The Joy Of The Lord

When the light of heaven shines upon the human agent, his countenance will express the joy of the Lord within.  It is the absence of Christ from the soul that makes people sad and of a doubtful mind.  It is the want of Christ that makes the countenance sad, and their life is a pilgrimage of sighs.  Rejoicing is the very keynote of the Word of God for all who receive Him.  Why?  Because they have the Light of Life.  Light brings gladness and joy, and that joy is expressed in the life and the character.  

E. G. White, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1144

When the Holy Spirit is breathing upon the soul, the will and the powers of the man must respond to its influence.  Those who abide in Jesus will be happy, cheerful, and joyful in God.  A subdued gentleness will mark the voice, reverence for spiritual and eternal things will be expressed in the actions, and music, joyful music, will echo from the lips; for it is wafted from the throne of God.  This is the mystery of godliness, not easily explained, but nonetheless felt and enjoyed.  A stubborn and rebellious heart can close its doors to all the sweet influences of the grace of God and all the joy in the Holy Ghost; but the ways of wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.  The more closely we are connected with Christ, the more will our words and actions show the subduing, transforming power of His grace.

E. G. White, Testimonies For The Church, vol. 4, p. 625

When Jesus speaks of the new heart, He means the mind, the life, the whole being.  To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ.  To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives.  What is the sign of a new heart?–a changed life.  There is a daily, hourly dying to selfishness and pride.

One of the most earnest prayers recorded in the Word of God is that of David when he plead, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.”  God’s response to such a prayer is, A new heart will I give you.  This is a work that no finite man can do.  Men and women are to begin at the beginning, seeking God most earnestly for a true Christian experience.  They are to feel the creative power of the Holy Spirit.  They are to receive the new heart, that is kept soft and tender by the grace of heaven.  The selfish spirit is to be cleansed from the soul.  They are to labor earnestly and with humility of heart, each one looking to Jesus for guidance and encouragement.  Then the building, fitly framed together, will grow into a holy temple in the Lord.

E. G. White, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4. pp. 1164, 1165

Be not discouraged because your heart seems hard.  Every obstacle, every internal foe, only increases your need of Christ.  He came to take away the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh.  Look to Him for special grace to overcome your peculiar faults… Cry to the dear Saviour for help to sacrifice every idol and to put away every darling sin.  Let the eye of faith see Jesus standing before the Father’s throne, presenting His wounded hands as He pleads for you.  Believe that strength comes to you through your precious Saviour.

E. G. White, The Sanctified Life, p. 90

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