“The Eye of Joy’s Hold”, a worship poem from L.Willows (Joy, beholding God, God’s Glory)




The Eye of Joy’s Hold

What is this joy but a moment that sees,
Glimpses the time when all hindrances free.
All of our cares, when the burdens we bear,
Lift from our hearts and there our lives share.

Love in the fellowship, sweet honeyed noon.
All of us swaying to the music in a swoon.
Lifted with faces that shine with delight,
Oh, I can see this, I see it tonight.

What is this Life that the heart can behold,
Held in a moment, with the eye of Joy’s Hold.
Come let us join, let us share in the sweet fold,
Kept in that joy, in the story here told.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Isaiah 25:9 – “It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Hebrews 2:12 -“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

“How can we be ‘joyful’ in this world?” by Martin Lloyd Jones


by Martin Lloyd-Jones
Fellowship with God (1899-1981)

How can we be “joyful” in this world? What does Scripture mean by being “joyful”? Well, there are three elements of joy – First, joy is a state of complete satisfaction; obviously, there is no joy unless we are satisfied. Second, joy is a spirit of exultation; there is a difference between happiness and joy – happiness fully depends upon what “happens” (both terms come from the same root word “hap”) in a person’s life; joy has a deep heartfelt genuine gratitude element in it. Third, in joy there is always a feeling of power and strength. Someone who is truly joyful, in a sense, is afraid of nothing. When you are truly joyful, you are lifted up above yourself, and ready to meet every enemy. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

So, joy is something very deep and profound, something that affects the whole and entire personality. Furthermore, there is only one thing that can give true joy, and that is a contemplation of the Lord Jesus Christ – He satisfies the mind, the emotions, and our every desire. So joy is the response and the reaction of the soul to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. John writes to us that “our joy might be made full, filled to the brim.” The joy of the Lord is not dependent upon circumstances, like happiness. Joy is a deep, profound quality that enables us to stay standing whatever may be happening to us.

In order for the Christian to have “fullness of joy,” he must have conscious fellowship with God; that is, he must be abiding in Christ (and that is not a “passive” abiding). There are certain things that hinder the experience of fellowship, that militate against it, and rob us of it – First, there is unconfessed sin; it must be confessed; sin will always rob us of a conscious fellowship with God. If we fall into sin (that is, we cease to actively trust – Rom 14:23), we begin to doubt and to wonder, and the devil takes advantage and encourages us in this.

Second, there is lack of love for the brethren; one cannot love God and disregard fellow believers. Third, there is love of the world; a desire for its pleasures (you cannot mix light and darkness). Fourth, there is wrong understanding about the person of Christ – false notions concerning Christ result in having a lack of assurance with regard to salvation. It is imperative that believers are “absolutely certain” about the person and work of Christ – that is why Scripture is so emphatic on these subjects. There can be no true joy of salvation while there is a vagueness or uncertainty or a lack of assurance. Though “assurance” is not essential for salvation, it is essential to the joy of salvation.

If a believer is certain about these things he will KNOW that he is a child of God, that he has “eternal life” (1 Jn 1:2; 2:25; 5:13), and that he has “fellowship with God” (1 Jn 1:3-7) – that is, a conscious possession of the life of God within us. Again, the hindrances to “knowing these things” are listed above. If you truly desire to know this “joy,” you cannot take short cuts in the spiritual life. There is only one way and that is to confront these great and glorious truths, to believe them and to joyfully accept them. There are certain absolutes – the Incarnation, the Atonement, Regeneration, Sanctification, the Doctrine of Sin and of the Devil, and the Doctrine of the Second Coming. As we believe and practice these things, we will exper-ience “His joy;” being lazy and careless with the teaching of Scripture results in “no joy!”

One of the essentials of “true joy” is conscious fellowship with God – sharing in the life of God. This is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted concepts in Scripture – and it should not be! The Devil simply does not want God’s people to get a handle on this subject. “Fellowship with God” is probably the most glorious and wonderful truth in all of Scripture. Life outside God is not life, it is merely existence – there is a radical difference between the two. Apart from God we are spiritually dead (Eph 2:1).

Those who have become conscious of the fact that they are “sharing the life of God,” know what it is to rejoice and know what it is to be emancipated from certain besetting sins which hitherto always got them down – these are the believers who “overcome the world.” John wants all believers to share this same joy and participate in this same experience. Regardless of individuality or temperament, every believer can know this same experience. Fellowship with God is the result of something that is based upon the belief of an objective truth – note carefully: this is not a primarily subjective experience.

Last, there is only one way to true and lasting joy, and that is to start with the “holiness of God.”  If I start there, I shall be delivered from every false peace, from every false joy.  I shall be humbled to the dust, and see my true unworthiness, and that I deserve nothing at the hands of God.  We can do nothing better, every time we go on our knees to pray than to repeat John’s words – “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” And when we feel like rushing into our own desires and complaints, just  to pause and approach Him with reverence and godly fear, “for our God is a consuming fire.”

© Martin Lloyd-Jones

1 Corinthians 13:12…”For now we see only a reflection”, with commentary by David Guzik


Commentary by David Guzik
1 Corinthians 13:12

b. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face: When we can fully see Jesus (not as in a poorly reflected image) the need for the gifts will have vanished, and so the gifts will pass away. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will be overshadowed by the immediate presence of Jesus. When the sun rises, we turn off the lesser lights.

c. Face to face: Paul is using this term to describe complete, unhindered fellowship with God. 1 John 3:2 tells us when we get to heaven, we shall see Him as He is. There will be no more barriers to our relationship with God.

i. In Exodus 33:11, it says the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. In Exodus 33:1-23, face to face is a figurative expression, meaning free and open fellowship. Moses had not – and could not – see the actual face of God the Father in His glory. This is the sense in which John says No one has seen God at any time (1 John 4:12). In the spiritual sense which Moses had a face to face relationship with God, we can have a free and open relationship with God. But in the ultimate sense, it will wait until then, when we are united with Jesus in glory.

ii. So, in a passage like Numbers 12:8, where the Lord says of Moses, I speak with him face to face, the phrase face to face is a figure of speech, telling of great and unhindered intimacy. Moses’ face was not literally beholding the literal face of God, but he did enjoy direct, intimate, conversation with the Lord. But the face to face Paul speaks of here is the “real” face to face.

d. For now we see in a mirror: This speaks again to the perfect fellowship with God we will have one day. Today, when we look in a good mirror, the image is clear. But in the ancient world, mirrors were made out of polished metal, and the image was always unclear and somewhat distorted. We see Jesus now only in a dim, unclear way, but one day we will see Him with perfect clarity. We will know just as I also am known.

i. The city of Corinth was famous for producing some of the best bronze mirrors in antiquity. But at their best, they couldn’t give a really clear vision. When we get to heaven, we will have a really clear vision of the Lord.

i. We couldn’t handle this greater knowledge on this side of eternity.

“If we knew more of our own sinfulness, we might be driven to despair; if we knew more of God’s glory, we might die of terror; if we had more understanding, unless we had equivalent capacity to employ it, we might be filled with conceit and tormented with ambition. But up there we shall have our minds and our systems strengthened to receive more, without the damage that would come to us here from overleaping the boundaries of order, supremely appointed and divinely regulated.” (Spurgeon)

e. God knows everything about me; this is how I also am known. But in heaven, I will know God as perfectly as I can; I will know just as I also am known. It doesn’t mean I will be all-knowing as God is, but it means I will know Him as perfectly as I can.

i. Heaven is precious to us for many reasons. We long to be with loved ones who have passed before us and whom we miss so dearly. We long to be with the great men and women of God who have passed before us in centuries past. We want to walk the streets of gold, see the pearly gates, see the angels round the throne of God worshiping Him day and night. However, none of those things, precious as they are, make heaven really “heaven.” What makes heaven heaven is the unhindered, unrestricted, presence of our Lord, and to know just as I also am known will be the greatest experience of our eternal existence.

ii. “The streets of gold will have small attraction to us, the harps of angels will but slightly enchant us, compared with the King in the midst of the throne.

He it is who shall rivet our gaze, absorb our thoughts, enchain our affection, and move all our sacred passions to their highest pitch of celestial ardour. We shall see Jesus.” (Spurgeon)

d. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are necessary and appropriate for this present age, when we are not yet fully mature, and we only know in part. There will come a day when the gifts are unnecessary, but that day has not come yet.

i. Clearly, the time of fulfillment Paul refers to with then face to face and then I shall know just as I also am known speaks of being in the glory of heaven with Jesus. Certainly, that is the that which is perfect spoken of in 1 Corinthians 13:10 as well. According to the context, it can’t be anything else.

3. (1 Corinthians 13:13) A summary of love’s permanence: love abides forever.