I recently read these words from one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons, and found them both timely and encouraging:
It will sometimes happen that where there is the most sorrow in the antecedents, there will be the most pleasure in the sequel. As the furious storm gives place to the clear sunshine, so the night of weeping precedes the morning of joy. Sorrow the harbinger; gladness the prince it ushers in.
[William] Cowper says: “The path of sorrow, and that path alone, Leads to the place where sorrow is unknown.”
To a great extent we find that we must sow in tears before we can reap in joy. Many of our works for Christ have cost us tears. Difficulties and disappointments have wrung our soul with anguish. Yet those projects that have cost us more than ordinary sorrow, have often turned out to be the most honorable of our undertakings. …You may expect a blessing in serving God if you are enabled to persevere under many discouragements. The ship is often long coming home, because detained on the road by excess of cargo. Expect her freight to be the better when she reaches the port.
As I’ve shared before, reading and discussing biographies of faithful believers can give both children and adults footprints to follow, especially through our suffering. So let me recommend John Piper’s excellent presentations on the life of Charles Spurgeon and the life of William Cowper (whom Spurgeon quoted above).
If you’d like to read more from Spurgeon, see my book We Shall See God. In writing that book, I became Spurgeon’s coauthor, without his permission, drawing extensively from the best of his sermons about Heaven and the New Earth and adding my own thoughts, so it’s about half and half. If the saying “it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission” ever applied, I’m confident it will when I meet Spurgeon and explain how he and I wrote a book together. :) It may help to tell him that all the royalties went to causes he would endorse!