Bittersweet Christianity

There is much sweetness in the Christian life here and now. But the sweetness is not a 24/7/365 experience. There are times when the best of us get out of the Lord*s will. There are times when our flesh will not permit us to be aware of the sweetness. There are times when it is for our good not to enjoy the sweetness. But a relationship with Christ gives us wonderful, unforgettable and indescribable tastes of the paradise that heaven shall be.

1 Corinthians 13:12: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

1 John 3:2: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon on

1 Thessalonians 4:17b: So shall we ever be with the Lord:

Even the sweetest visits from Christ, how short they are-and how transitory! One moment our eyes see Him, and we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, but again a little time and we do not see Him, for our beloved withdraws Himself from us; like a roe or a young hart He leaps over the mountains of division; He is gone to the land of spices, and feeds no more among the lilies.

*If to-day He deigns to bless us
With a sense of pardoned sin,
He to-morrow may distress us,
Make us feel the plague within.*

Oh, how sweet the prospect of the time when we shall not behold Him at a distance, but see Him face to face: when He shall not be as a wayfaring man tarrying but for a night, but shall eternally enfold us in the bosom of His glory. We shall not see Him for a little season, but

*Millions of years our wondering eyes,
Shall o*er our Saviour*s beauties rove;
And myriad ages we*ll adore,
The wonders of His love.*

In heaven there shall be no interruptions from care or sin; no weeping shall dim our eyes; no earthly business shall distract our happy thoughts; we shall have nothing to hinder us from gazing for ever on the Sun of Righteousness with unwearied eyes. Oh, if it be so sweet to see Him now and then, how sweet to gaze on that blessed face for aye, and never have a cloud rolling between, and never have to turn one*s eyes away to look on a world of weariness and woe! Blest day, when wilt thou dawn? Rise, O unsetting sun! The joys of sense may leave us as soon as they will, for this shall make glorious amends. If to die is but to enter into uninterrupted communion with Jesus, then death is indeed gain, and the black drop is swallowed up in a sea of victory.

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