The Christian has joy, just like other men, in the common mercies of life. For him there are charms in music, excellence in painting, and beauty in sculpture; for him the hills have sermons of majesty, the rocks hymns of sublimity, and the valleys lessons of love. He can look upon all things with an eye as clear and joyous as another man’s; he can be glad both in God’s gifts and God’s works. He is not dead to the happiness of the household: around his hearth he finds happy associations, without which life were drear indeed. His children fill his home with glee, his wife is his solace and delight, his friends are his comfort and refreshment. He accepts the comforts which soul and body can yield him according as God sees it wise to afford them unto him; but he will tell you that in all these separately, and in all of them added together, he does not find such substantial delight as he does in the person of his Lord Jesus. Brethren, there is a wine which no vineyard on earth ever yielded; there is a bread which even the corn-fields of Egypt could never bring forth. You and I have said, when we have seen others finding their god in earthly comforts, ‘You may boast in gold, and silver, and raiment, but I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.’ In our esteem, the joys of earth are little better than husks for swine compared with Jesus the heavenly manna. I would rather have one mouthful of Christ’s love, and a sip of his fellowship, than a whole world full of carnal delights. What is the chaff to the wheat? What is the sparkling paste to the true diamond? What is a dream to the glorious reality?
For meditation: Material earthly joys are only temporary; even when deprived of them, Christians have still got spiritual joys which are permanent (Hebrews 10:34; John 16:22). Do you know these joys? If so, do you value them?