Hannah. “Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in Thy salvation” (1 Sam. 2:1). This double mention of rejoicing is according to the pattern we have observed in the Lord Jesus. First, she rejoiced in the Lord, and then in His salvation to mankind. The experience of receiving a son through the Lord’s promise and then dedicating that son to serve Him opened her heart to know the Lord. It enabled her to rejoice in Him. This rejoicing has nothing to do with circumstances but is in the Lord Himself, though a series of circumstances was necessary to make her rejoice in the Lord. We might refer to it as a vertical form of rejoicing, while rejoicing in the Lord’s salvation is horizontal; it relates to circumstances on earth.
In the measure that we pass through difficulties in our lives, it is good for us to remember the case of Hannah, realizing that present circumstances are building blocks to make us rejoice in the Lord. Our rejoicing in His salvation is complete as regards our souls, but as regards our bodies, salvation will be realized in a coming day when Christ comes. Like Hannah, who upon receiving the promise of a son was no longer sad, we by faith in the Lord’s promises can sing during our journey.
The Seventy Disciples
When the seventy disciples returned to the Lord after having accomplished many miracles, they rejoiced that the devils were subject unto them. The Lord turns their souls to a better motive than overcoming Satan’s power. He said to them, “Rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). The blessing of mankind was in His heart. At that moment, the Lord Jesus opens His heart for us to see more of what caused Him to rejoice. “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (vs. 21). The Lord delights in blessing those who have the least, even the babes and unwise. What love and grace!
Sacrifices of Joy
The Apostle Paul, writing from prison to the Philippians, gives us four double examples of rejoicing. The first cause of rejoicing has to do with the preaching of the gospel. He earnestly desired the blessing of souls through the preaching of the gospel. His desire exceeded the evil speaking that encompassed the preaching of those that sought to add affliction to his bonds. Being evil spoken of was nothing to him, so long as the gospel was preached and the Holy Spirit was active. Even if it meant he would be evil spoken of because of the way some preached, yet he would desire that Christ be preached. He says, “What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice” (Phil. 1:18). While it meant he would have to suffer more because of their devious methods of preaching, he would both rejoice at that time because the gospel was preached for the blessing of souls, and he would continue to rejoice because in the future day those saved would be with the Lord.
The next cause of rejoicing of which Paul speaks similarly has to do with the outcome of the way the Philippians preached the gospel. He writes to them of how they had appeared “as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life, so as to be a boast for me in Christ’s day, that I have not run in vain nor labored in vain. But if also I am poured out as a libation on the sacrifice and ministration of your faith, I rejoice, and rejoice in common with you all. In like manner do ye also rejoice, and rejoice with me” (Phil. 2:14-18 JND). He would be like a drink offering (libation) of wine poured out in joy over their sacrifice to God in the preaching of the gospel to others. In the coming day of Christ, when He appears, they would rejoice together with Him. In whatever measure that sacrifices are made for Christ, there will be joy, both now and with Christ at His appearing.
We see in the next example how Paul’s joy was bound up in seeing the Philippians rejoice. Epaphroditus was sent by the Philippians to help Paul at Rome. In Rome Epaphroditus became sick and nearly died; however, the Lord raised him up. The Philippians were concerned about his condition. Sending Epaphroditus back to Philippi in good health would cause the Philippians to rejoice. Any sorrow Paul would have at Epaphroditus’ departure would be well compensated by the Philippians’ joy at seeing him again. “I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when you see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such in reputation: because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me” (Phil. 2:28-30). When each one seeks the good of the other, there is rejoicing.
In the last chapter we have that short little verse which speaks volumes and is often sung in happy chorus. “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice!” This rejoicing lifts our souls above all circumstances to occupy us with the person of the Lord Jesus. His delight is in us, and we may delight in Him. Time and circumstances will never change the One who is the Same, yesterday, today and forever. May our hearts never be removed from the enjoyment of Him. He, though in heaven, has a heart that corresponds to it in joy.
D. C. Buchanan

The Joy of the Lord

When man thinks of joy, he generally thinks of himself and his own experience, for fallen man is by nature self-centered. The prevalence of secular humanism today only augments this kind of thinking, for its basic premise is that the endpoint of everything is the happiness of man. When man takes this view, he always dishonors God and ultimately shortchanges himself too. True joy can be found only in the Lord, and to experience the superlatives of joy, we must take a view of joy from God’s side. When man gives God His rightful place and starts with Him, God is glorified, and man is far more blessed.
A Gift From God
First of all, we must recognize that all joy is really a gift from God, for God desired man’s blessing, right from the beginning. In keeping with this desire, there are natural joys in our human lives — joys that come from the enjoyment of God’s creation, joys that come from human relationships, and joys that come from happy experiences in this world. All of these are ultimately a gift from God, for it is He who gave us both the sources of these joys and the senses to be able to enjoy them; all are the product of God’s goodness to man. However, there is much more than this in the heart of God, for He purposed in a past eternity to exalt His beloved Son and to associate His own with His Son in a coming eternity. His love went out to us in a past eternity, and His joy originated there, as He considered the glory of His Son and the joy of having us both with Him and like Him. To share in God’s joy brings a supreme happiness, not only down here in this world, but also for all eternity.
Thus we find that the Lord Jesus, “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:2). It was His joy to do the Father’s will, even if it meant going to the cross, for the glory lay before Him and also the joy of having us with Him as the reward of His sufferings. More than this, when the Lord Jesus was taking leave of His own, so to speak, just before going to the cross, He could pray to the Father that His own “might have My joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13). He could also say to them, “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). It is His joy alone that can fill our hearts. God has created us in His image and has “set the world [or eternity] in their heart” (Eccl. 3:11), so that nothing less than this in the world is able to satisfy the heart of man. God created that heart, and only He can fill it. For the believer, the Apostle Paul’s wish was that the God of hope might fill them “with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13). The joy that man seeks is often elusive, but the joy that God gives to His own is full, and it lasts.
The Impact of His Joy
The experience of tasting the Lord’s joy has a tremendous impact on our lives in this world. Nehemiah could remind the people in his day that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10), and the reference is not to our joy in the Lord, but rather to His joy in us. His joy far exceeds ours, and a sense of His joy in our hearts is what gives us strength to go on in our Christian pathway, just as it encouraged those godly Jews in a difficult day. As the hymn says, “Our joy still ebbs and flows,” and we all can testify to the truth of this. Our joy in the Lord is indeed wonderful, but as our state of soul varies, so does our joy. But His joy in us never wavers, and it is our experiencing of His joy that gives us our strength.
As we have already remarked, the joy that the Lord gives is not merely temporary; it lasts. So we read, “Your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you” (John 16:22). The joy that we have in natural things or the joy that this world offers can never last. Natural things bear the stamp of sin and ultimately disappoint. The joy of this world also lasts only for a time, and then it gives us the sting that is always connected with it. Much of the art man produces, whether in painting, sculpture, music, or poetry, reflects his heartache at the loss of what his inner being longs for. Although the believer does not yet have the “fullness of joy” that will be found in the Lord’s presence in a coming day (Psa. 16:11), yet he is able even now to “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). By faith we lay hold of what Christ has done for us and the joy that will fill heaven’s courts when He has us there with Him.
The Witness of Joy
But it is not God’s intention that we should keep this joy all to ourselves. As another has most aptly remarked, “Our testimony to this world is our joy in God.” We do “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [or reconciliation]” (Rom. 5:11). Because we live and walk in the sense of God’s joy in us, we are able to help others to see this too, whether it be first of all in coming to Christ for salvation, or in promoting God’s joy in the life of a fellow believer. Thus Paul could say to the Corinthians that he, and others with him, were “helpers of your joy” (2 Cor. 1:24). By their ministry, they brought Christ before others and enabled them to know Him better.
The joy that the Lord gives promotes giving in us, for that joy is not self-centered; it loves to communicate to others. God is a giving God, and we who are called to display His character in this world have a new life that delights to give. Thus Paul could call attention to those of Macedonia, who in “the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty” were energized to give “beyond their power” (2 Cor. 8:2-3).
Our occupation with the joy of the Lord always seeks to dwell on that joy and on that which is positive. There are times when we must dwell on that which is negative, but we notice that when Paul and Barnabas traveled to Jerusalem to consider a question that had the potential to cause a serious rift in the early church, they “passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren” (Acts 15:3). There would be plenty of time to be occupied with the question at hand when they got to Jerusalem, but along the way their conversation brought only great joy.
Finally, the Spirit of God would take our hearts on to coming glory, when all will be according to God’s mind. Jude looks on to that day, to Him who will “present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24). What joy will be in that day, when His joy and our joy will both be full! He would have us to experience something of that joy now.
W. J. Prost

Joy in Heaven

Joy in heaven — what produces it? The repentance of one sinner! Marvelous that heaven should be so stirred by what produces so little commotion on earth — that there should be joy in heaven over what produces little else but contempt in the world.
An heir is born to some powerful sovereign, or such a one is married or ascends the throne, and there is great rejoicing and merrymaking on earth. Some mighty conqueror returns at the head of his victorious armies, and there is great rejoicing on earth, but such matters receive little notice in heaven. Some poor, broken-down, miserable wreck of a man or woman on a heap of filthy rags or straw, in some tumble-down garret or hovel, turns their face towards heaven and says, “Father, I have sinned,” or “God, be merciful to me a sinner,” and all heaven rings again with joy. And where is the source and spring of this joy? In the heart of the blessed One that is happy — God. “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10). Who is in their presence, and in whose presence are they? In the presence of God; that is where the joy is from which all heaven catches the tone.
Only think that it is not the faultless self-righteous Pharisee that produces this joy; it is the repentance of a sinner! What is repentance? It is that change of mind which godly sorrow works. It is not the sorrow of the world that works death, as in the case of Judas. Rather, it is a change of mind as to God, when we own Him to be just and merciful and gracious. We tend to think ourselves righteous, and even religious, but we must own ourselves to be sinners, to be utterly without claim upon Him on the ground of anything we are or have done, and cast ourselves unreservedly upon His mercy.
Adapted from Things New
and Old,

Rejoice With Me

Luke 15
These touching words, “Rejoice with me,” unfold to us the deep joy of the Lord Himself in the matter of our salvation. This is not sufficiently seen or thought of. We are apt to forget that God has His own special joy in receiving back to His bosom of love the poor wanderer — a joy so peculiar that He can say, “Rejoice with me” — “let us eat and be merry” — “it was meet that we should make merry and be glad.” He does not say, “Let him eat and be merry.” This would never do. God has His own joy in redemption. This is the sweet lesson taught in Luke 15. The shepherd was glad to find his sheep. The woman was glad to find her piece of silver. The father was glad to embrace his son. God is glad to get back the lost one. The tide of joy that rolls through the hosts above when a sinner returns finds its deep, exhaustless source in the eternal bosom of God. “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10). There is no one who has such deep joy in the salvation of a soul as God Himself.
The thought of this is most soul-subduing and heart-melting. Nothing can exceed it. It gives a full, clear and convincing answer to Satan’s lie in the Garden and to all the dark suspicion of our hearts. Who could listen for a moment to those accents, “Let us be merry,” issuing from the father’s lips — the father’s heart — and continue to doubt his perfect love? How could the prodigal have had a doubt in his heart, when he saw that there was not one in all the house so glad to get him back as the father himself? Surely, the words “let us be merry” must have fallen upon his heart with peculiar power. He could never have presumed to hope for such a reception. To be let in, at all — to be made a hired servant — to get any place in the house, would have fulfilled his highest expectation. But oh! to hear the father say, “Let us eat and be merry!” This truly was beyond all human thought. Yet these were the father’s veritable words. It was really true that he was glad to get back the poor, undeserving spendthrift. He could not tell why, but so it was. The father had embraced and kissed him, even in his rags. Without a single upbraiding word, he had received him to his bosom. At the very moment when he was full of doubt as to whether he would be let in at all, he found the father on his neck. And, as if to crown all and banish every trace of doubt and every shadow of fear, he hears the father’s cry, “Let us eat and be merry.”
Pause and think of all this. Think deeply of it. Remember, God is glad to get back to Himself the very vilest of the vile. A returning sinner makes God happy. Wondrous thought! Profound mystery of love! A poor sinner can minister to the joy of God! Oh! who can cherish a doubt or harbor a fear in the presence of such grace? May the sense of it fill your heart with sweetest confidence and peace!
Things New and Old, 2:97

Joy in God

There is often in ourselves the lack of joy in God, but if we look at the Word of God, it will fix this more upon the spirit. In the opening of Luke, what joy we see among the angels there! What joy on earth in the vessels filled by the Spirit there! Indeed, one feature of the kingdom of God is “joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17). Angels may appear together, or alone, as in the person of Gabriel. Witness that fervency of heart and openness of mouth which speaks eloquently of the liberty and gladness of the soul. And the style of the filled vessels, whether it be Mary or Elizabeth, Zacharias or Simeon, or the company of shepherds who had been called into the fellowship of angels, equally tells us that all were satisfied — that if in heaven, so on earth, the presence of the power of “the kingdom of God” was expressing itself in “joy.”
But let us come on to the fifth chapter, and there we shall find that not only angelic heavenly hosts and filled human vessels enter into this joy, but believing sinners likewise. They show it, and in their way they express it.
Look in this chapter at Peter and his companions, at the healed palsied man, at Levi, and then at all the children of the bridechamber. Peter and his companions are at once able to rise up, leave all, and follow Jesus. The palsied man takes up his bed and, rising up, before them all who stood around him, goes home glorifying God. Levi, at the word of power, abandons what is everything to him in this world and makes a feast, and such a feast that exposed him to the rebuke of others.
The children of the bridechamber could not fast; they were afresh introduced to the Person in whom the fullness of joy dwells and reigns, and they could not fast, and the Bridegroom approves their joy.
Thus were the poor believing sinners, as in Acts 13, “filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.” They take their place with angels and with filled vessels just to prove (it may be each in his different way) that the one feature of the kingdom of God is “joy in the Holy Ghost.”
The poor cripple, carrying his bed with praises, is as sure and seasonable an expression of this as the angelic chorus over the fields of Bethlehem. Levi’s feast tells this as distinctly as Mary’s song or Simeon’s oracle. All is joy after its own order and in its own way.
And this is the crowning, eternal thing; there is peace; there is entrance into grace or favor; there is hope, but the crowning experience in the praises of the soul is joy — “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:11).
J. G. Bellett

Our Joy in Heaven

Luke 9:28-36
When we look at the transfiguration as given in Luke 9:28-36, we see what our joy in the glory will consist of. We have the warrant of 2 Peter 1:16 for saying that the scene represents to us the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this is what we wait for. Our souls are not in a healthy state unless we are waiting for God’s Son from heaven. The church is not regulated in its hopes by the Word and Spirit of God, unless it is looking for Him as Saviour from heaven (Phil. 3:20-21). And this passage (Luke 9) specially discloses to us what will be our portion when He comes; it is important to us in this respect. There are many other things in the passage, such as the mutual relations of the earthly and the heavenly people in the kingdom. These it may be very instructive to consider, but this is not our present purpose. Rather, we want to consider what light is here afforded on the nature of that joy which we shall inherit from the Lord at His coming. Other scriptures, such as the promises to those who overcome, in Revelation 2-3, and the description of the heavenly city, in Revelation 21-22, give us instructions on the same subject, but let us now particularly look at the scene on the holy mount.
The Holy Mount
“It came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, He took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering.” It was when Jesus was in the acknowledgment of dependence — ”as He prayed” — that this change took place. This then is the first thing we have here: A change will occur on the living saints when Jesus comes.
“And, behold, there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias.” They were with Him. And this will be our joy; we shall be with Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 4, after stating the order in which the resurrection of the sleeping and the change of the living saints will take place and that we shall both be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, all that the Apostle says as to what will ensue is, “So shall we ever be with the Lord.”
But in this passage in Luke 9, there is not only the being with Christ; there is also familiar conversation with Him. “There talked with Him two men.” It is not that He talked with them, though this was no doubt true, but this might have been, even were they at a distance. But when we read that they talked with Him, we get the idea of the most free and familiar conversation. Peter and the others knew what it was to have such fellowship with Jesus in humiliation, and what joy it must have been to have the proof that such fellowship with Him would be enjoyed in glory!
The Glory
And then it is said by Luke that they “appeared in glory.” But this is secondary to what we have been considering. We are told that they were with Him, and then that they appeared in glory. They share in the same glory as that in which He was manifested. And so as to us. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). “The glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me” (John 17:22-23).
But there is still another thing. We are not only told that they were with Him, that they talked with Him and appeared in glory with Him, but we are also privileged to know the subject of their conversation. They “spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem.” It was the cross which was the theme of their conversation in the glory — the sufferings of Christ which He had to accomplish at Jerusalem. And surely this will be our joy throughout eternity, when in glory with Christ — to dwell upon this theme.
The Excellent Glory
We next read that Peter and they that were with Him were heavy with sleep. It shows us what the flesh is in the presence of the glory of God. Peter made a great mistake in speaking, but let us notice what he said later in his Epistle. “While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son: hear Him.” Peter tells us that this voice came from the excellent glory. “He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (2 Peter 1:17). We are admitted by God the Father to partake of His satisfaction in His beloved Son.
“And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone.” The vision all gone — the cloud, the voice, the glory, Moses and Elias — but Jesus was left; they were left to go on their way with Jesus, knowing Him now in the light of those scenes of glory which they had beheld. And this is the use to us of those vivid apprehensions of spiritual things which we may sometimes realize. It is not that we can be always enjoying them and nothing else. But when for the season they have passed away, like this vision on the holy mount, they leave us alone with Jesus, to pursue the path of our pilgrimage with Him in spirit now, and with Him in the light and power of that deepened acquaintance with Him, and fellowship of the Father’s joy in Him, that we have got on the mount, and then to wait for the moment of His return, when all this, and more than our hearts can think of, shall be fulfilled to us forever.
Adapted from J. N. Darby

The Joy of Obedience and Submission

The Joy of Obedience
“If ye keep My commandments ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:10-12).
Notice that this verse speaks about two joys — His joy and our joy. The Lord Jesus is saying to the disciples and in spirit now to us: “On earth, I had My joy, and the joy that I have had in My life is the joy that I want you to experience and have in your life.” It is a full joy. There can be no greater joy than the joy He experienced and wants us to have as well.
The Lord Jesus went through life with a fullness of joy. Yes, He was the man of sorrows and He was acquainted with grief. He had constant sorrow in His life, having to deal with sin, with the spoiled creation, and with Satan. All weighed on His spirit daily, yet at the same time, He experienced a joy that no man could take from Him. It was a joy that now He presents to the disciples — “I want My daily joy to be your daily joy.”
That joy has an “if” connected with it, for He says, “If ye keep My commandments.” In Psalm 40, the Lord Jesus, prophetically speaking, says, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God.” The joy of the Lord Jesus, every moment of every day of His life — motivated by love — was to do the will of His Father. It was the joy of obedience.
Much of the bitterness and sorrow that we experience in daily life is because we do not wholeheartedly delight to do the will of our Father. In place of doing His will, we seek to find our joy in doing our own will. We set our mind and hearts to do what is not the will of our Father. Our happiness gets tied to it, and as a consequence, when it doesn’t come to pass as we hoped, it produces unhappiness or frustration.
The Lord Jesus never had to experience that kind of sorrow in the flesh. He found His daily delight in the joy of obedience, an obedience motivated by love. The joy was reciprocal, too. When the Lord Jesus went through His life here, it was a perfect delight to the heart of the Father. Every day as the Father looked down upon the Son, walking obediently in the midst of all the misery and evil, He found delight in His obedient life. He is so pleased that He opens heaven just so He can say, “This is My Son, in whom I have found My delight.”
In the Son’s prayer to the Father in John 17 He says, “Thou  ...  hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me,” and He desires that “they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” His joy was in doing the Father’s will, and He desires that they go through each day enjoying the love of the Father and the Father delighting in their obedience to His will. Our new life, the life of Christ, delights in the nature of God and delights to do His will. It’s the joy that the Spirit of God produces in us, as we have in Galatians 5: “The fruit of the Spirit is  ...  joy.”
In speaking about prayer, we noted that we ask and He hears us. Do you think the Lord Jesus, walking in the spirit of loving obedience, ever asked for anything that the Father had to say, “Sorry, Son. You don’t quite understand Me or My purposes, and so I have to say no. I need to explain to You where Your thoughts and Mine are different.” No, He never did. God, by the Spirit, desires and delights to work in us so that what we want of the Father is always consistent with His will. When His will is our will and His desires are our desires, then, and only then, will we have fullness of joy.
The Joy of Submission
In the early chapters of Matthew we see the Lord Jesus going up the mountain and preaching what we call the sermon on the mount, giving the beatitudes and so on. Then we see Him going out and doing good, healing and giving life to those who have died. When we get to the tenth and the eleventh chapters, what’s the result of all His preaching and doing good? We’d say, “I hope there’s been a wonderful result of all that work of good and blessing for man.” But, in reality, He is totally rejected by His own people, the Jews. All that He labored for and all the love He showed produced no outward result in the souls of men. Instead they said, “Let’s get rid of this man.”
How did He react to the rejection of Himself and His love? Was He disheartened? Discouraged and cast down? No. He rejoiced in spirit and said, “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth  ...  for so it seemed go in Thy sight” (Matt. 11:25-26). Where could He get joy like that? All His teaching and preaching and doing good seemed to have produced nothing but hatred and animosity! Yet He could rejoice and say, “I thank Thee, O Father.” It was a joy of submission to the Father’s will. From that point on, the Father sent Him out to do good to all men, no longer restricting Him to just the Jew. He said to all mankind, “Come unto Me  ...  and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me  ...  and ye shall find rest.”
The first rest in that invitation might be called the gospel rest. He says, “Come unto Me  ...  and I will give you rest.” The second rest in that invitation is connected with joy. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me  ...  and ye shall find rest.” It reminds our hearts that the true path of rest and joy is the path that the Lord Jesus took. He accepted everything, every circumstance and every result, in perfect submission from the hand of the Father. It was the path of lowly submission. He came down to earth, and on earth He went down lower still. Will we go down in spirit to the place where He is in Matthew 11 and learn of Him and find rest, joy and peace? “Come down to Me, where I am, and you are going to find rest for your soul.”
D. F. Rule

We Also Joy in God

Romans 5:11
The grace of God seen in this verse shines at its brightest, as far as this epistle goes, and we who believe are meant to enjoy all to the full. Never is this possible, never is it understood, until we are convinced by divine teaching that all our blessing is in Christ and His redemption. Justified by faith on Him and His work, we have peace with God. This strengthens us to judge ourselves and abhor our sins far more deeply than when, first convinced of our guilt, we cried to God and cast our souls on the sacrifice of Christ. No soul has solid peace with God until he believes on Him that raised up from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered for our offences and was raised up for our justification.
Faith is reckoned to the believer now for righteousness, not merely in the way as to Abraham of old, but far more blessedly. Abraham believed in hope of what God would do; the Christian believes what God has done for him in Christ. Abraham confided in promise; we, under the gospel, have the accomplishment. The work of God’s grace for the remission of our sins and purging our consciences is once and forever done; it cannot be annulled, nor can it be added to. In receiving Him who died for us and rose again, we receive the reconciliation. We know that the love of God was toward us, when we were yet sinners. Then it was that Christ died for us, not when we had a little strength and became godly, for when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for ungodly persons.
Such is the unerring Word of God. What glad tidings for men! How wicked to despise His message! How blessed to believe! Sin wronged His love and His truth, and Christ vindicated both. He suffered once for sins that He might bring us to God, and faith receives this on God’s Word to the salvation of the soul. By Christ also “we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2).
Boast in Tribulation
Nor is this all. We rejoice or boast in tribulations also. This is the promise to the Christian, instead of the earthly prosperity pledged to the Jew for faithfulness. But grace turns tribulations to the Christian’s present good, by breaking his will and teaching him what the God is that has found him and that he has found. Tribulation works out patience, and patience, experience, and experience, hope, and hope does not make ashamed, because the love of God is then better known, being shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that is given to us. His love which was spent on us at great cost to Christ and to Himself, when we were unlovable to any but God, certainly cannot be less when we have repentance toward Him and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. His love is the assurance to our faith that being now justified by Christ’s blood, we shall be saved from wrath through the Saviour. “If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved [in virtue of] His life” (Rom. 5:10).
Joy in God
There is even more than this most comforting assurance as to the future. “And not only so, but we also joy [or boast, the same word as in verses 2-3] in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [or, rather, reconciliation, referring to verse 11].” It is not now the love of God, but the God of love, and He is our boast, in no way our dread as before. We can glory in Him, not merely in what He has given us in Christ or will give us in a coming day, for as we have now received the reconciliation, His perfect love casts out fear, and we know what He is to us in Christ; yea, the very sorrows of the way lead us to know His love better, as well as His Word, which is thus verified to us not only in our Saviour but in every day’s experience, for the Holy Spirit does not fail here below while Christ is on high.
Life Eternal
Indeed, this is life eternal, that the Christian should know the Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent. And he knows Him to be love as well as light, Christ’s Father and our Father, Christ’s God and our God. Receiving Christ, we have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness nor handling the Word of God deceitfully. From such crooked ways there was no real deliverance apart from Christ, but now that the Son of God has come, the Deliverer from the coming wrath, He has also given us an understanding that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. We love, because He first loved us, and every one that loves is born of God and knows God. He that loves not knows not God, for God is love. And it was manifested toward us in this, that God sent His only-begotten Son that we might live through Him, yea more, that He might die for us, a propitiation for our sins.
But it is impossible so to know God and His love without boasting in Him. The heart is cleared of its idols; the living and true God is served. But there is much more than this, for the heart is led up, by the truth of Christ and the love of God displayed toward us in His work, from the blessing to the Blesser, who sets us in perfect and unchanging favor. His very chastening is the effect and proof of His love to His children, as we read in Hebrews 12. Hence we boast in God, even now in this world, as the fruit of the “reconciliation.” So in order to make it known, our Lord taught us in the parable that the father deemed it well to make merry and rejoice because the lost prodigal was found; not the sinner only to be saved, but to know the God who saved him. Can we but glory in Himself then? We are thereby made true worshippers and worship Him in spirit and truth. Thus do we joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we now received the reconciliation.
From Bible Treasury

Drink Offerings

The drink offering under the law foreshadowed the joy which God and man could find in the man Christ Jesus. A common subject of joy then there is between God and us. Its measure varies not with our apprehension of what there is in His Son to delight the heart, but God has told us what the measure is, which can be found in that perfect, spotless One, who was holy, harmless and undefiled. What an idea of God’s delight in His Son do the sacrifices of sweet savor bring before us! Noah was a perfect man in his generations. Job had none like him in all the earth. Abraham was called the friend of God, and on him, to order his house aright, God declared He could count. David was the man after God’s own heart. But each of these, though thus described by God, fell short of answering perfectly to what a man on earth should be. The Lord alone has done that, and the measure of the drink offering, varying, but always commensurate with the oil of the meat offering, tells it to us in type, as His life and His death afterward exemplified and proved it. Thus what the Lord was, as made known by the New Testament, sheds a bright light on the types and shadows of the Old.
From Bible Treasury

Man of Sorrow, Patience and Joy

Christ is at God’s right hand, now the Man of patience, once the Man of sorrows, and hereafter to be the Man of joy — three very different displays of Christ. In Christ down here — the Babe in the manger — despised and rejected and acquainted with grief, we see the Man of sorrows, and yet nowhere do we get such divine glory as at the cross. As a sinner, what was I taken out of and whither am I brought by that cross? Where is the Christ now, whose death did it all? He is at the right hand of God, where as the Man of patience He has been waiting nearly 2000 years for the glory and the people, His own, as the recompense of such service. And what is He doing? Why, turning to us and saying, I am occupied with you in the glory; I have an entrance into all your sorrows; turn your eyes up here; open your hearts to Me; let me see everything. As a shepherd, I am occupied with each sheep, binding up each wound, making right each rent and tear in the fleece.
But hereafter most blessed is the thought of seeing the One who was emphatically the Man of sorrows down here as the Man of joy, “anointed with the oil of gladness” (joy) above His fellows! But it is well to think often of Him as the Man of sorrows, in connection with what we are passing through. Heap up all your sorrows, till you can heap no more; then turn to Him, whose heart broke in woe, and talk of your sorrows and of all that has worn you down. If you can do this, then in His presence you may hear Him say to you, “Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow, which is done unto Me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger” (Lam. 1:12). Yet He shall be the Man of joy.
Is the thought of Christ’s joy sweet to our hearts? Do you love to think that there will be no face so beautiful, no heart so bright and perfect in its joy as His? Nothing like His beauty! All the glory then and there will only be like the setting of that gem.
And that new name of His shall be written on you! Surely that ought to give a little patience as you pass along the wilderness, tried by the roughness of the way, as though He said, Cheer up! Only a little while more, and I will write on you My name of joy. Christ’s heart is not fed with the externals of glory, but with the joy of serving God; it will be the joy of all the children being brought home, whom God has given Him — the new name written on them. That will be Christ’s joy.
Adapted from G. V. Wigram

Rejoice Evermore

It is the Lord’s mind that His children should now, even in this world of sorrow and death, be happy. He has not only created us in Christ Jesus, but we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Him, and the Holy Spirit says, “Rejoice evermore.” “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice.”
The source of our happiness, then, is the Lord Himself, and the secret of happiness is believing, on Him whom we see not (1 Peter 1:8). The measure of happiness we are entitled to enjoy is as unlimited and boundless as glory itself, “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Jesus desired that we might have His joy fulfilled in ourselves, and Scripture is written that “our joy may be full.”
From Things New and Old

His Joy Greater Than Ours

The church will have her joy in Christ, but Christ will have His greater joy in the church. The strongest pulse of gladness that is to beat for eternity will be in the bosom of the Lord over His ransomed bride. In all things He is to have the preeminence, and, as in all things, so in this, His joy in her will be greater than hers in Him.
J. G. Bellett

Joy in Suffering

Suffering can be pleasure if it is for someone you love. If you are following or serving the Lord, suffering can be a special joy.
H. E. Hayhoe

Heaven’s Joy

Will it be the glory bright
Of those realms of endless light?
Streets all paved with crystal gold,
Gates of pearl of price untold.
Harps and thrones and diadems,
Palaces and costly gems?
All, and more than this, is given,
But ’tis not the “joy of heaven.”
One there is, and One alone,
Every ransomed saint will own
As the central fount of bliss;
Heaven were empty without this.
Jesus, Lamb of God, Thou art
Now the center of my heart;
While by faith Thy face I see,
While I live and feed on Thee.
E’en in this sad, weary waste,
Often heavenly joys I taste:
Thou the joy of joys wilt be,
Of my heaven’s eternity.
J. G. Deck