Godliness or Gloominess

He who affirms that godliness is gloominess knoweth not what he saith. The Lord desireth to teach us, at the very beginning of our Christian career, that he would have us be happy, happy only in himself. He makes us glad when we are but beginners, and little in Israel, that we may see that we can be made blessed by simple faith, without any other assistance.

“Christians might avoid much trouble,” says Dr. Payson, “if they would only believe what they profess — that God is able to make them happy without anything else. They imagine, if such a dear friend were to die, or such and such blessings to be removed, they should be miserable; whereas, God can make them a thousand times happier without them. To mention my own case — God has been depriving me of one blessing after another; but as every one has been removed, he has come in and filled up its place; and now, when I am a Cripple, and not able to move, I am happier than ever I was in my life before, or ever expected to be; and if I had believed this twenty years ago, I might have been spared much anxiety.”

This is the very thing our very gracious Jesus would teach us, if we were not so slow to learn; for, in the very first dawning of life, when graces and virtues are not yet developed, he makes himself so precious that we may know that he alone is the fountain of delights, and the very soul of rejoicing. He puts into us a constant love to his ways, by that delightful advent which he gives us at the very first step we take therein. It is of no use for the infidel to tell us our course will not end in bliss — it began with it, and we are compelled to believe that, if the same Jesus be Alpha and Omega too, the end must be eternal happiness.

– Charles H. Spurgeon, The Saint and His Saviour