Surely what we gather from the history of the first three or four centuries is that the joy that is taught and promised in the New Testament was exemplified constantly in the lives of the early Christians.

Have you read something of the story of the martyrs and the confessors — those people who, at the very moment of being thrown to the lions in the arena, were thanking God that at last they would have the final crown of martyrdom?

They rejoiced in it.  “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” (Tertullian).  People seeing this amazing joy were apprehended and convicted and wondered what it was and began to make inquiries.

This is undoubtedly the main factor in the way in which the early Christian church conquered the ancient world.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones