We are in the Lord’s school—the school of the cross. His daily providential dispensations are suited to wean our attachment from everything here on earth—and to convince us that this world cannot be our rest, for it is polluted. Our roses grow on thorns; our honey brings a sting. Frequently our sharpest trials—spring from our choicest comforts. Perhaps, while we are admiring our gourd—a worm is secretly preying upon its root! As every bitter thing is sweetened to a believer—so there is some bitterness mingled with every sweet thing. This is wisely and mercifully ordered by our heavenly Father. It is necessary. With such hearts as we have, and in such a world as we live in—much discipline is needful to keep us from sleeping upon the enchanted ground.
But the time is short. It will not always be thus. We shall soon be out of the reach of sin and temptation. Happy hour, when troubles and sorrows, hitherto our inseparable companions, shall flee away, to return no more! When Jesus, with joy and gladness shall come forth to meet us, and conduct us to our eternal home! Then we shall drink of the rivers of pleasure that are at His right hand—and our happiness shall be unspeakable, uninterrupted, without abatement, and without end!
John Newton (1725 – 1807)