Samuel Rutherford was a pastor, born in 1600. He was wise beyond his years and serious in his pursuit and love of Christ Jesus. Let's look over his shoulder as he writes a letter to Lady Kenmure upon the death of his wife:
Whether God come to His children with a rod or a crown, if He come Himself with it, it is well. Welcome, welcome Jesus, what way soever Thou come, if we can get a sight of Thee! And sure I am, it is better to be sick, providing Christ come to the bedside and draw by the curtains, and say, 'Courage, I am Thy salvation," than to enjoy health, being lusty and strong, and never to be visited by God."Can you catch his message? It is better to go through it and have Christ near then to be happy and strong but never be visited by God. That's pretty strong.
Samuel Rutherford, Age 30.
Read: Psalm 126
1 When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.
A definite joy killer is not seeing God at work. The Psalms are filled with laments of men and women that cried out to God day and night but never heard from him.
Psalm 126 is a "Song of Ascent". It is a song the Israelites would sing as they would ascend to Jerusalem to worship the Lord at the annual Passover celebration. During their long journeys they would retell the stories of God's faithfulness to them. This would be their prep time for worship.
In Psalm 126, there is joy! Joy for seeing the Lord at work. Captivity is over, they are back in the land and filled with joy (v.1, 2). Relationship is restored. God has moved. They are saved. Joy.
When we are far from the Lord or when He seems far from us we lose joy (v. 5, 6). In fact, tears, weeping and sorrow should mark the follower of Christ that is not near Him.
Whatever you are going through, can you see the Lord? Is He near? Are you being visited?
Can you think of a time of personal loss and pain? Did you experience the joy of knowing Jesus was with you?
Why do you think we sometimes miss the Lord's visit? Could it be that we are impatient? Or maybe that we are conditioned to only expect victory and therefore suffering feels like God has abandoned us?
Are there seasons where God is distant? If so, why would He do that? Does absence really make the heart grow fonder?
Take time to reflect on your circumstances and see if you can see God in them? Jesus is ready to draw back the curtain and say "Courage, I am Thy Salvation." That will bring joy!
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.