Cultivate gladness! These words leaped out at me and struck a chord of joy as I read them in Andrew Murray’s book, ABIDING IN CHRIST. What a marvelous precept, I thought….along with the Scriptures that exhort us to rejoice, always, again and again; to count it all joy; to give thanks in all things. Ah yes!
Murray goes on to illustrate this point. He says, and I paraphrase, that sometimes inexpressible joy just arises in us, spontaneously, usually when things are humming along, prayers are answered almost before we call and we feel our relationship with the Lord is on a high note. “We feel the unutterable joy of the Savior’s presence with us and we praise God for it and seek to maintain that position.” But, he admonishes, or rather encourages….when feelings are dull and the experiences of joy are not at the height that you would wish them to be, and in fact…you feel you have lost your joy….STILL, praise the Lord for the unutterable blessings of redemption. Praise Him, because Jesus said, ‘according to your faith let it be unto you.’
So, I see that Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and promised to us…the evidence of things not SEEN in this temporal world (at the moment, anyway.) But that Faith that the Lord commends unto us, IS the evidence that though we do not see the joy at the moment, or feel the joy at the moment our faith tells us and proves that it is there. And THAT pleases the Father. The blind faith with which we praise Him, anyway, for a condition in which we do not see joy is what moves the hand of God. But more than that IT PLEASES HIM!
So practice joy. CULTIVATE GLADNESS. Practice, practice. Praise God for joy unspeakable and full of mercy, for if we do in all things we will live to see salvation of God in the land of the living.