“ABIDING fully in Christ is a life of exquisite and overflowing happiness.”
I believe there is subtle but significant difference between happiness and joy. I am not always happy about my circumstances, but I still have the joy of the Lord. It is a deep, abiding joy. It resides in my spirit and is not shaken by outward circumstances. Therefore, for me, the above statement by brother Murray is a matter of semantics; I believe we’re talking about the same thing. However, I believe that many Christians today confuse happiness and joy. They don’t always feel happy, so they must not have the joy of the Lord. Beautiful saint! The Lord’s joy is deep – He is Joy! When you take Him as your all, you take Him as your joy, too.
“Christ’s own joy, abiding joy, fulness of joy – such is the portion of the believer who abides Christ. Why, O why is it that this joy has so little power to attract? The reason simply is: Men, yea, even God’s children, do not believe in it. Instead of the abiding in Christ being looked upon as the happiest life that ever can be led, it is regarded as a life of self-denial and of sadness. They forget that the self-denial and sadness are owing to the not abiding, and that to those who once yield themselves unreservedly to abide in Christ as a bright and blessed life, their faith comes true – the joy of the Lord is theirs. The difficulties all arise from the want of the full surrender to a full abiding.”
Saints, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. His joy, His abiding joy, His fulfilling joy – the Joy of the Lord – is our strength. Abide in Him, and rest in His joy today.