Summary: The bride’s purity is the foundation of this joyful relationship with the groom. The key thing here is “purity.” This is the overwhelming factor in the bride’s relationship with the groom.
William Bower came to our church a very discouraged, retired pastor who had been abused throughout his pastorates. I knew the background story and when his wife died, he sank into a great slough of despond. When he came to the church, he drug his depression along with him. Nobody ever really saw him smile.
I knew I had to do something and was not quite sure what to do. Then it came to me.
As a pastor, one of his great delights was in leading the congregation in singing hymns and even singing a solo occasionally. I thought this might be the edge.
One Sunday I approached him and said, “Bill, I need some help this morning.” He just stared at me with very little expression. “My throat,” I continued, “is a little raspy this morning and I need to save it for the preaching.” Then I sighed very deeply and continued, “I need to save my voice for the preaching would you be willing to lead the congregational singing this morning?”
For the very first time since I knew him a smile danced on his face. He agreed to come to the pulpit and lead the singing. That was just the beginning. From then on, I never saw Brother Bill without a smile on his face.
Several years after I left the church, he went into the hospital and I don’t remember why. While there, he had a great influence, especially among the nurses.
Every day some nurse would sneak into his room and ask Bill if he would pray for them. Nobody knows how many people he prayed for there in the hospital.
One evening his nurse came in to make sure he was comfortable and ready to sleep. As she went out of the room, she made sure the lights were off and left the door open so she could check up on him.
About an hour later, she walked by his door and saw a light in his room. She walked in, Bill was sitting up in his bed with lights shining all around him and he was staring at the ceiling saying, “Isn’t it beautiful.”
The nurse noticed none of the lights in the room were on but there was a brightness that she could not understand. She went to get the head nurse to come in and when they got back Bill was sitting up in his bed, the lights were out and Bill was gone.
The light that he had was the light he had become.
Many Christians spend their whole life wallowing in the slough of despond not realizing that there is a life of joy and fulfillment that only Christ can bring.
An unsaved person has no reason to rejoice. A Christian has no reason not to rejoice.
In the King James Version, we have the words…
Rejoice – 240
Joy – 187
Happy – 25
Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
James 1:2-4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
I challenge you to show me anywhere in the Scriptures where any Christian is exempt from rejoicing.