It was a bright, sunny morning as Brother Littlejoy
walked down the street toward the railway-station. But somehow
the brightness of the morning was not reflected in Brother
Littlejoy's face. He seemed gloomy; his gaze rested upon the
ground. As he entered the waiting room, he saw a man with a
smiling countenance, and he said to himself, "Why, there is
Brother Joyful, seeing Brother Littlejoy, hastened to
him and shook hands with him warmly and said: "Good morning,
Brother Littlejoy. What a fine morning this is! It seems that
all nature is rejoicing in the spring sunshine. But, Brother
Littlejoy, why do you look so gloomy this morning when
everything else seems so bright?"
said Brother Littlejoy, "I have so many troubles and worries
and perplexities, so many trials and difficulties, that it
seems I have little joy in my life. I never can understand how
you are always so joyful. You always have a smile for
everybody and never seem to have any of the worries and
troubles that other people have. You seem to be, as Paul said,
'always rejoicing.' How I wish I were as you are! It certainly
must be a happy life."
replied Brother Joyful. "I think I have my full share of the
troubles of life. You know every one must expect them. We all
have plenty of them, but that is not the cause of your
trouble. It is not the number of trials and perplexities
people have that keep them from being joyful; for some of the
most joyful people whom I know have many cares, sorrows, and
troubles. There is just one thing wrong in your case, Brother
Littlejoy--you have not learned how to work God's
Brother Joyful laughed, and his eyes twinkled as he
said, "Come over here and let me give you an object-lesson."
they walked over to the side of the room where two machines
were standing side by side.
see this weighing-machine," said Brother Joyful, "I will just
step upon it and get weighed."
stepped upon the platform of the machine, but the indicator
remained at zero.
it seems it does not work this morning!"
course not," answered Brother Littlejoy, "you have to drop a
penny in the slot before it will act."
Brother Joyful took a penny from his pocket and dropped it
into the slot. The indicator immediately flew around on the
hundred and seventy-two pounds," said Brother Joyful. "That is
just what I weighed two weeks ago. Now let us try this one,
and have some music."
saying, he took a disc from the rack and adjusted it in the
machine and pressed the lever, but nothing moved; no music
said Brother Littlejoy, "it will not play until you drop a
nickel into the slot."
said Brother Joyful, "that's the way!"
dropped a nickel into the slot, and the machine began sounding
forth its melody.
Sitting down on a seat near by, they listened until the
music ceased, when Brother Joyful said:
see I might have stood there on the platform of that
weighing-machine all day and wished to have known my weight
ever so much, but I should not have found it out until I had
dropped a penny into the slot. We might have stood there, by
the music box all day, and wished to hear it play; but until
the nickel was dropped into the slot, there could be no music.
Now, God has a joy-machine, and it works on the plan of the
slot machines. You can see its picture almost anywhere in the
Bible. But there is a real place where you can get the
joy--real joy and there is plenty of it. This music box will
play a tune for each nickel dropped into it, and so God's
joy-machine will yield you a heart full of joyfulness every
time you can get it to work, and it always works whenever you
proceed right. Some people merely stand around and look at the
box. They see others getting joy out of it and often try to
get joy; somehow it does not work for them. The trouble is;
they do not put in the coin; in other words, they do not do
what is necessary to get the machine to work. The joy is
there, plenty of it, enough for everybody; there is no reason
why people should be without it."
"Well," sighed Brother Littlejoy, "I would give almost
anything if I knew how to get joy like you; but I suppose it
is not for me."
there is where you are mistaken," said Brother Joyful. "Take
another lesson from those machines yonder. They are set out in
plain sight, and the public, everybody who wishes, may, by
dropping coins into the slots, get what the machines have to
give. The more coins dropped, the better the owners are
pleased. They do not want the weights, they do not want the
music; these are provided for the public; and whosoever will,
may have his full satisfaction on certain conditions. Now,
God's joy for his children is just the same-the more they have
of it, the better pleased he is. The more joyful they are, the
more joyful he is. You are mistaken in thinking that you are
denied joy. You are not denied it any more than you are denied
music from the music box. If you know how to operate the box
and are willing to pay the price, you may have plenty of
music. It is equally true that if you are willing to pay the
price, you can work God's joy-machine all you please."
"Well," said Brother Littlejoy, "I do wish I knew how.
And what do you mean by the price of joy?"
something many people have not learned yet," answered Brother
Joyful; "but I will tell you the secret. I will tell you how I
get God's joy-machine to operate. A Specified coin is required
to operated these machines, but there are many different that
will work God's machine. Sometimes one thing will do it,
sometimes another, and sometimes it takes several things
together. The first thing I try is obedience. Whole-hearted
obedience to the Lord never fails to bring me a good supply of
joy, but that is a price many people are not willing to pay.
They would like to have the joy, but when it comes to obeying
God and throwing their whole soul into that obedience, they
draw back. Often they obey reluctantly, with more or less
unwillingness in their hearts, or they want to do it just a
little differently from God's way. That kind of obedience
never makes the joy-machine work. There are others who are
willing to obey God, provided he will do so-and-so to suit
them. Such people wait a long time for their joy. So long as
the heart is closed up against God's commands, you can count
on God keeping a lock on the joy-machine.
"Sometimes, and very often too, we have to drop some
trust into the slot. If you are doubting God and questioning
whether he means what he says, or whether he will keep his
promises, the machine will not work. When I want a feast of
joy, I make sure that I am obeying God, and then I tell him
that I believe him, that I trust myself and my all completely
into his hands, and that I feel perfectly safe in doing so;
that I believe his eye is over me and his everlasting arms are
beneath me and that he will work out everything for my good
and keep me in whatever circumstances I am placed. That makes
the joy-machine work. Often it brings 'joy unspeakable and
full of glory.'
course, there is something else that goes with obedience and
trust, and that is really a part of them. It is submission.
Unless our hearts say, 'Thy will be done,' the joy-bells will
not ring much. If we get any joy, it will be only a sort of
human enthusiasm. I say the heart must say this. It is not
enough for the mouth to say it; the heart must not say it
reluctantly or hesitatingly, for the joy will not come until
the heart submits unreservedly.
"Praise is another thing that makes the machine work;
that is, the kind of praise that comes from the depths of the
heart--the kind that comes spontaneously from a deep
appreciation of God's goodness and mercy. Only those who obey
God have this kind. We may shout God's praise loud enough to
be heard two blocks away; but if we are not obeying him, he
knows it is a pretense, and it will not work the machine. One
may be ever so enthusiastic, and seem to be very happy, but if
he is not obeying God, what he gets does not come out of God's
joy-machine. Praise amounts to much when there is obedience
back of it, but is nothing but noise when it is otherwise.
"Sometimes it is patience and long-suffering that make
the machine work. Sometimes when opposition or accusation come
or when railing, abuse, scorn or similar things must be borne,
the joy-machine dose not work immediately. We have to put a
good supply of patience into the slot, and perhaps suffer a
while; but when the proper time comes, they will make the
machine work all right.
smile or a cheery word or a bit of song, a kindly greeting, or
almost any kindly act put into the slot may fill up our cup
with joy when we are not expecting it. Sometimes nothing but
enduring a hard trial will start the joy flowing. One may not
be very joyful during the trial, for the joy generally comes
at the end of the trial. Some people think that it would be
pleasant if they could put their trials into the slot and make
the joy-machine work, but it does not work that way. It is the
endurance that makes it work, and the endurance will not make
it work until it is dropped into the slot; that is, until we
have endured through to the end of the trial.
I find things in my pocket-book, too, that I can drop into the
slot to make the machine work. Money in the pocketbook will
not make God's joy-machine work any more than it will make
yonder machine play music. When people look into their
pocketbooks and see only money, the only joy it can make is a
sort of selfish, human joy. I know of people who can see
something besides money in their pocketbooks. Why just the
other day, Brother Sympathy looked into his pocketbook and saw
a sack of flour there for the Widow Grimes. And last fall one
day, he looked into it and saw a whole ton of coal for old
Mrs. Benson and an overcoat for Tom Jones, and a little later
he found a pair of shoes for Johnnie Peters. Of course, he
took them all out and delivered them to their owners. I
suppose you wonder why his face shone so in meeting. It was
because these things, and many more like them, kept God's
Brother Littlejoy, I have told you a few of the things that
will make the machine work when put into the slot, and I am
sure that if you will use them, your joy-cup will not be empty
much of the time."
Brother Joyful," said Brother Littlejoy," you have surely
taught me a lesson. If that is the way to get joy and if I can
have it as well as anybody, I think I shall try to get my
share in the future. But how am I to get rid of all my
troubles and worries and heavy burdens?"
answered Brother Joyful, "you are working the wrong machine;
you do not get such things from the Lord."
do you mean?" asked Brother Littlejoy.
Satan has a slot-machine also, and many people are working it
overtime. Some good people are working it, but they do not
know they are using Satan's machine.
"Please explain yourself," said brother Littlejoy.
this way," replied Brother Joyful; "Satan has a great machine,
or I might say several different ones, and there are many
different ones and there are different things that can be
dropped into the slots to make them work. But none of the
things that work God's machine will work Satan's. Now, you
have, you say, trouble and gloom and such things. These come
from Satan's machine. This is the way it works: You drop some
unbelief into the slot, and you get darkness and fear; doubts,
and you get gloom and despondency; disobedience, and you get
condemnation; fear, and you get weakness; murmuring, and you
get discouragement. Oh, there are many things you can get out
of Satan's machine; and he is very glad to have you get them.
Drop in some cross words, some fretfulness, some self-will, a
little pride, a little suspicion of the brethren, a little
envy, or anything of that sort, and you will get a return from
as I said, Brother Littlejoy, you have been working the wrong
machine and if you will just think a while, you may be able to
tell what you have been putting into the slot to get these
things that you would like to be rid of. Perhaps it is a
little disobedience or self-will or unbelief. Make a good
prayerful search and find out; then stop dropping things into
the devil's slot machine, turn your attention to learning how
to operate God's joy machine, and I am sure you will soon see
a gratifying change."
Brother Littlehoy walked out of the door, he said to himself,
"I think Brother Joyful is right; I will begin working the