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Published by glennpease
Your joy no one taketh away from you." — John 16: 22.
Your joy no one taketh away from you." — John 16: 22.

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Published by: glennpease on Jan 10, 2013
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Your joy no one taketh away from you." — John 16: 22.The right of all men to the pursuit of hap-piness was not granted by the Constitutionof the United States. It is a right granted tothem by their divine birthright. All thatconstitutions and laws can do is to seek toprotect the right. Exactly as all men inGod's world have the right to eat and tosleep, so they have the right to be happy,and for much the same reason. They havethe right to eat and to sleep because theirphysical natures demand sustenance andrefreshment. They have the right to behappy because their spiritual natures de-mand sustenance and refreshment. Theappetite for happiness is as normal a char-acteristic of the human being as the appetitefor food, and both appetites are God-created.But it is the tritest of all trite truths thatthe appetite for happiness is not universallysatisfied. There are many of God's children[127]EFFICIENT RELIGIONwho experience very little of the fullness of  joy; perhaps there are some who know noth-ing at all of such fullness ; probably there is
no one who has ever been completely filled.Here is one of the many apparent contradic-tions between what should be and what is.According to the plan of the Creator, re-vealed in men's inherent appetite for happi-ness, all men should be happy. Because of existing conditions, both within themselvesand without themselves, they all fail in theattainment of that right.So prevalent, indeed, is the unhappiness,and so inevitable does the unhappiness seemthat some pagan thinkers have found thechief end in life to lie not merely in the sub- jugation of all desires, but in the very anni-hilation of them. While even some Chris-tian thinkers, and these not all of mediaevaldays, have been able to offer to men only theex]3ected joy of an anticipated future lifeto reconcile them to the inexplicable miseryof the present life.The contention is here made that the sub-stitution of a promised future happiness for[128]SATISFYING JOYa demanded present happiness is a confes-sion of the inefficiency of Christ's religion,and is in fact an evasion of Christian re-sponsibihty. If men cannot find satisfying joy now, they cannot reasonably expectany satisfying joy by and by. If God inthis world has been so overcome by anyspirit of evil that He cannot here make Hischildren happy, we have no ground for be-lieving that He will be any more powerful
in any world to come. If God in thisworld, which is admittedly His, will notmake His children happy now, we cannotcredit any greater willingness on His partfor the future existence. There cannot betwo Gods — one to rule upon the earth, andone to rule in Heaven — and it is high timethat Christian people should cease talkingand acting as though they believed such anabsurdity.Is there joy in the religion of Jesus Christwhich can satisfy those who have the God-given riglit to the pursuit of happiness inthis world as we know it to-day — this worldof sorrow and of suffering and of sin?9 [ 129 ]EFFICIENT RELIGIONThat is one of the most persistent questionswhich concern the efficiency of the Christianreligion. Countless multitudes are await-ing the answer, multitudes of the miserableand the disappointed and the disheartenedchildren of God. They stand before uswith bent bodies, with careworn faces, theireyes wet with tears or hardened with hope-lessness, and with uplifted, pleading handsthey cry, "Give us the joy that no man cantake away from us." And what shall bethe Christian's answer to these souls plead-ing only for what is theirs by divine birth-right?Let the answer to this demand of unhappysouls be spoken in the words of no otherthan the Master Himself. "Your joy will

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