The Fountain Of Songs

   "The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet:
they break forth into singing."—Isa. 14:7

  Nature is joyful. There is something that wells up in the heart of things which breaks forth in song. We have heard of the music of the spheres. There is harmony which makes itself heard above the discords. This world is not a place of melancholy. Its drab color when properly blended become beauteous. Its discord may be merged into harmonies.

  Happiness is the normal state of all life. Our tears are meant to be only the cleansing rain which refreshes and beautifies life. There is an echo of far-off music in all the sounds of nature. Rejoicing is everywhere. Happiness is God's will for all his creation. "Sing, O ye heavens . . . shout ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein" (Isa. 44:23).

  This universal joyfulness is also thus expressed, "The valleys . . . shout for joy, they also sing" (Ps. 65:13) Again, "Let the nations be glad and sing for joy" (Ps. 67: 4). In nature sentient things are happy even though life for them is full of danger and hardship. The birds sing even tho they know they are surrounded by enemies. Constant dangers do not silence their songs. In spite of all the cruelties of fang and claw, and undeterred by storms or cold, hunger or privation, the voice of joy still rises in melody.

  Man is likewise permeated by the same cause of joyfulness. Difficulties may come, dangers may surround him, he may make failures, have losses, and sometimes almost despair. Notwithstanding all this his spirits will rise superior to his difficulties and the song of joy is never fully quenched in any normal human being. Troubles, when they lie in the past, may be quickly forgotten. The young trees bent over by the snowfall rise again when the snow is melted to gaze anew upon the sun. So man rises from his troubles. He lifts his head up into the sunshine and again his heart breaks forth in joyfulness. The heart is naturally merry and God would ever have it so. He says, "My servants shall sing for joy of heart" (Isa. 65:14).

  While preparing to write the chapters that follow I took my concordance and Bible and looked up some of the words that express rejoicing and happiness, such as rejoicing,, gladness, happy, blessed, joy, rest, etc. I found that these words and others of similar import occur nearly nine hundred times in the Scriptures. Even then my search was only partial. Assuredly this fact should convince us not only that happiness is the natural state of man but that it is God's will for him.

  Again and again we are exhorted to rejoice, to be glad and to give expression to our joy. The poet has said, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast." Joy is more powerful than sorrow. Peace is more lasting than trouble. Sorrow is but transitory. Life has balm for all our woes, light for all our darkness. Morning breaks after the darkest night. There is sunshine after the fiercest storm. There is warmth and beauty after the cruel winter. In the normal life happiness is the rule; unhappiness the exception. Troubles will come. There are things to be endured, but these need not take out of life its beauty, its happiness, or its worth.

  One thing should ever be present in our thoughts of life. Our happiness does not depend upon our environment, our station, our circumstances, or any external thing. The songs come from within. They bubble up out of the heart. Someone has spoken a great truth in the lines that follow:

  "There's no defeat in life Save from within,
Unless you're beaten there You're bound to win."

  It is what we are within that counts. It is our outlook on life, our purposes, our ideals, our hopes, our faith. There are joyful beggars. The most thankful, the most appreciative, are often those who have little. Some of the most contented, cheerful, and light-hearted people I ever saw were people whose situations seemed least tolerable. In my ministry I have gone into homes where poverty abounded, where sickness and sorrow existed, yet I found in some of those homes happy, trustful, rejoicing hearts.

  Favorable external circumstances may encourage the song in the heart, but the lack of these things need not still the song. External things alone cannot produce a song in the heart. A favorable condition of heart is like the reed of the wind instrument. The wind itself can produce no music without the reed. So the music in human hearts is born in hearts and as the reed in the instrument makes the instrument vocal so the proper qualities in the heart make joyous music even in the night of sorrow.

  Too many people have a wrong philosophy of life. The pessimist makes his own clouds. The optimist sees the sunshine on the other side of the clouds and is happy. Some modern idealistic religious systems, tho based on false metaphysics and a false natural philosophy, have, outside of these things, a true philosophy of happiness and success, at least for the present life. Many of us could learn much from these philosophies that would be very helpful. We need not accept the vagaries of their metaphysics or natural philosophy nor their spiritual concepts, but the philosophy of the hopeful outlook, the expectation of success, and the discounting of that which is unpleasant and undesirable, is the true way to happiness. The God who made the birds that sing so sweetly desires the same melody of song in the heart of the highest of his creation. Believing this we face life with the elements that create melody active in our hearts to teach us the Secret of the Singing Heart.



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