| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 22 - Page 110 of 214 Index | Zoom | |
orchard we should probably have not seen one single root, yet we should "know" that the
invisible roots were there and functioning properly by reason of the visible fruit. So Paul
saw the fruits of faith:--
"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy
Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for
your sake. And ye became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in
much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost" (I Thess. 1: 5, 6).
The place that joy occupies here is only seen in true perspective as we view it in
juxtaposition with the "much affliction". This is a spiritual joy, the fruit of the Spirit, and
therefore in no wise dependent upon external circumstances. The reception of the gospel
in its saving power, though accompanied by afflictions without, was accompanied by joy
within, a joy that no man takes away.
In like manner, the Hebrew saints: "took joyfully the spoiling of their goods"
(Heb. 10: 34). Unless there be some compensating element, no person takes joyfully the
spoiling of his goods, and these Hebrews believers were not abnormal; they no more
liked to see their property ruined than we should, but their joy was an anticipation of
"Knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance"
(Heb. 10: 34).
This is the spirit of the Lord Himself:--
"Who 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).
Thus all present joy is an anticipation of those pleasures which are for evermore at
God's right hand. To live looking for that blessed hope will minister to our joy even
though goods are spoiled and afflictions suffered.