January 23, 2022

Still More Joyful

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

Psalm 104:33
David was certainly not a melancholy man. Well known as he was for his piety and for his religion, he was equally eminent for his joyfulness and gladness of heart. It has often been insinuated, if it has not been openly said, that the contemplation of divine things has a tendency to depress the spirits. Religion, many thoughtful persons have supposed, does not become the young—it checks the ardor of their youthful blood. It may be very well for the gray-headed elderly who need something to comfort and solace them as they descend the hill of life into the grave. It may be well enough for those who are in poverty and deep trial. But that it is at all congruous with the condition of a healthy, able-bodied, successful and happy person, is generally said to be out of the question.
Now, there is no greater lie than this! None are so happy but they would be happier still if they had true religion. Those with a fullness of earthly pleasures, whose barns are full of corn and whose presses burst with new wine, would not lose any part of their happiness, had they the grace of God in their heart! Rather, that joy would add sweetness to all their prosperity. It would strain off many of the bitter dregs from their cup. It would purify their heart and freshen their tastes for delights and show them how to extract more honey from the honeycomb. Religion is a thing that can make the most melancholy joyful and, at the same time, it can make the joyous still more joyful! It can make the gloomy bright, as it gives the oil of joy in the place of mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Moreover, it can light up the face that is joyous with a heavenly gladness.
 Charles Spurgeon, 1858 (alt.)

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.
 James 5:13
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Grant to us, O Lord, the royalty of inward happiness, and the serenity which comes from living close to thee. Daily renew in us the sense of joy, and let the Holy Spirit dwell in our souls and bodies, filling every corner of our hearts with light and grace; so that, bearing about with us the infection of good courage, we may be diffusers of life, and may meet all ills and cross accidents with gallant and high-hearted happiness, giving thanks always for all things.
 Robert Louis Stevenson
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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Text selection ©2021 Evangelische Brüder-Unität. All scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.