“This joy is of a singular character. It is singular for this reason, that it often ripens under the most remarkable circumstances. . . the highest joy of Christians has often been experienced in their times of greatest distress.

Tried believers have been happy when smarting under pain, or wasting away with disease. Sick beds have been thrones to many saints; they have almost feared to come out of the furnance, because the presence of the Lord in the midst of the fire has made it none other than the gate of heaven to their souls. Saints in poverty have been made exceeding rich, and when they have eaten a dry crust they have found a flavor with it which they never discovered in the dainties of their abundance. Many children of God, even when driven away from the outward means of grace, have nevertheless enjoyed such visits of God, such inlets of divine love, that they have wondered whence such joy could come. In the wilderness waters leap forth, and streams in the desert.

Believers are not dependent upon circumstances. Their joy comes not from what they have, but from what they are; not from where they are, but from whose they are; not from what they enjoy, but from that which was suffered for them by their Lord.

It is a singular joy, then, because it often buds, blossoms, and ripens in winter time, and when the fig tree does not blossom, and there is no herd in the stall, God’s Habakkuks rejoice in the God of their salvation.” Charles Spurgeon*

*C. H. Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit: Sermons Preached and Revised in 1881, vol. XXVII (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1969), 77.

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