Pristine Grace

In Search of an Inward Joy
by Jim Byrd
In Search of an Inward Joy

    There can be no real inward joy when we evaluate ourselves.  Whenever I look within I get discouraged because all I see is corruption.  I don’t pray enough, I don’t read the Bible as much as I ought, I don’t love the Lord like I should, I don’t love you like I’m supposed to; my heart is often cold and seemingly lifeless.  Every thought, every deed, every motive, every imagination is polluted by sin.  I cannot find any comfort in my own conscience with regard to my relationship with a holy God on the basis of anything within me or in anything done by me.  My heart is comforted only when I look away from myself to Christ Jesus my Lord.  He only is my hope, my joy, my confidence, my righteousness and my salvation.  When I look only to Him, then I say with the prophet, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).  It is not a sign of spirituality to be constantly looking within yourself; the Spirit of God brings the needy sinner to look to Christ for all things.  The first and last command to us poor sinners is this: “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29).  Let us live our lives “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2) and then we will have a greater measure of joy and contentment while making our pilgrimage through this vile world.