Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
How happy afterward are Christians who have been tested and tried in this life? There is no calm deeper than that which comes after a storm. Who has not rejoiced in the shining of the sun after the rain? Victorious celebrations are for battled-scarred soldiers. After climbing the Hill of Difficulty, we sit down in the arbor of rest. After crossing the Valley of Humiliation, after fighting with Apollyon (the Destroyer), the shining one, our Lord Jesus, appears, with the healing branch from the tree of life in his hand. Our sorrows are like the stirring propellers of ships at sea which leave a silver trail of light behind them.
Take a moment to observe the happy estate of a Christian! He will have his best things last, and, therefore, in this world he can receive his worst things first.
But even now in this life, the Christian’s worst things become good things. The hard work of ploughing yields joyful harvests. The believer grows rich by his losses; he succeeds by his failings; he lives by dying; and he becomes full by being emptied. If his grievous afflictions yield him so much peaceable fruit in this life, what will the full wine of joy be like “afterwards” in heaven? If his dark nights are as bright as the world’s days, what will the Christian’s days be like? If he can sing in a dungeon now, how sweetly will he sing in music halls of heaven! If calamity is good to him now, what will the overflowing goodness of God be to him then?
Oh, blessed “afterward!” Who would not want to be a Christian? Who would not bear the present cross for the crown which comes afterward? But this requires the work of patience, for the coming rest is not ours today, nor is our triumph for the present. It comes “afterward.” Wait, O my soul, and let patience have her perfect work. [M&E]