Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. Psalm 32:10.
We often think that those who serve God have more trials than the unbeliever, and that the path marked out for them to travel in is rugged…. But does the sinner enjoy his worldly pleasure and enjoyment unalloyed? Oh, no. There are times when the sinner is fearfully troubled. He fears God but does not love Him.
Are the wicked free from disappointment, perplexity, earthly losses, poverty, and distress? Many of them suffer a lingering sickness, yet have no strong and mighty One to lean upon, no strengthening grace from a higher power to support them in their weakness. They lean upon their own strength. They obtain no consolation by looking forward to the future, but a fearful uncertainty torments them; and thus they close their eyes in death, not finding any pleasure in looking forward to the resurrection morn, for they have no cheering hope that they shall have part in the first resurrection….
The Christian is subject to sickness, disappointment, poverty, reproach, and distress. Yet amid all this he loves God, he chooses to do His will, and prizes nothing so highly as His approbation. In the conflicting trials and changing scenes of this life, he knows that there is One who knows it all, One who will bend His ear low to the cry of the sorrowful and distressed, One who can sympathize with every sorrow and soothe the keen anguish of every heart….
Amid all his affliction, the Christian has strong consolation. And if God permits him to suffer a lingering, distressing sickness before he closes his eyes in death, he can with cheerfulness bear it all…. He contemplates the future with heavenly satisfaction. A short rest in the grave, and then the Life-giver will break the fetters of the tomb, release the captive, and bring him from his dusty bed immortal, never more to know pain, sorrow, or death. Oh, what a hope is the Christian’s! Let this hope of the Christian be mine. Let it be yours.5Letter 18, 1859.