"I Am Well Pleased"
James Smith, 1860
This was the testimony of the FATHER to his beloved Son, on the banks of the Jordan when he was baptized; and on the top of the mountain, when he was transfigured. Everything in Jesus, pleases the Father; but especially did he appear pleased — when he took our nature, became a servant for our sake, and engaged to do, and suffer, all that our salvation required. Then was the Father glorified — in the self-renouncing love of his Son. Then was the Father glorified, on that earth where he had been so fearfully dishonored; because here, Jesus magnified the law and made it honorable. Here he yielded himself unreservedly to his Father, and spoke his words, wrought his works, consulted his will, and in everything did his pleasure. The Father looked on his Son, with eyes of love; thought of his Son, with thoughts of love; and spoke to his Son, these loving words, "You are my beloved Son — in you I am well pleased!"
As the Father is well pleased with Jesus, so is the SINNER, when taught by the Holy Spirit his need of Christ, and led to see the exact suitability of Christ, to his case and circumstances. Then, he is not only pleased with Christ in general — but is pleased with everything in Christ. He is pleased with his sacrifice — and makes it the foundation of his hope. He is pleased with his righteousness — and makes it his title to eternal life. He is pleased with his intercession — and looks at it as securing his complete salvation. He is pleased with his promises — and trusts them. He is pleased with his precepts — and obeys them. He is pleased with his ordinances — and observes them. To him, the person of Christ, is precious — the word of Christ is sweet — and the presence of Christ is an foretaste of heaven! He is well pleased with all Christ did — with all Christ said — and with all that Christ is doing. He is well pleased with the thought of going to Jesus, of seeing him as he is, and of being forever with him. So pleased is he with Jesus, that he loves to hear him praised, and the more highly Christ is exalted, the better pleased is he. He can never speak of Christ, in terms sufficiently high; nor feel toward Christ, a love sufficiently deep.
Reader, does this at all set forth your experience? Have you such views of Christ, and such feelings toward Christ? The Holy Spirit always glorifies Christ — it is his work, and his delight; if therefore the Holy Spirit is at work in you, you will be pleased with Jesus. Yes, there will be times in your experience when you will not be well pleased, with anyone but Jesus. But at no time will you feel happy, when indulging in low views of Jesus, or living at a distance from him. It is by no means a bad test of our state, to ask: What do we think of Christ? How do we feel toward Christ?
If we think highly of Christ, and if we are well pleased with Christ, all is well. For God is always well pleased with them — who are well pleased with his Son. But, if we have low thoughts of Christ, if our hearts are cold towards Christ, we are by no means in a good condition. May the Holy Spirit, so unfold the glories of Christ to our view, and so shed abroad the love of Christ in our hearts, that we may be ravished with his beauty, enamored with his love, and be well pleased with all that he is, and has!
Holy Savior, we do admire you, our hearts do go out to you; but we want to see more of your beauty, to enjoy more of your presence, and to be delighted always with your love! Heavenly Father, we rejoice, that we are in some measure like-minded with you, for as you are well pleased with your Son, so are we; and our desire is that no thought, word, or deed of ours — may even throw a doubt on this our testimony! Holy Spirit, it is your office and work to glorify Jesus; give me very high thoughts of Christ; fill me with deep and undying love to Christ; and so sanctify me, that every wish and desire of my soul, may center in Christ!