“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” -2 Corinthians 4:17
The question is often asked, “Why is human life drenched in so much blood and soaked with so many tears?” The answer is found in the word “achieving,” for these “momentary troubles are achieving for us” something very precious. They are teaching us not only the way to victory but, better still, the law of victory—there is a reward for every sorrow, and the sorrow itself produces the reward. It is the very truth expressed in this dear old hymn, written by Sarah Adams in 1840:
Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee,
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me.
Joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth. Fanny Crosby was a wonderful American hymn writer who lived from 1820 to 1915 and who wrote more than two thousand hymns. Yet she could never have written the beautiful words “I shall see Him face to face” if not for the fact that she had never gazed upon green fields, evening sunsets, nor even the twinkle in her mother’s eye. It was the loss of her own vision that helped her to gain her remarkable spiritual discernment and insight.
It is comforting to know that sorrow stays only for the night and then takes its leave in the morning. And a thunderstorm is very brief when compared to a long summer day. Remember, “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). from Songs in the Night
There is a peace that springs soon after sorrow,
Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled;
A peace that does not look upon tomorrow,
But calmly on the storm that it has stilled.
A peace that lives not now in joy’s excesses,
Nor in the happy life of love secure;
But in the unerring strength the heart possesses,
Of conflicts won while learning to endure.
A peace there is, in sacrifice secluded,
A life subdued, from will and passion free;
It’s not the peace that over Eden brooded,
But that which triumphed in Gethsemane.
(from Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman)