Friday, April 20, 2012

The Path to Lasting Joy is Life in Christ

A couple months ago I had the privilege of attending the funeral of a man who, though imperfect, spent his life exalting Jesus in a number of ways. On the inside cover of the Order of Service was this poem which touched my heart, and which I've kept in the inside jacket of my Bible ever since. It was written by Francis Havergal and is entitled Light After Darkness.

Light after darkness, gain after loss,
Strength after suffering, crown after cross,
Sweet after bitter, song after sigh,
Home after wondering, praise after cry.

Sheaves after sowing, sun after rain,
Sight after mystery, peace after pain,
Joy after sorrow, calm after blast,
Rest after weariness, sweet rest at last.

Near after distant, gleam after gloom,
Love after loneliness, life after tomb,
After long agony, rapture of bliss!
Right was the pathway leading to this!

And of course, the Pathway of which Havergal writes is Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). There is pain and sorrow for all who follow Christ, but that suffering is only preparing the way for eternal and ever-increasing joy. So indeed, let us deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him who leads to bliss (Matthew 16:13-28).

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