A place where sorrow cannot live—and joy cannot die!
(Thomas Watson, "Time's Shortness")
"But this I say, brethren, the time is short." 1 Corinthians 7:29
Here his honey for the godly. The time being short, their sinning time cannot be long. Sin is a troublesome inmate. Paul, that bird of paradise, sighed and groaned under corruption. (Romans 7:24) A child of God mingles sin with his duties. He cannot write a copy of holiness, without blotting. There's a part of a regenerate heart, which sides with Satan. But be of good comfort—the time is short! It is but for a short while, Christians, that you shall be combating a proud, unbelieving heart. Death does to the godly, as the angel did to Peter—it smites them, and makes their chains of sin fall off!
The time being short, their working time cannot be long. But here is the saint's comfort—their working time is short. Revelation 14:13: "They will rest from their labors." When their bodies return to dust—their souls return to rest.
The time being short, their suffering time cannot be long. Life is laden with trouble, "How frail is humanity! How short is life, and how full of trouble!" Job 14:1. You may as well separate weight from lead—as trouble from a man's life. We come into the world with a cry—and go out with a groan! Everyone has his yoke, and it is well if there is not a nail in it. Though the cross is heavy—we have but a little way to carry it. Death will give the godly a writ of ease.
The time being short, their waiting time cannot be long. The godly shall not be long out of heaven. While the blessed angels see the orient beauties which shine in God's face, believers live far from court, being imprisoned in the body. Here they rather desire God—than enjoy Him. But the time is short, perhaps a few days or hours—and the saints shall be solacing themselves in the light of God's countenance! They shall leave their pillow of thorns—and lay their head on Christ's bosom! Faith gives a propriety in God; death gives a possession. The wagons and chariots came rattling to old Jacob—but they were to carry him to his son, Joseph. Death's chariot wheels may come rattling to a believer—but it is to carry him home to his Father's house!
In that paradise of God, a Christian shall have more than he can ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He can imagine, "What if—every mountain were a pearl, every flower a ruby, every sand in the sea a diamond, the whole globe a shining gem?" But all his thoughts are too low and dwarf-like, to reach the glory of the celestial pyramids. The heavenly reward (as Augustine said) exceeds faith—and, as the time is short, a Christian shall be in heaven before he is aware. Then he shall bathe his soul in those perfumed pleasures of paradise, which run at God's right hand forevermore!
God sets three crowns upon the elect: grace, joy, and glory. What should we thirst after, but this incomprehensible bliss! If our thoughts dwelt above—we would live sweeter lives!
Heaven is a place where sorrow cannot live—and joy cannot die!