| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 2 & 3 - Page 85 of 130 Index | Zoom | |
BEREAN EXPOSITOR VOLUME 2 & 3
The Joy of Faith.
We have heard of the "work of faith," and realize increasingly the necessity there is to
remember that "faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." We have heard that
"faith worketh patience," and can understand even by our own small experience that as
we realize by faith all the goodness, grace and glory laid up by virtue of redemption,
patience is no effort, but is rather one of the precious fruits of faith.
We seem, however, to hear little of the "joy of faith." All Scripture is given by
inspiration of God and is profitable. All Scripture comes to us with a demand for
conformity to its teaching. What of the "joy of faith"? Can we have the real faith of the
epistles if it is a joyless faith? We know the "faiths" or "creeds" of man's construction
(even though framed with the Word in view) often become grievous burdens, and shackle
those who subscribe to them as with fetters of iron. We want none of these joyless
creeds, but still let us ask, Do we know experimentally "the joy of faith"?
The expression is found in Phil.1:25. The apostle writes, "I know that I shall abide
and continue with you all, for your furtherance and joy of the faith." J. N. Darby in a
note says, "Progress and joy go together, not 'progress--and joy in faith'." Whatever the
exact meaning of the apostle may be in this passage, the truth which we feel we must
emphasize is that to believe the truth of the mystery, to realize the fact of acceptance in
the Beloved, to know that we have been raised together and made to sit together in the
heavenlies, in Christ, to know that we have been delivered out of the authority of
darkness, and translated into the kingdom of the beloved Son of God, this "faith" surely
must bring "joy" with it (the very writing of the words stirs our heart with joy), and a
furtherance or progress in this faith, while it may deepen our love, increase our sympathy,
perhaps cause us much conflict and many tears, yet seeing of Whom it speaks, and the
untold riches of grace and glory that it reveals, cannot but bring with it joy.
Already in Rom.15:23, with reference to other things, the apostle had written, "Now
the God of the hope (namely of verse 12, trust being hope) fill you with all joy and peace
in believing." Or again, in II Cor.1:24, he had written, "Not for that we have dominion
over your faith, but are fellow-workers of your joy, for by faith ye stand." "Joy" is a fruit
of the Spirit mentioned early in the wondrous cluster, "love, joy, peace," &100: Peter was
not a stranger to the "joy of faith," for speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ he said, "Whom
having not seen, ye love, in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice
with joy unspeakable, and full of glory."
What is the ground of this joy? A reading of either Philippians, or I Peter, will dispel
the idea that external circumstances contributed to this joy of faith. In both epistles
suffering and sorrow are emphatic, yet in the midst of it all there breathes a pure
unconquerable joy. "Joy" and "rejoice" are keywords of Philippians.