Rejoicing in Sorrow
The Savior was "a man of sorrows,"1 but every thoughtful mind has discovered the fact that down deep in His innermost soul He carried an inexhaustible treasury of refined and heavenly joy. Of all the human race, there was never a man who had a deeper, purer, or more abiding peace than our Lord Jesus Christ. "He was anointed with the oil of gladness beyond your companions."2 His vast benevolence must, from the very nature of things, have afforded Him the deepest possible delight, for benevolence is joy. There were a few remarkable seasons when this joy manifested itself. "In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. . . ."3 Christ had His songs, even in the darkness; even though His face was marred, and His countenance had lost the luster of earthly happiness, yet sometimes it was illumined with a matchless splendor of unparalleled satisfaction as He thought upon the recompense of the reward and in the midst of the congregation sang His praise unto God.
In this, the Lord Jesus is a blessed picture of His church on earth. At this hour the church expects to walk in sympathy with her Lord along a thorny road; through much tribulation she is making her way to the crown. To bear the cross is her office, and to be scorned and counted an alien by her mother's children is her lot; and yet the church has a deep well of joy, of which none can drink but her own children. There are stores of wine and oil and corn hidden in the midst of our Jerusalem, upon which the saints of God are continuously sustained and nurtured.
And sometimes, as in our Savior's case, we have our seasons of intense delight, for "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God."4 Even though we are exiles, we rejoice in our King; yes, in Him we exceedingly rejoice, while in His name we set up our banners.
1Isaiah 53:3 2Psalm 45:7 3Luke 10:21 4Psalm 46:4
verse 1 Proverbs 11
verse 2 Ephesians 4
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.