The Signs of the Times


August 11, 1909

“That Your Joy Might Be Full”


These things have I spoken unto you,” the Saviour said to His disciples, “that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” ST August 11, 1909, par. 1

The grand design of God in giving Christ to the world was to inspire fallen man with hope, and to enable him to remedy the defects occasioned by self-indulgence and sin. Where sin abounded, the Lord designed that grace should much more abound. He would redeem from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. God would not have His people remain in a hopeless condition, the subjects of unbelief. He would have them cast themselves upon the Saviour's strength, accepting with joy the assurance, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” ST August 11, 1909, par. 2

The life in which the fear of the Lord is cherished will not be a life of sadness and gloom. It is the absence of Christ that makes the countenance sad, and the life a pilgrimage of sighs. Those who are filled with self-esteem and self-love do not feel the need of a living, personal union with Christ. The heart that has not fallen on the Rock is proud of its wholeness. Men want a dignified religion. They desire to walk in a path wide enough to take in their own attributes. Their self-love, their love of popularity, and love of praise, exclude the Saviour from their hearts; and without Him there is sadness and gloom. But Christ dwelling in the soul is a well-spring of joy. For all who receive Him, the keynote of the word of God is “rejoicing.” ST August 11, 1909, par. 3

Why Not Be Joyful?

Why should not our joy be full—full, lacking nothing? We have the assurance that Jesus is our Saviour, and that we may freely partake of the rich provision He has made for us. We may believe on Him, knowing that He will give us grace and power to do just as He bids us. He has given us every assurance that He will fulfil all that He has promised. It is our privilege to seek constantly the joy of His presence. He desires us to be cheerful and to be filled with praise to His name. He wants us to carry light in our countenances and joy in our hearts. We have a hope that is far above any pleasure the world can give; why should we not then be joyful? ST August 11, 1909, par. 4

We are to have Christ's joy, and His greatest joy was to see men obeying the truth. Can we desire more than this? “Greater works than these shall ye do,” the Saviour said, “because I go unto My Father.” He who truly believes this promise can never be half hearted in the service of Christ. May the God of heaven tear away the veil that dims our perception and hinders us from discerning His requirements and from following Christ. O that by living faith we would grasp the hand of infinite Power, receiving strength to work His works. This it is our privilege to do. If we will take Christ at His word, He will be honored and glorified, and we shall be partakers of His joy. ST August 11, 1909, par. 5

Happy, indeed, are the people who have laid hold of the divine nature, and escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. ST August 11, 1909, par. 6

The Mission of Christ

The prophet Isaiah speaks of the mission of the Saviour in these words: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, ... to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” “That He might be glorified.” O that this might be the purpose of our lives! Then we should have regard to the expression of our countenance, to our words, and to the tone of our voice. ST August 11, 1909, par. 7

The Christian life does not call for undue hardship and suffering, and the Lord is not pleased to have His people like a band of mourners. We are not asked to sit in sackcloth and ashes; but we are bidden to recognize God as our helper, and to cooperate with Him in doing His will, so that He may bless us, and enable us to live Christ-like lives. He wants us to enjoy the liberty of the sons of God. Then we shall be filled with the praise of God, and our lives will be a blessing to others. ST August 11, 1909, par. 8

The Purpose of Trials

God brings us into trials in order that we may be drawn nearer to Him. The psalmist says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” David was a representative man. His history is of interest to every soul who is striving for eternal victories. In his life two powers struggled for the mastery. Unbelief marshaled its forces, and tried to eclipse the light shining upon him from the throne of God. Day by day the battle went on in his heart, Satan disputing every step of advance made by the forces of righteousness. David understood what it meant to fight against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world. At times it seemed that the enemy must gain the victory. But in the end, faith conquered, and David rejoiced in the saving power of Jehovah. ST August 11, 1909, par. 9

The struggle that David endured, every follower of Christ must go through. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is short. The controversy is being waged in full view of the heavenly universe, and angels stand ready to lift up for God's hard-pressed soldiers a standard against the enemy, and to put into their lips songs of victory and rejoicing. ST August 11, 1909, par. 10

Our Assurance

“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” ST August 11, 1909, par. 11

“O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary. Because Thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee. Thus will I bless Thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in Thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips: when I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches. Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.” ST August 11, 1909, par. 12

Our Peace

When we believe in Christ as our personal Saviour, the peace of Christ is ours. The reconciliation provided for us in the atonement of Christ, is the foundation of our peace. Gloomy feelings are no evidence that the promises of God are of no effect. You look at your feelings, and because your outlook is not all brightness, you begin to draw more closely the garment of heaviness about your soul. You look within yourself, and think that God is forsaking you. You are to look to Christ. “In Me,” Christ says, “ye shall have peace.” Entering into communion with the Saviour, we enter the region of peace. ST August 11, 1909, par. 13

Let us pledge ourselves before God and the angels of heaven that we will not dishonor God by speaking words of discouragement or unbelief. If we talk faith, we shall have faith, we shall be confirmed in faith. Close the door to distrust, and open the door wide to faith. Invite into the soul-temple the heavenly guests. Entertain the precious thought that Jesus loves us, each one. In this way the clouds of despondency and gloom will be rolled back from the soul, and we shall be enabled to make melody in our hearts to God. ST August 11, 1909, par. 14