Exceeding joy is found in God. In “A Minister’s Prayer,” from The Valley of Vision, we are lifted up to heaven where we might find inexpressible joy. When our flesh revolts and wanders from God, be reminded that He is able to renew us and overcome the temptations to find happiness elsewhere.
O GOD, MY EXCEEDING JOY, Singing thy praises uplifts my heart, for thou art a fountain of delight, and dost bless the soul that joys in thee. But because of my heart’s rebellion I cannot always praise thee as I ought; Yet I will at all times rest myself in thy excellencies, goodness, and loving-kindness.
Thou art in Jesus the object of inexpressible joy, and I take exceeding pleasure in the thought of thee. But Lord, I am sometimes thy enemy; my nature revolts and wanders from thee. Though thou hast renewed me, yet evil corruptions urge me still to oppose thee.
Help me to extol thee with entire heart-submission, to be diligent in self-examination, to ask myself whether I am truly born again, whether my spirit is the spirit of thy children, whether my griefs are those that tear repenting hearts, whether my joys are the joys of faith, whether my confidence in Christ works by love and purifies the soul.
Give me the sweet results of faith, in my secret character, and in my public life. Cast cords of love around my heart, then hold me and never let me go. May the Saviour’s wounds sway me more than the sceptre of princes.
Let me love thee in a love that covers and swallows up all, that I may not violate my chaste union with the beloved; There is much unconquered territory in my nature, scourge out the buyers and sellers of my soul’s temple, and give me in return pure desires, and longings after perfect holiness.
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