Joy and Peace in Believing
George H. Morrison
It is a question we ought to ask ourselves, in our quiet hours of meditation, whether we really know the joy and peace which are the benediction of our text. It is a great thing to be resigned amid the various buffetings of life. Resignation is better than rebellion. But resignation, however fair it be, is not peculiarly a Christian virtue; it marks the Stoic1 rather than the Christian. The Christian attitude toward the ills of life is something more triumphant than acceptance. It has an exultant note that resignation lacks. It is acceptance with a song in it. It is such a reaction on experience as suggests the certainty of victory-the victory that overcomes the world. It is a searching question for us all, then, whether we truly know this joy and peace. Does it characterize our spiritual life? Is it evident in our discipleship? And that not only on the Sabbath Day and in the sanctuary and at the Sacrament, but in our common converse with the world.
Contrast, for instance, joy and peace in believing with joy and peace in working. Many who read this are happily familiar with joy and peace in working. It is true that work may be very uncongenial; there are those who hate the work they are engaged in. There are seasons, too, for many of us, when strength may be unequal to the task. But speaking generally, what a deal of joy and peace flow into the lives of men and women in prosecuting their appointed task. Again, think of joy and peace in loving; how evident is that in many a home. What a peaceful and happy place a home becomes when love lies at the basis of it all. The splendid carelessness of children, their gladness that makes others glad, spring not only from the heart of childhood, but from the love that encircles them at home. Now Paul does not speak of joy and peace in working, nor does he speak of joy and peace in loving. His theme here is different from these; it is joy and peace in believing. ...
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