It is, therefore, his purpose to teach us how his work is to be done in the Christian church after his resurrection, namely, that he will not reject nor cast out those who are weak in their faith, yea, not even those who are held in error or ignorance, or who are otherwise weak, fearful, and despairing. They are rather the very persons in whom he will exercise and manifest the power of his resurrection, not only by inviting them to come to him, but also by coming to them, and treating them in the gentlest and kindest way, talking with them, teaching and instructing them, yea, even eating with them, until at length they grow strong and secure in their faith; while their hearts, so sad and sorrowful for a time, are again filled with joy.
The heart overflows with gladness, and leaps and dances for the joy it has found in God. In this experience the Holy Spirit is active, and has taught us in the flash of a moment the deep secret of joy. You will have as much joy and laughter in life as you have faith in God.
We cannot behold the glory of Christ by conjuring up pictures of him in the mind and by trying to form the shape of a person in heaven in our imaginations. The way to behold the glory of Christ is by the steady exercise of faith on the revelation of this glory of Christ given to us in Scripture. It is our duty, therefore, constantly to meditate on the glory of Christ. This will fill us with joy which will, in turn, move us to meditate on his glory more and more.
If there be no joy, there can be no worship.
A. W. Pink, The Scriptures and Joy [FREE DOWNLOAD]
The idea of entering into the Master’s joy is a telling picture of Heaven. It’s not simply that being with the Master produces joy in us, though certainly it will. Rather, it’s that our Master himself is joyful. He takes joy in himself, in his children, and in his creation. His joy is contagious. Once we’re liberated from the sin that blocks us from God’s joy and our own, we’ll enter into his joy. Joy will be the very air we breathe. The Lord is inexhaustible — therefore his joy is inexhaustible.
True religion was never meant to make [people] melancholy. On the contrary, it was intended to increase real joy and happiness among [people]. . . . The Christian who withdraws entirely from the society of his fellow men, and walks the earth with a face as melancholy as if he was always attending a funeral, does injury to the cause of the gospel. A cheerful, kindly spirit is a great recommendation to a believer. . . . A merry heart, and a readiness to take part in all innocent mirth, are gifts of inestimable value. They go far to soften prejudices, to take up stumbling-blocks out of the way, and to make way for Christ and the gospel.
But to enjoy him we must know him. Seeing is savoring. If he remains a blurry, vague fog, we may be intrigued for a season. But we will not be stunned with joy, as when the fog clears and you find yourself on the brink of some vast precipice.
John Piper, Desiring God
HT: Reformed Quotes