(Octavius Winslow, "Evening Thoughts")
What is our path to glory, but the path of
tribulation, of suffering, and of death? Our
Lord and Master, in the expression of His
wisdom and love, forewarns us of this: "In
the world you shall have tribulation."
What are all the supports of the believer in
seasons of trial, suffering, and bereavement,
but so many manifestations of the life of the
Lord Jesus? This it is that keeps the soul .
buoyant amid the billows,
strong in faith,
joyful in hope,
soaring in love.
Thus is Jesus . . .
the life of every grace,
the life of every promise,
the life of every ordinance,
the life of every blessing.
Yes, of all that is really costly and
precious to a child of God, Jesus is . . .
yes, the very life itself!
Oh! dark and lonely, desolate and painful indeed
would our present pilgrimage be, but for Jesus!
If in the world we have tribulation; in
whom do we have peace? In Jesus!
If in the creature we meet with fickleness and
change; in whom do we find the Friend who loves
at all times? In Jesus!
When adversity comes as a wintry blast, and
lays low our comforts; when the cloud is upon
our tabernacle; when health, and wealth, and
influence, and friends are gone; in whom do
we find the covert from the wind, the faithful,
tender Brother born for adversity? In Jesus!
When temptation assails,
when care darkens,
when trial oppresses,
when bereavement wounds,
when heart and flesh are failing;
who throws around us the protecting shield,
who applies the precious promise,
who speaks the soothing word,
who sustains the sinking spirit,
who heals the sorrow,
who dries the tear? Jesus!
Where sin struggles in the heart, and guilt
burdens the conscience, and unbelief beclouds
the mind; whose grace subdues our iniquities,
whose blood gives us peace, and whose light
dispels our darkness? Jesus!
And when the spark of life wanes, and the
eye grows dim, and the mind wanders, and
the soul, severing its last fetter, mounts
and soars away, Jesus, in that awful moment,
draws near in form unseen, and whispers in
words unheard by all but the departing one,
now in close communion with the solemn
realities of the invisible world, "Fear not;
I am the resurrection and the life. He who
believes in Me will live, even though he dies!"