First there comes bitterness

(J.R. Miller)

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God!" Hebrews 12:2

Christ Himself had humiliation, darkness, and the shame of the cross — and then exaltation, power, and glory. In Christian life, the same law holds: First there comes bitterness — but out of the bitterness, sweetness flows.

There is the deep sorrow of penitence — but this gives way to the blessed joy of forgiveness.

First there are self-denial and cross-bearing — but out of these experiences comes a holy peace which fills all the heart.

Sorrows are to be endured — but the good wine of comfort is poured into the empty cup.

There is also a constant progression in the blessings of the Divine life. We never get to the end of them; indeed, we never get to the best. There is always something better yet to come. Heaven will make amends for all!

"Weeping may endure for a night — but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5