Sermon 3272. How to Become Full of Joy
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 1911.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 17, 1865.
"And these things write we unto you that your joy may be full." 1 John 1:4.
IT is a wonderful proof of our Savior 's deep attachment to His people that having made their salvation sure, He is also anxiousconcerning their present state of mind. He wishes that His people should be not only safe, but happy-that they should notbe merely saved, but that they should rejoice in His salvation! It does not delight your Master for you to bow your headsas does the bulrush, or for you to go mourning all your days. He would have you rejoice, for again and again by His Apostlesdoes He exhort you to rejoice in Him. We will go at once to our text. Let our first point be-
I. A CHRISTIAN'S JOY NEEDS LOOKING AFTER. If it were not so, our text would not have been written, for we would not have hadJohn writing to promote what would stand and progress well enough of itself. John seems to put the whole of the Apostolicband with himself into the verse when he says, "These things write we unto you that your joy may be full," as if their joywould not be full unless Inspired Apostles should be commissioned of God to write in order to promote it. The Christian'sjoy needs looking after.
I do not doubt but that you have the proofs of this in yourselves, in your eternal circumstances. You cannot always rejoice,because although your treasure is not of this world, yet sometimes your affliction is here. Poverty is sometimes too heavya cross for you to sing under it. Sickness casts you on a bed upon which you have not as yet learned to rejoice. There willbe losses in business, disappointment of fond hopes. The forsaking of friends, the cruelty of foes and any of these may provethe winter nights and nip the green leaves of your joys and make them fade and fall from your bough. You cannot always rejoice,but sometimes there is a necessity that you should be, "in heaviness through manifold temptations." None of us, I suppose,are so perfectly happy as to be without some external trials and our joy will, therefore, need to be looked after lest thesefloods should come in and quench it. We shall need, indeed, to cry to Him who alone can keep the flame burning, to trim ourlamps and supply them with fresh oil.
I suppose, too, that you have that within which makes you feel that it is no easy matter to maintain perpetual joy. If youhave not, I have. Sometimes there will come deep depressions of heart-you can scarcely tell why. That strong wing on whichonce you could mount as an eagle, will seem to flap the air in vain. That heart of yours which once flew upwards as the larkrising from amidst the dew will lie cold and heavy as a stone on the earth. You will find it hard, indeed, to rejoice. Besettingsins, too, will cripple your holy mirth so that when, like David before the Ark, you, too, would dance for very joy, internalcorruptions will make it almost impossible! Beloved, it is not easy to fight evil in our own souls and to sing at the sametime. Christian soldiers we know, ought to do it and march to battle with songs of triumph, nerving their spirits to deedsof desperate valor, but oh, how often the garment rolled in dust and blood compels them to stay for a while the shout of certainvictory. Trials from within-from Satan's suggestions, from the uprising of the black fountains of corruption-are not easyto bear and we have reason enough, if our joy is to remain full, to be guarded and strengthened by a power not our own, evenfrom God Himself!
And yet, have we not learned, Beloved in Jesus Christ, how exceedingly necessary it is that our joy should be full? When thatjoy is full, we are more than a match for all the devils of Hell! But when it is weak and low, then we tremble and, like Peter,can be vanquished by a pert little maid! When our joy in the Lord is at its fullest, we can bear that the fig tree shouldnot blossom, and that the herd should be cut off from the stall, and the flocks from the fields-but how heavy our trials becomewhen that joy has fled! When we can see the Savior 's face without a veil between, then temptation has
no power over us, for all the glittering gems that sin can offer by way of pleasure are eclipsed in tender brilliance andDivine attraction by the heavenly Pearl of Joy in the dear Savior which we posses! Than we can sing with intense truthfulness-
"I would not change my blest estate For all the world calls good or great! And while my faith can keep her hold I envy notthe sinners gold."
Thus the Christian, by his holy joy out-braves temptation and is strong to endure. Why, Christian, you can do anything whenthe joy of the Lord is within you! Like a roe, or a young hart, you leap over mountains and make them as stepping stones acrossthe brook! The heaviest tempest that can lower over you cannot chill or dismay your courage, for your strong wings pierceit and mount above it all into the clear blue sky of fellowship with your God! But when this joy is gone, then we grow weak,and-
"Like Samson when his hair was lost Meet the Philistines to our cost."
We become victims to temptation and if we do not yield to it, yet it harasses us and robs us of the power with which we onceglorified God. The Christian's joy, then, needs looking after. If any of you have lost that joy of the Lord, I pray you donot think that your loss is a small one. I have heard of a minister who once said that a Christian lost nothing by his sin-andthen he added-"except his joy." Well, what else would you have him lose? Is not that quite enough? To lose the light of myFather's Countenance, to lose my full assurance of my interest in Christ-is to lose my best and purest delight-and is thisnot a loss quite great enough? Let us walk prayerfully, let us walk carefully so that we may possess unbroken peace and joyto the fullest. Let none of us sit down in misery and be content to be there! There is such a thing as becoming habituatedto melancholy. My own tendency is sometimes to get into that state of mind, but, by the Grace of God, I shake it off, forI know it will not do. If we once begin to give way to this foolishness, we shall soon forge chains for ourselves that wecannot easily break. Take down your harp from the willow, Believer! Do not let your fingers neglect the well-known strings.Come, let us be happy and joyful! If we have looked sad for a while, let us now be brightened by thoughts of Christ! At anyrate, let us not be satisfied until we have shaken off this lethargy and misery, and have once again come into the properand healthy state in which a child of God should always be found, namely, a state of spiritual joy!
II. Again, A CHRISTIAN'S JOY LIES MAINLY IN REVEALED THINGS. If this were not so, it would not find its fitting sustenancein Inspired Words. If the Christian's joy consisted in the wine vat, the feast, or his riches, John would not have writtenas he does-then it would only be necessary that the vineyard should yield plenteous clusters, that the harvest should be crownedwith abundance and that God should prosper trade and send to the merchant all that his heart could wish. But the Christian'sdeepest and best joy does not depend on these things. They cannot satisfy his nobler nature. He thanks God for all earthlyjoys, but he cannot feast his soul upon them-he needs something better. When John writes, "These things write we unto youthat your joy may be full," there is nothing about prosperity in this world, but all about fellowship with Christ, from whichI infer that everything revealed to us in the Scriptures has for its supreme purpose the filling up of the Believer's joy!
But what is the Scripture's great theme? Is it not, first and foremost, concerning Christ Jesus? Take this Book and distilit into one word-and that one word will be Jesus! The Book, itself, is but the body of Christ and we may look upon all itspages as the swaddling bands of the infant Savior, for if we unroll the Scripture, we come upon Jesus Christ Himself. Now,Beloved, does not Jesus Christ make your joy full? I trust we do not sing a lie when we sometimes say in our song-
"Jesus, the very thought of You With sweetness fills my breast, But sweeter far Your face to see, And in Your Presence rest."
Jesus-Man, yet God. Jesus-allied to us in ties of blood-oh, here is a reason for holy mirth! Here is Christmas all the yearround! There is great joy to us in His nativity, for by it man has been taken by God into union with Himself!
Jesus the Savior! Here is death to the groans of pain-an end to the moans of despair! He comes to break the bars of brassand to cut the gates of iron in sunder-
"Jesus, the name that charms our fears, That bids our sorrows cease, 'Tis music in the sinner's ears: 'Tis life, 'tis health,'tispeace!" Scripture, surely, has well taken its cue, for it makes us joyful! It has done well to make Christ its head andfront. The same is true of all that is written in this Book. Let me divide it into three parts-doctrinal, experimental andpractical. All these are written that our joy may be full.
I think I could prove, if there were time, that all the Doctrines have a tendency, when properly understood and received,to foster Christian joy. Let me mention one or two of them. There is that ancient, much-abused, but most delightful Doctrineof Election-that before all worlds Jesus chose His people and looked with eyes of Infinite Love upon them, as He saw themin the glass of futurity. What? Christian! Can you believe yourself "loved with an everlasting love" and not rejoice?
Surely it was the Doctrine of Election that made David dance before the Ark. He told Michal when she sneered at him, "I dancedbefore the Lord that chose me before your father Saul." Surely to be chosen of God, to be selected from the mass of mankindand made the favorites of the heart of Deity-surely this ought to make us, in our very worst and dullest moments, sing forjoy! Then there are the other Doctrines which, like living waters, flow from this sacred and hidden fountain. Take, for instance,that of Redemption-bought with a price, a price whose efficacy is not questionable-bought so that now we are Jesus' property,never to be lost! Bought not with that general redemption which holds before the sinner's eyes something, somewhere in theclouds, which may or may not be-but bought with an effectual Redemption which saves every blood-bought soul because He haspower to save to the uttermost all who come to Him! Oh, here is an occasion for song!-
"Jesus bought me when a stranger Wandering from the fold of God! He to save my soul from danger Bought me with His preciousblood!"
Can you see the blood-mark on yourself, and not, rejoice, O Christian? Surely your joy ought to be full, indeed!
Once again, think of the Doctrine of Justification, namely that through faith in Christ's Redemption every Believer is "acceptedin the Beloved," and stands, clad in Jesus' righteousness, as fair in God's sight as if he had never sinned- why, surely,here is a theme again for overflowing joy!
Take the Doctrine of Communion-that we are one with Jesus Christ-
"By eternal union one!"
Members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones-what? Not sing after this? How sweet the music ought to be where this isthe theme! And then to mention but one where there are so many handfuls of pearls-there is the Doctrine of Eternal Preservationand Glory. You are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation"! You shall be with Him where He is, you shall beholdHis Glory! "Whom He justified, them He also glorified." Ah, can you think of this and go up in spirit to the Throne whereChrist has made you sit in His own Person and not begin the song that shall have no end? Truly, I need but remind you of theseTruths of God! You can think them out for yourselves-every Doctrine to the Christian is a source of joy!
Again, the Scripture is given to us to produce in us experiences, every one of which is meant to promote our joy. "Why," saysone, "all Christian experience is not joyful!" I grant you that, but remember that all a Christian's experience is not Christianexperience.Christians experience a great deal because they are not such Christians as they ought to be. Beloved, there is a mourningwhich comes from the Spirit of God, but it is a joyous mourning, if I may use so strange a phrase.
Sorrow for sin is a sweet sorrow, do not desire to escape it! I think Rowland Hill was right when he said that his only regretin going to Heaven would be that he could no more repent. True evangelical repentance is food to the saintly soul!
I do not know, Beloved, when I am more perfectly happy than when I am weeping for sin at the foot of the Cross, for that isthe safest place in which I can stand. I like that verse-
"Dissolved by Your goodness, I fall to the ground And weep to the praise of the mercy I've found."
Remember, too, that though with regard to things of this world you may have sore trial, in every drop of bitterness your Fatherputs in your cup there is a whole sea of sweetness beneath. Trials wean us from the world and surely that is a most blessedthing! Oh, to come to Christ and find my all in Him! If we had no idols in children, friends, wealth, ourselves, we wouldnot need half the trials we have! Foolish loves make rods for foolish backs! God save us from this, and when He does, thoughthe means may seem to be severe, they are intended to intensify our joy by destroying the cause of our worst sorrows. Butbeyond all this, there is much of a true Christian's experience that is, and must be, all joy. To have faith in Christ, torest in Him, is not that joy? To stand here and sing from one's heart-
"I know that safe with Him remains, Protected by His power What I've committed to His hands, 'Till the decisive hour." Isnot that joy? Or even that humble note-
"Nothing in my hands I bring, Simply to Your Cross I cling." Why that has the germ of Heaven in it!
Hope, too, is part of the Christian's experience, and what a fountain of joy is there!-
"The hope when days and years are past, We all shall meet in Heaven at last." This is an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast,entering into that which is within the veil. But above all things, and this is what is chiefly meant in the text, the experienceof Christian fellowship is greatly promotive of Christian joy. John truly says, "That which we have seen and heard declarewe unto you that you, also, may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son, JesusChrist. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." This is the golden center of the target. Fellowshipwith Christ is the fountain ofjoy. Other joys may help to fill it, but this fills of itself, alone, up to the very brim, offullness of joy. Have you not felt it? I know you have-when you could have had no more joy, for you were full. A fullnessof joy is all sorts of blessing. If I were to so fill a glass with water that the gentlest touch would make it run over, thatwould be a picture of the joy the Christian sometimes has and should more constantly possess. When such is known, He is-
"Rich to all intents of bliss Since you O God, are mine!''
It is not every man who can go home tonight and say, "Whom have I in Heaven but You? And there is none that I desire on earthcompared with You! I have You and, therefore, I need no more." Go you, who crave for joy, and traverse the wide world roundin the vain search for it-my soul shall sit down at the foot of the Cross and say, "I have found it here!" Go you, like theswallows that cross the purple seas to find another summer, now that yours is over, but my soul shall abide where it is andfind no chilling winter her joys to mar! At the Cross our sun is at its solstice and stands still forever, never moving, withoutparallax, or shadows of a tropic-always the same-bright, full and glorious!
But I said that the Bible was also full of practicality. I can only say a brief word or two on that point. Every precept andcommand of the Word of God is meant to help our happiness. "Do yourself no harm," is the very essence and law of all the TenCommandments. It is love speaking in the imperative mood, saying "You shall not"-but all for our good. It is God's way ofsaying, "Don't touch the fire or you will be burned. Don't do that which will injure, hurt or destroy your joy of soul!" Godnever denies His children anything that is really for their good. His commands are freedom's rules, never fetters to the lovingChristian. Let us think of one or two. "Love one another," that is the first. Well now, when are you happiest? When you feelbitter, spiteful and resentful towards others, or when you feel charity towards the sinful and unworthy, and deep love towardsyour fellow servants? I know, at any rate, when I feel happiest. There are
some persons who seem to have been reared on vinegar-who wherever they go, see some defeat-and where this cannot be discoveredwill insinuate, "Ah, well, but we do not know what they do in secret." Or, "we do not know their motives." But those who loveone another can see much to rejoice in everywhere.
Again, we are told in the Scripture to serve the Lord with diligence, and is it not the diligent soul that is made fat? Itis the do-nothing people, generally, who say-
"Lord, what a wretched land is this! That yields us no supplies."
Indeed it ought to be a wretched land to lazy people! "They who will not work, neither should they eat." And this refers evenmore to spiritual sustenance than to material food! If in the winter you complain of the cold, get to the plow and you willsoon glow with warmth! But sit down to moan and complain and blow on your blue fingers, you shall feel the cold more and more!Holy activity is the mother of holy joy!
Growth in Grace, too, is a fountain of true delight. Never is a Believer happier than when he grows in Grace. To stand still,to contract one's self-it is like forcing a Chinese foot into a Chinese shoe-it is torture to the understanding! But to havea mind capable of always learning. To sometimes be able to admit, "I was wrong." To know you know more today than yesterdaybecause the Spirit has been teaching you, why this is joy! This is pure delight and such as God would have us know! So I ventureto repeat that all the writings of Scripture-doctrinal, experimental, or practical- all have for their objective that whichJohn declares in these words, "that your joy may be full."
Upon the next point we must be very brief, but strive to be very practical. We have shown that the Christian's joy needs lookingafter, and that it is chiefly fed and maintained upon the things revealed in the Scriptures. If this is so, then-
III. LET US CONSTANTLY READ THE SCRIPTURES! Let us read them, I would say, in preference to other books. There is a greatdeal of reading, nowadays, and a great deal of that is a kind of chaff-cutting and nothing more. Why, even in religious newspapersand magazines they cannot command readers and make them pay, so they say, unless they include a religious novel! People'sminds must be in a strange state when they can relish nothing but these whipped creams and juvenile syllabubs. If they wererobust and healthy, with a good appetite for Divine things, they would demand something far more solid and satisfying. Youwill never grow sturdy men and women on such poor stuff as that- you may rear lackadaisical imitations, but the thinking soulwith something in it, the Christian woman who serves God and is a true helper to the Christian ministry, the young man whois fired with the longing to proclaim Christ and win souls to Him-must have stronger nutriments than that which modern religiousjournalism ladles out so plentifully! Oh, my Brothers and Sisters, read the Bible! Read the Bible and these things that enfeeblewill lose all their attraction for you!
If the worldling must have these things, let him. But if you have a soul that is above rubbish and has been accustomed tolive on great, solid and substantial Truths of God, you scarcely need that I should say, "Search the Scriptures diligentlyand your joy shall spread and deepen!" Be this your happy confession-
"Lord, Ihave made Your Word my choice,
My lasting heritage.
There shall my noblest powers rejoice
My warmest thoughts engage." We say further, prefer the Scriptures even to all religious books. We say this of the best bookand sermons. We do our best to teach you God's Truth, but we are like gold-beaters-we get a little bit of the Truth of Godand we hammer it out so thin. Some of us are mighty hands at this and can make a tiny fragment of the golden Truth of Godcover an acre of talk! But the best of us-those who really do seek to bring out the Doctrines of Grace and love, are but poorworkers at it. Read the Bible more and do not care so much about us. If my sermons kept people from reading the Bible forthemselves, I would like to see the whole stock in a blaze and burned to ashes! But if they serve as finger-posts, pointingto the Scriptures and saying, "Read this, and this, and this," then I am thankful to have printed them. But if they keep youfrom your Bibles, burn them, burn them, burn them! Do not let them overlay the Scriptures, but lie beneath them, for thatis their proper place. Keep you first to God's revealed Word.
Let me here say that when you read the Bible, remember there are several ways of doing it. There is the superficial reading-beingsatisfied with the mere letter of it. There is, however, a diving into it, a going deep down into the soul of it! Read itin natural sections. What would Milton's Paradise Lost be if you only read one line a day and began at the middle and wentback to the first line? You would never understand His meaning! Read the Bible through. Read John's Gospel-not a bit of Johnand then a snippet of Mark-but read John through and find out what John is at. Remember that Matthew-though he speaks of thesame Savior as Mark-yet he does it not in the same style, nor for the same purpose as he. There is a very distinct purposein each Gospel. Matthew tells of Jesus, the King-the parables he records all hold references to the King. "Then shall theKingdom of Heaven be likened." Mark shows us Christ as the Servant devoted and tireless in His activity of loving toil. Lukeas the Man Christ Jesus, full of human tenderness and sympathy, and his parables begin, "A certain Man." John reveals to usChrist in His true Deity and Godhead-and gloriously does he preface it, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was withGod, and the Word was God." Get hold of what the Books mean and may the Holy Spirit show you the aim of each writer-the oneBook, and that studied, not scampered through-and you shall stand firm where others fall. And now, lastly, if the Scripturesare intended to bring joy to Believers, the question comes up-
IV. ARE WE ALL BELIEVERS? IS THE BOOK A SOURCE OF JOY TO US? There are significant pronouns- "we"-"you"-"your." Who is that?Is that you? Does it come to you and make your joy full? If you do not know or much care about it, then it does not speakto you. If you find plenty of joy elsewhere and it does not speak to you, it will not force itself and intrude upon you. Itgives you no joy because you have enough elsewhere. "They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." Butothers of you long for this joy! You are uneasy, unsatisfied, cannot find a tree in which to build your nest. Oh, dear Friend!I am so glad! May you grow weary and heavy-laden of spirit, for then I have a whisper for you-Jesus Christ came to call suchto Him! Yes, the world may have spurned and scorned you, but Jesus will receive you! Your companions say you are mopish andmiserable-come to Him and He will warmly welcome you! He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax-
"Wearysouls that wander wide From the central source of bliss, Turn to Jesus Crucified- Look to His dear wounds and live!"
Oh, if you are sick of the world, come to my Master! May God the Holy Spirit sanctify this sickness and bring you to Jesusbecause you have nowhere else to go. Jesus will not spurn even the devil's castaways! The sweepings of humanity who have goneso far that their friends reject them, Jesus Christ will accept and bless!
May He accept me! May He accept you! And then in Him our joy shall be full!
The Lord bless you evermore! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: JOHN 14:15-31.
Verse 15. If you love Me, keep My commandments. We cannot expect the Holy Spirit to dwell with us unless we are obedient tothe commands of Christ. Our Savior here tells us much about the Spirit of Truth, but He begins with this test of our loveto Him, "If you love Me, keep My commandments."
16. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever Not a differentComforter, but the Comforter who is now with us, is of the same Nature and works after the same manner as the Lord Jesus,Himself, who was our first Advocate, Helper, Paraclete, Comforter! I give you these four words instead of one because theyare all wrapped up in the original word, "Paraclete"-that He may abide with you forever and ever. The Lord Jesus could notabide with us forever-it was expedient for Him that He should go to Heaven to prepare a place for us. But the Holy Spiritwill not go. He will remain in this dispensation even to the end of it-"That He may abide with you forever."
17. Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him; but you know Him;for He dwells with you, and shall be in you. The world knows nothing about the Holy Spirit-it can hear the Gospel, it canhear the outward Word of God-but the living, mystic, inward Spirit, the world knows nothing of.
18, 19. I willnot leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while and the worldsees Me no more; butyou see Me:because I live, you shall live also. "While I am away, the Holy Spirit shall be your Comforter. You shall not be like orphanswithout father or friend." Jesus will come a second time. This is our joyful hope, but meanwhile, while He is away, we arenot without a Comforter. "Yet a little while, and the world sees Me no more." What a wonderful thing! The children of Godalways see Jesus spiritually. "But you see Me: because I live, you shall live also." There is life in a look and our continuedsight of Christ brings us continued life through Christ! Because He lives, there is a loving, living, lasting union betweenus and Christ.
20. At that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. Three wonderful unions! Christ in theFather, His people in Christ, Christ in His people! If you are instructed of the Lord, you will understand this text. Thisis such knowledge as the Universities cannot teach! It is such knowledge as the most learned doctors cannot attain to by themselves.Only the Spirit of God can teach us these things.
21. He that has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me and he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father,and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him. He must have obedience. Christ cannot come and comfortably manifestHimself to those who are living out of order and disregarding His words. Take heed, children of God, of disobedience! It isa discipline of the Divine family that if we disobey, we shall lose the comfortable Presence of our Lord. "I will manifestMyself to him."
22. 23. Judas said unto Him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself unto us, and not unto the world?Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will comeunto him, and make our abode with him.Christ and His Father dwell with obedient people! "We will dwell with him, and makeour abode with him." Oh, that we might carefully watch our thoughts, our words, our acts, lest we grieve our Lord! He willmanifest Himself to us when we yield ourselves to Him. When we obey His will, it will be His will to honor us with His constantPresence!
24. He that loves Me not keeps not My sayings. There is much talk of loyalty to Christ, but the teachings of Christ are despised.The teachings of His Apostles are the teachings of Christ. They are but a prolongation and exposition of what Christ taught.In rejecting them we reject Christ. He will not have it that we can be loyal to Him and yet refuse His teaching.
24. And the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. It is a wonderful denial of originality on thepart of Christ. If anybody could have spoken his own word, it was surely the Christ of God! But He was a Messenger, and Hedelivered His message. Now, if it is so with Christ, how much more so with us who are very inferior messengers? We ought tobe very careful that we do not deliver our own thoughts, or suggestions, excogitations and philosophies. "The word which youhear is not Mine," (that I can most emphatically say), "but the Father's who sent Me." You see, when we deliver a messagewhich is not ours, but the Father's, we feel safe about it. We feel sure of its success, whereas, if we were the makers ofit, we would often question whether we had not told you falsely-but if we can fall back upon the Word of God, and prove itfrom what the Father has said, then do we feel we are no longer responsible.
25, 26. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit whomthe Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I havesaid unto you.That is the teaching. The Holy Spirit does not reveal anything fresh to us. He brings to our remembrance whathas already been said and written in the Inspired Word. Whereas the Book conveys to us the outward sense, the Holy Spiritconveys to us the inner meaning. Not the embodiment of the Truth of God you have in this Book, but the Truth, itself, dealingwith the conscience, and heart, and spirit must be laid home by the Author of the Book, by the Holy Spirit, Himself!
27. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. Have you got it, Brothers and Sisters? Are you at peace at this moment?"I am very much troubled," says one. Well, you are to have tribulation here, but you are to have peace with it. In the worldyou shall have tribulation, but in Christ you shall have peace. If you have got the bitter herbs, do not be satisfied withbitter herbs-ask for the Paschal Lamb.
27. Not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Come, tell your troubleto your Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to exercise the office of Comforter upon you now at this very moment.
28. You have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said,I go unto the Father: for My Father is greater than I. The Lord Jesus had taken a subordinate place. He had become the Servantof the Father, the Messenger for the Father, but He was going back to reassume His Glory. That ought to be a subject of joyto us! Let us bless Jesus that He is not here. If He were here in His former state He would be in His humiliation-but nowHe has gone to His Glory. Let us rejoice in this!
29. And nowIhave told you before it came to pass, that when it is come to pass, you might believe. Jesus warned His disciplesof all that was to happen in His death and in His departure. I believe that the Spirit of God often gives inward warningsto God's people of troubles that are to come-monitions so that they may be prepared for the trouble when it comes and mayfeel as if He had told them before it came to pass.
30. Hereafter I will not talk much with you, for the Prince of this world comes, and has nothing in Me. He would have veryfew words for He was going to the bloody sweat and scourging and death-His words might well be few, for His actions wouldspeak more loudly than words!
31. But that the world may know that I love the Father and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do. Arise, Let usgo from here. And they left the supper table to go to the garden, the garden of His agony! Let us be willing to go whereverGod calls us.