Fullness of Joy
The children of God are called to be representatives of Christ, showing forth the goodness and mercy of the Lord. As Jesus has revealed to us the true character of the Father, so we are to revealed to us the true character of the Father, so we are to reveal Christ to a world that does not know His tender, pitying love. "As Thou hast sent Me into the world," said Jesus, "even so have I also sent them into the world." I in them, and Thou in Me,...that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me." John 17:18,23. The apostle Paul says to the disciples of Jesus, "Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ," "known and read of all men." 2Corinthians 3:3,2. In every one of His children, Jesus sends a letter to the world. If you are Christ's follower, He sends in you a letter to the family, the village, the street, where you live. Jesus, dwelling in you, desires to speak to the hearts of those who are not acquainted with Him. Perhaps they do not read the Bible, or do not hear the voice that speaks to them in the pages; they do not see the love of God through His works. But if you are a true representative of Jesus, it may be that through you they will be led to understand something of His goodness, and be won to love and serve Him.
Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven. They are to reflect to the world the light shining upon them from Christ. Their life and character should be such that through them others will get a right conception of Christ and of His service.
If we do represent Christ, we shall make His service appear attractive, as it really is. Christians who gather up gloom and sadness to their souls, and murmur and complain, are giving to others a false representation of God and the Christian life. They give the impression that God is not pleased to have His children happy, and in this they bear false witness against our heavenly Father.
Satan is exultant when he can lead the children of God into unbelievable and despondency. He delights to see us mistrusting God, doubting His willingness and power to save us. He loves us to have us feel that the Lord will do us harm by His providences. It is the work of Satan to represent the Lord as lacking in compassion and pity. He mistakes the truth in regard to Him. He fills the imagination with false ideas concerning God; and instead of swelling upon the truth in regards to our heavenly Father, we too often fix our minds upon the misrepresentations of Satan, and dishonor God by distrusting Him and murmuring against Him. Satan ever seems to make the religious life one of gloom. He desires it to appear toilsome and difficult; and when the Christian presents in his own life this view of religion, he is, through his unbelief, seconding the falsehood of Satan..
Many, walking along the path of life, dwell upon their mistakes and failures and disappointments, and their hearts are filled with grief and discouragement. There's this questions we must consider.
Have there not been some bright spots in your experience? Have you not had some precious seasons when your heart throbbed with joy in response to the Spirit of God? When you look back into the chapters of your life experience, do you not find some pleasant pages? Are not God's promises, like that fragrant flowers, growing beside your path on every hand? Will you not let their beauty and sweetness fill your heart with joy.
The briers and thorns will only wound and grieving you; and if you gather only these things, and present them to others, are you not, besides lighting the goodness of God yourself, preventing those around you from walking in the path of life.
It is not wise to gather together all the unpleasant recollections of a past life,-its iniquities and disappointments,- to talk over them and mourn over them until we are overwhelmed with discouragement. A discouraged soul is filled with darkness, shutting out the light of God from his own soul, and casting a shadow upon the pathway of others.
Thank God for the bright pictures which He has represented to us. Let us group t together the blessed assistance of His love, that we may look upon them continuously: The Son of God leaving His Father's throne, clothing His divinity with humanity, that He might rescue man from the power of Satan; His triumph in our behalf, opening heaven to men, revealing to human vision the presence chamber where the Deity unveils His glory; the fallen race uplifted from the pit of ruin into which sin has plunged it, and brought again into connection with the infinite God, and having endured the divine test through faith in our Redeemer, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and exalted to His throne-these are the pictures which God would have us contemplate.
All this is harming your own soul; for every word of doubt you utter is inviting Satan's temptations; it is strengthening in you the tendency to count, and it is grieving from you the ministering angels. When Satan temps you, breathe not a word of doubt or darkness. If you choose to open the door to his suggestions, your mind will be filled with district and rebellious questioning. If you talk out your feelings, every doubt you express not only reacts upon yourself, but it is a seed that will germinate and bear fruit in life of others, and it may be impossible to counteract the influence of your words. You yourself may be able to recover from the season of temptation and from the snare of Satan, but others who have been swayed by your influence, may not be able to escape from the unbelievable you have suggested. How important that we speak only those things that will give spiritual strength and life.
Angels are listening to hear what kind of report you are hearing to the world about your heavenly Master. Let your conversation be of Him who liveth to make intercession for you before the Father. When you take the hand of a friend, let praise to God be on your lips and in your heart. This will attract his thoughts to Jesus.
All have trials; friends hard to bear temptations hard to resist. Do not tell your troubles to your fellow mortals, but carry everything to God in prayer. Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt of discouragement. You can do much to brighten the life of others and strengthen their efforts, by words of hope and holy cheer.