Blog Entry

12 Spurgeon Quotes on Joy

By Grace Pike Oct 18, 2018

Good stories have good endings. The story that began in eternity past and unfolded in time at Bethlehem will culminate in the acclamation and glorification of Christ when he comes again. For Charles Spurgeon, that was the very height of joy itself. Indeed, he said, “No joy ever visits my soul like that of knowing that Jesus is highly exalted,” and especially, “that to him ‘every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’”

 

Spurgeon knew that the fountain of joy flowed from the hole in his savior’s side. He understood what “showers of mercy,” “streams of benediction,” “mountains of joy,” and “hills of happiness” would be savored when Jesus “comes and reigns in thy soul.”

 

The reign of the glorified Christ was God’s grand design; and so Charles encouraged sorrowful saints, saying, “It is not to sorrow but to joy that the great King invites his subjects.” God did not call his subjects to “be distressed,” but rather that they “may be delighted that he bids [them] believe in the crucified Savior and live.” For Spurgeon, it was simple: “We must have God or we are of all men most miserable.”

 

Spurgeon preached to the miserable in two senses. To the despondent believer, he shepherded them, saying, “Bear your sorrows bravely, for they are appointed of your Heavenly Father in supreme wisdom.” The goodness of God enabled his people to “Bear them joyfully,” knowing that “the peaceable fruits of righteousness” would be the result. Spurgeon encouraged those in the desert of discipleship with truth that though the experience of union would wax and wane, its vital reality would remain the same.

 

To the lost soul, Spurgeon earnestly heralded the gospel. He fervently prayed that his proclamations of Christ would drive sinners to look to Christ and be saved. Even while he was weighed down by the burden of unregenerate sinners, he counted it a joy “to deal to-day with lost souls who are not yet hopelessly lost.”

 

Every time the gospel of Christ pierced the heart and ransomed an enemy of God, the pastor rejoiced exuberantly. In Spurgeon’s view, it was a “joyful business altogether,” for “the Savior is glad to save, and the sinner is glad to be saved.” Furthermore, personal salvation incited corporate acclamation, as Spurgeon said, “What joy there is in the church of God when sinners are converted!”

 

Spurgeon knew that “[God] is great and glorious, whatever we may be.” This truth allowed him to rightly acknowledge that “it is our joy, our safety, our everlasting happiness, that we should become his servants.” In the spirit of seeking such eternal gladness in Christ, here are twelve quotes regarding joy from the Prince of Preachers.

 

1. “No joy ever visits my soul like that of knowing that Jesus is highly exalted, and that to him ‘every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’”

 

“It is delightful to think that Christ will have the glory of all God’s grace; it were shocking if it were not so. Who could bear to see Jesus robbed of his reward? We are indignant that any should usurp his place, and ashamed of ourselves that we do not glorify him more. No joy ever visits my soul like that of knowing that Jesus is highly exalted, and that to him “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

2. “Thou canst not tell what showers of mercy, what streams of benediction, what mountains of joy, and hills of happiness, shall be thine when Jesus comes and reigns in thy soul.”

 

“Behold, I make all things new,” saith he. Oh! thou canst not tell the influences of his scepter when he sits upon the throne of the heart! Thou canst not tell what showers of mercy, what streams of benediction, what mountains of joy, and hills of happiness, shall be thine when Jesus comes and reigns in thy soul.”

 

3. “It is not to sorrow but to joy that the great King invites his subjects, when he glorifies his Son Jesus.”

 

“It is for love; in the gospel, sinner, you are invited to be reconciled to God, you are assured that God forgives your sins, ceases to be angry, and would have you reconciled to him through his Son. Thus love is established between God and the soul. Then it is for laughter, for happiness, for joy. Those who come to God in Christ Jesus, and believe in him, have their hearts filled with overflowing peace, which calm lake of peace often lifts up itself in waves of joy, which clap their hands in exultation. It is not to sorrow but to joy that the great King invites his subjects, when he glorifies his Son Jesus. It is not that you may be distressed, but that you may be delighted that he bids you believe in the crucified Savior and live.”

 

4. “We must have God or we are of all men most miserable.”

 

“God has ordained it so that a spiritual man is wretched without the love of God in his heart. If you and I want present happiness without God, we had better be sinners outright and live upon this world than try to be happy in religion without communion with Jesus. Present happiness for a genuine Christian in the absence of Christ is an absolute impossibility. We must have God or we are of all men most miserable.”

 

5. “Bear your sorrows bravely, for they are appointed of your Heavenly Father in supreme wisdom. Bear them joyfully, for they will bring forth to you the peaceable fruits of righteousness.”

 

“The day will come, dear friend, when your cheeks, all befouled with weeping, shall be washed, and made fair to look upon. Your eyes may be weary with waiting and watching, and red with weeping; but that weeping shall endure only for a night. “Joy cometh in the morning,” as surely as the morning cometh after the night. Bear your sorrows bravely, for they are appointed of your Heavenly Father in supreme wisdom. Bear them joyfully, for they will bring forth to you the peaceable fruits of righteousness.”

 

6. “Our joy is that we have to deal to-day with lost souls who are not yet hopelessly lost.”

 

“My soul sees, as in a vision, souls hopelessly lost, drifting on the waves of eternity, beyond all hope or help. Alas! Alas! Millions of our race are now in that condition. Upon them has passed the second death, and powerless are we all to save them. Towards them even the gospel has no aspect of hope. Our joy is that we have to deal to-day with lost souls who are not yet hopelessly lost. They are dead in sin, but there is a quickening power which can make them live. O mariner of the sea of life, fisher of men upon this stormy sea, those castaways whom you meet with are accessible to your efforts of compassion, they can be rescued from the pitiless deeps; your mission is not a hopeless one.”

 

7. *In reference to Luke 19:6* “From this text, it appears that, when sinners receive Jesus, they receive him joyfully, so that there is joy on both sides. It is a joyful business altogether; the Savior is glad to save, and the sinner is glad to be saved.”

 

“From this text, it appears that, when sinners receive Jesus, they receive him joyfully, so that there is joy on both sides. It is a joyful business altogether; the Savior is glad to save, and the sinner is glad to be saved. I know which of the two has the greater joy, for it is always more blessed to give than to receive; and the great heart of Jesus, in its infinite benevolence, is conscious of a rarer joy than even the saved sinner can experience. It is a delight to him to save; so great is his joy that he cannot contain it all within his own heart, and he represents himself as calling together his friends and neighbors, and saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.’”

 

8. “What joy there is in the church of God when sinners are converted!”

 

“The woman who lights the candle and sweeps the house, to whom the silver belongs, will herself find it. Now notice when she had found it what she did, she rejoiced. The greater her trouble in searching, the higher her joy in finding. What joy there is in the church of God when sinners are converted!”

 

9. “I do not think the church rejoices enough. We all grumble enough and groan enough: but very few of us rejoice enough.”

 

“And now I must conclude with this LESSON TO THIS SAINTS. I think beloved, it will not be hard for you to learn. The angels of heaven rejoice over Sinners that repent: saints of God, will not you and I do the same? I do not think the church rejoices enough. We all grumble enough and groan enough: but very few of us rejoice enough. When we take a large number into the church it is spoken of as a great mercy; but is the greatness of that mercy appreciated? I will tell you who they are that can most appreciate the conversion of sinners. They are those that are just converted themselves, or those that have been great sinners themselves.”

 

10. “My brethren, it is in proportion as you get near to God that you enter into the full enjoyment of life — that life which Jesus Christ gives you, and which Jesus Christ preserves in you.”

 

“Let the soul obey God, let it be holy, pure, gracious, then is it happy, and truly living; but a soul sundered from God is a soul blasted, killed, destroyed; it exists in a dreadful death; all its true peace, dignity, and glory, are gone; it is a hideous ruin, the mere corpse of manhood. The new life brings us near to God, makes us think of him, makes us love him, and ultimately makes us like him. My brethren, it is in proportion as you get near to God that you enter into the full enjoyment of life — that life which Jesus Christ gives you, and which Jesus Christ preserves in you. “In his favor is life.” Psalm 30:5.”

 

11. “Is your heart a holy heart? Do you desire holiness? Do you find your pleasure in it?”
 

“Is your heart resting upon Jesus Christ? Is it a believing heart? Does your heart meditate upon divine things? Does it find its best solace there? Is your heart a humble heart? Are you constrained to ascribe all to sovereign grace? Is your heart a holy heart? Do you desire holiness? Do you find your pleasure in it? Is your heart bold for God? Does your heart ascribe praises to God? Is it a grateful heart? and is it a heart that is wholly fixed upon God, desiring never to go astray? If it be, then you have marks of election.”

 

12. “He is great and glorious, whatever we may be; and it is for our joy, our safety, our everlasting happiness, that we should become his servants. It is necessary, for the right ordering of our lives, that our hearts may be in tune to yield the music of joy, that we should be tuned by obedience to his will, and that we should learn to serve him.”

 

“He is infinitely greater than we are, so that what I shall have to say to you at this time about our going to work for God in his vineyard is not to be understood as though we could do anything meritorious in the eyes of our Maker, or as if he had any need of us. He is great and glorious, whatever we may be; and it is for our joy, our safety, our everlasting happiness, that we should become his servants. It is necessary, for the right ordering of our lives, that our hearts may be in tune to yield the music of joy, that we should be tuned by obedience to his will, and that we should learn to serve him. My prayer is that, this very hour, some who have never known our Savior may find him making himself known to them, and engaging them in his service.”


Grace Pike is pursuing her Masters of Divinity at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. She is an intern at Liberty Baptist Church and serves as a Spurgeon Scholar at The Spurgeon Library. It is her joy to continually be growing in the grace and knowledge of her Savior Jesus Christ, and her prayer to bring people from all nations into the everlasting, joyous satisfaction of knowing and worshipping Him.