This life in the “nasty now and now” (v. “the sweet by and by”) can really leave us feeling beat up, exhausted. And the adversary can try to persuade us that we are alone, left to our own resources to cope with each day’s demands. Here is a timely quote from Spurgeon (from his sermon, “The Sweet Uses of Adversity”) on this topic:
Our joy is like the wave as it dashes upon the shore-it throws us on the earth. But our sorrows are like that receding wave which sucks us back again into the great depth of Godhead. We should have been stranded and left high and dry upon the shore if it had not been for that receding wave, that ebbing of our prosperity, which carried us back to our Father and to our God again.
By now you know I am big on hymn texts. Here is an excellent one by Robert Grant, dating from 1806:
When gathering clouds around I view,
And days are dark, and friends are few,
On Him I lean, who not in vain
Experienced every human pain;
He sees my wants, allays my fears,
And counts and treasures all my tears.
If aught should tempt my soul to stray
From heavenly wisdom’s narrow way,
To fly the good I would pursue,
Or do the sin I would not do,
Still He, who felt temptation’s power,
Shall guard me in that dangerous hour.
If wounded love my bosom swell,
Deceived by those I prized too well,
He shall His pitying aid bestow,
Who felt on earth severer woe,
At once betrayed, denied, or fled,
By those who shared His daily bread.
If vexing thoughts within me rise
And, sore dismayed, my spirit dies,
Still He, who once vouchsafed to bear
The sickening anguish of despair,
Shall sweetly soothe, shall gently dry,
The throbbing heart, the streaming eye.
When, sorrowing, o’er some stone I bend,
Which covers what was once a friend,
And from his voice, his hand, his smile,
Divides me for a little while,
Thou, Savior, mark’st the tears I shed,
For Thou didst weep o’er Lazarus dead.
And O, when I have safely past,
Through every conflict but the last;
Still, still unchanging, watch beside
My painful bed, for Thou hast died;
Then point to realms of cloudless day,
And wipe the latest tear way.