Sunday, June 07, 2009

Thoughts from Spurgeon

This is from Beside Still Waters: Words of Comfort for the Soul

"We love God's people. They are exceedingly precious. Far too often we look on their deaths as a grievous loss. If we could confer immortality, we would never let them die. But it would be cruel to deprive them of a speedy entrance into their inheritance. We want to hold them here a little longer. We find it hard to relinquish our grasp, because the saint's departure causes us much pain. We are poorer because of the eternal enriching of the beloved, who have gone over to the majority and entered their rest.

Yet know this, while we are sorrowing, Christ is rejoicing. His prayer is, 'Father, I desire that they also, whom You gave Me, may be with me where I am; that they may behold My glory which You have given Me' (John 17:24). In the advent of every one of His own to the skies, Jesus sees an answer to that prayer. We are grieving but He is rejoicing. Their deaths are painful in our sight, but 'precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints' (Ps. 116:15).

Tears are permitted, but they must glisten in the light of faith and hope. 'Jesus wept' (John 11:35), but He never complained. We may weep, but not 'as [those] who have no hope' (I Thess. 4:13). There is great cause for joy in the departure of our loved ones.

Death itself is not precious; it is terrible. It cannot be precious to God to see the highest works of His hand torn in pieces, to see His skillful embroidery in the human body broken, defiled, and given to decay. Yet to the believer, it is not death to die. It is a departure out of the this world to the Father, an entrance into the kingdom."

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