[February 17]
Your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. John 16:22
WHAT are our joys which no man taketh from us, and which persecution and affliction and trouble can only deepen and widen and make more sweet? What joy is this? This joy is a foretaste of the blessings to come, an earnest of our inheritance. It is inspired by confidence that he is both able and willing to perfect the work which he has begun and which we desire shall be perfected in his own best way; confident that so long as we are firmly holding to his gracious promises with the arms of our faith, he will not permit us to be separated from him. Who shall separate us from the love of God in Christ? Shall tribulation and persecution? Our confidence is that no one is able to pluck us out of the Father's hand (John 10:29), and that "the Father himself loveth" us, and will not turn us away so long as we desire to abide obediently in his love. Yea, we are confident that all things are working together for good to those who love God; confident that he who is for us is more powerful than all who can be against us. Such confidence is sure to bring joy beyond the world's comprehension and a peace of God that passeth all understanding, which keeps the heart. Z'97-305 R2232:1(Hymn 226)