Principal Rainy, of whom a child once remarked that she believed he went to heaven every night, because he was so happy every day, once used a fine metaphor about a Christian's joy. 'Joy,' he said, 'is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there.'
(Hab. 3. 18; John 15. 11; 1 Pet. 4. 13)
There is joy in retrospect, as we look at the past; there is joy of aspect, as we look at the present; there is the joy of prospect, as we look forward to the future.
There is the joy of memory, the joy of love, the joy of hope. There is the joy of the peaceful conscience, the joy of the grateful heart, the joy of the teachable mind, the joy of the trustful soul, the joy of the adoring spirit, the joy of the obedient life, and the joy of the glowing hope. 'In Thy Name do they rejoice.' That is where we get our joy: in Thy name, in the revelation of God.—Dr. W. H. Griffith Thomas
(Neh. 8. 10; Ps. 16. 11; Luke 24. 52; Rom. 15. 13)
One of the famous tombs in India has a marvelous architecture. 20,000 men took twenty-two years to erect it and the buildings around it. Standing there, if you speak or sing, the echo comes from the height of 150 feet, as if from heaven itself. It is not an ordinary echo. The sound is drawn out in sweet prolongation. So from sin's tomb the voice of believing, penitent prayer brings back an echo of joy from Heaven itself.
(Luke 15. 7, 10, 24, 32)
Joy is a fruit that will not grow
In nature's barren soil;
All we can boast till Christ we know,
Is vanity and toil.
But where the Lord has planted grace,
And made His glories known;
There fruits of heavenly joy and peace
Are found, and there alone.—John Newton
Millie J. White writes this:
A good many years ago, when I could see, I remember a day when I had an errand downtown. I caught a streetcar, which was pretty well filled. The seats were the long ones, so we all faced one another, as well as the weather. It was a damp, dismal day and I imagined everyone was going to work, but no one seemed happy about it.
Then the miracle—a woman got on the car with a baby about a year old. A little blond baby all smiles and bounce and full of giggles, and do you know that baby put on a show! She clapped her hands with pattycake, laughed and bounced up and down and with that bit of sunshine no one could feel dismal. Soon everyone was laughing and joining the baby in happiness.
Joy is infectious—a real shot in the arm as it were, and we all benefited, laughing and talking like old friends. Finally one old tough-looking man, who looked as if he had never smiled, turned to all of us and said, "Well, folks, I thought I needed a drink, but this kid sure has cheered me up." The man waved at the baby and she waved back.
Many times since, I have thought of that picture. It has given life and meaning to the words—"And a little child shall lead them." Charles Dickens wrote: "It is at least as difficult to stay a moral infection as a physical one."