The Berean Expositor
Volume 37 - Page 128 of 208
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a cheerful giver" (9: 7). This moreover he confirms by another quotation "As it is
written" (9: 9); but nowhere throughout the exhortation, does the apostle refer any more
to the example of Christ. Not until his entreaty is finished does the apostle refer again to
Christ Himself, and when he does, it is to express with overflowing fullness something of
his own appreciation of the incalculable debt we owe.  Surely, the apostle, as he
contemplated Christ as the gift of God, would have agreed with the Psalmist, and out of a
full heart would have said "My cup runneth over".
"Thanks be unto God for His ineffable gift" (9: 15).
"Joy unspeakable" (I Pet. 1: 8).
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There are two "unspeakable" blessings which help to fill the believer's cup to
overflowing. We have very lightly touched upon one, "The unspeakable gift", let us
consider the other, "Joy unspeakable". It has been well observed, that "happiness" differs
very essentially from "joy".  Happiness depends largely upon "what happens" and
consequently is of necessity superficial. Joy on the other hand is independent of external
happenings. It is one of the graces that constitute "the fruit of the Spirit", and comes
second only to "love" (Gal. 5: 22).
When the Lord would bring before the believer the reward which was in reserve for
faithful service, He spoke of it in two ways.
"I will make thee ruler over many things";
"Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt. 25: 21).
This aspect of the subject does not appear to have been given sufficient prominence in
our thoughts. Let us pursue it further.
In the epistle to the Hebrews, chara "joy" is used four times and in each case it
appears to be associated with suffering and reward. The four occasions are as follows:
Ye . . . . . took joyfully the spoiling of your goods . . . . . great recompense of
reward (Heb. 10: 34).
Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12: 2).
No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless
afterward . . . . . (Heb. 12: 11).
They watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it
with joy (Heb. 13: 17).