While I was attending a Christian camp one year, the speaker brought out the end of a rope from the side of the stage to use as an illustration. He stretched the rope all the way to the other end of the stage. Then he used a marker to draw a thin line around one small spot of the rope. He said, “this rope represents time, and this line represents the length of time that you will be alive. From the time you are born until the time you die, you will only have crossed from one side of this line to the other.” Then, he began to pull on the rope… and he kept pulling. He had more than a hundred feet of rope, and as he pulled, he wrapped the rope up into a pile. When he was done, you had no idea where that marked line was as it was dwarfed by the rest of the rope.
This kind of illustration is incredibly impactful for teenagers. It helps them to begin to understand the sheer length of eternity. But this is an imperfect illustration. To be more accurate, the rope would have to keep on going forever: it would need to wrap all the way around the world and then form some sort of loop so that it was never ending.
Still, the point is clear: compared to eternity, our life is incredibly short! Compared to the joys that we will experience in heaven, the persecutions that we may face in this lifetime are nothing. We might be tortured, beaten, mocked, or even put to death for our faith in Christ, but those sufferings can’t even compare to the infinite blessings that await us in heaven. Or, as the psalmist says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Please read Psalm 30:4-5.
David began this psalm by pledging his personal desire to praise the Lord: “I will extol, You, O Lord.” But he soon found that the Lord’s praises are too great for any one man to sing. So, he invites the rest of the congregation of the saints to join in the singing. “Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His.”
David does not invite the entire choir to join in, but only the saints—only those who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. This is because these saints will be singing “of His holy name.” The holiness of God leaves us in the deepest awe, and is worthy of the highest reverence. It should not be talked about or sung of by sinful men. It should only be praised by those who have been changed by God’s grace. Because we have been changed, we can now “give thanks” as we remember the awesome holiness of God.
This thanks can be given whether we are in the best of times or the worst of times. If we are currently experiencing the discipline of our Heavenly Father, we can still praise Him. If we are currently weeping over some loss that this world has brought us, we can still praise God.
This world will bring suffering, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world!
This trial may be difficult, but it too shall pass!
This night may be dark, but morning is coming. We may have to suffer through the night, but joy will come in the morning.
Of course, this is not talking about a temporal 24 hour day-night cycle, but of eternity. Jesus promised His disciples, in this life, we will have trouble—but this life is not all there is! There is a coming dawn—either when Jesus Christ returns, or when He calls us home. On that day, we will be with Him! The darkness of our present suffering will be no more; we will experience God’s favor forever!
Why will this be? Because God demonstrated His perfect holiness, and His perfect love, by sending His Son to take our place on the cross. The death of Jesus reminds us of just how holy He is—there was a severe price for our sin that needed to be paid. And the death of Jesus reminds us of just how loving God is—He didn’t punish us, but instead offered His Son to take our place!
Let those of us who are now saints of the Lord, through faith in the shed blood of Jesus, sing songs of praise to God in remembrance of His love and holiness. And let us look forward to the eternal dawn, which brings eternal joy.
COMMENTS FOR THIS POST HAVE BEEN DISABLED.