Though a man of sorrow, He was even on earth anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. Does this seem strange?… Shall we wonder that there was divine gladness in the heart of Him who came into this world not by constraint but willingly, not with a burning sense of wrong but with a grateful sense of high privilege, and that He had a blessed consciousness of fellowship with His Father who sent Him, during the whole of His pilgrimage through this vale of tears?
Take a saint, and put him into any condition, and he knows how to rejoice in the Lord.
To be in Christ is the source of the Christian’s life; to be like Christ is the sum of His excellence; to be with Christ is the fullness of His joy.
Believer! is not this the source – the proper source of your joy – that Jesus lived, and suffered, and died for you – that He paid “all that great debt” you owed to law and justice, and washed away the foul stain of your guilt, in His own most precious blood?
The purest joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus. When the Spirit is poured down, His people get very near and clear views of the Lord Jesus. They eat His flesh and drink His blood. They come to a personal cleaving to the Lord. They taste that the Lord is gracious. His blood and righteousness appear infinitely perfect, full and free to their soul. They sit under His shadow with great delight… They lean on the Beloved. They find infinite strength in Him for the use of their soul — grace for grace — all they can need in any hour of trial and suffering to the very end.
If Christ’s honor is our passion, the pursuit of pleasure in Him is our duty.
Bored boasting in Christ and sad exultation in Christ are oxymorons. The enjoyment is essential to making much of Christ.
To bring His chosen [people] to eternal happiness was the high ambition which inspired [Jesus Christ], and made Him wade through a sea of blood.
I bear my testimony that there is no joy to be found in all this world like that of sweet communion with Christ. I would barter all else there is of heaven for that. Indeed, that is heaven. As for the harps of gold and the streets like clear glass and the songs of seraphs and the shouts of the redeemed, one could very well give all these up, counting them as a drop in a bucket, if we might forever live in fellowship and communion with Jesus.
You weren’t created for boredom or burnout or bondage to sexual lust or greed or ambition but for the incomparable pleasure and matchless joy that knowing Jesus alone can bring. Only then, in Him, will you encounter the life-changing, thirst-quenching, soul-satisfying delight that God, for His glory, created you to experience.
I’m a hedonist because I believe it is impossible to desire pleasure too much. But I’m a Christian hedonist because I believe the pleasure we cannot desire too much is pleasure in God and all that He is for us in Jesus.
The religion of Christ is the religion of joy. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy – deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy – in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Savior, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man?