"The joy that none can take away"

What can equal the glory of knowing God? To stand constantly in His presence, to love Him and feel the assurance of His love for us, to seek His will in every situation, and to strive to please no other than Him—these are supreme ends. To the extent that we seek them, our lives are endowed with ever-increasing richness and meaning. We know that we are blessed because we begin to partake of the joy that God has bestowed upon His beloved son, man —the joy of which Jesus spoke at the Last Supper when he said to his disciples, "Your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22.

To make this relation to God a felt actuality in our lives requires more than abstract affirmations that it is the fact of being. Indeed it is! But the spiritual fact remains abstract to us unless we are truly willing to demonstrate what it implies. Surely it would not have been enough for the prodigal son, See Luke 15:11–32 . mired in his poverty and degradation, to have merely asserted that he was the child of a noble and wealthy father. No, to be practically restored to his status as his father's son, he had to act on the basis of that sonship—that is, to come to himself, arise, and go to his father. Then it was that he found his father coming to meet him and found that his sonship had never really been lost, because he had always been embraced in the father's love.

Defeating defeatism
July 4, 1983

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