The substance, the essence,
the fullness of all holy joy!

"Experiencing the Joy of Christ" by Octavius Winslow

Christian, what a ground of joy is your
possession of Christ! There is everything
in Christ, and in the knowledge and
possession of Christ, to make the
believing heart joyful. You may have
strong corruptions, powerful inbred sins,
severe temptations, deep trials, heavy
afflictions. Yet if you know Christ, and
have Christ in the midst of all, you have
ground for the deepest, holiest joy.

All joy apart from Christ is but the inspiration
of the wind. It is a false, a spurious, a fatal
joy, a joy which will prove but as the crackling
of thorns under a pot.

You have found Christ, or rather, Christ has
found you, and you have in Him the substance,
the essence, the fullness of all holy joy!

You possess in Christ a divine Redeemer,
a loving Friend, a sympathizing Brother, an
ever interceding Intercessor, a powerful Advocate;
One whose presence is with you always, encircling
you as an atmosphere in all places and under all
circumstances. Truly this is a ground of the
deepest, holiest joy.

Oh, what a portion is Jesus in a portionless world!

What a rest is Jesus in a restless world!

What a joy is Jesus in a joyless world!

What a hope is Jesus in a hopeless world!

Beloved, we too little and too imperfectly
realize what we possess in possessing Christ.

Throw into one scale all the good of the world,
its rank, its honors, its wealth, its pleasures;
all the love, the kindness, the sympathy, the
power of the creature and of all creatures.

Place in the other scale, CHRIST; Christ as
your Savior, Christ as your Friend, Christ as
your Portion, and Christ as your all.

Which sinks, and which rises the scale?

No, more! Cast into one scale poverty, and
sickness, and affliction of every kind, and
sorrow of every form: the adversity that swept
from you affluence, or the bereavement that
tore from you the creature.

Place JESUS in the other scale: Jesus in His
deathless love, Jesus in His human sympathy,
Jesus in His boundless fulness, Jesus bearing
you upon His heart in heaven, and receiving you
into His grace on earth. And then decide what
should he the nature, the depth, the music of
your joy.

"This is my Friend, and this is my Beloved."

Oh, be joyful, then, believer in Jesus!

There breathes not a being in the universe;
tried, tempted, sad though you are; who has
greater reason to be of a gladsome spirit than you.

You have the forgiveness of all your sins;
the full justification of your person; your
inalienable adoption into God's family; the
complete payment of all that great debt of
sin you owed, and the assured and certain
prospect of being where Christ is, and
with Christ, beholding His glory forever!

Is this not a well grounded source of joy?

Most truly! Why, then, are you not a more
joyful believer? Why go you mourning all your
days, without one gleam of sunshine, one thrill
of joy, one ray of hope, one note of praise?

Is it not because you are looking to yourself
and within yourself, to the almost entire
exclusion of Christ and of the great and
complete salvation wrought for you in and
by Christ? No material for joy and gladness,
beloved, will you find within yourself. It is
all sin there; all corruption there; all gloom
there. Its chamber of imagery is all dark,
and repulsive, and depressing.

Oh, turn the eye of faith to Christ, look simply,
and fully, and exclusively at Him, and every
chord of your soul will thrill and resound with
the joy of the Lord's salvation.