Tag Archives: Grief

“There is not a drop of wrath in a riverful of a believer’s grief” by Charles Spurgeon

“I do not know of any reflection more consoling than this: that my sorrow is not laid on me by a judge, nor inflicted on me as the result of divine anger. There is not a drop of wrath in a riverful of a believer’s grief.

Does not that take the bitterness out of affliction and make it sweet? And then the reflection goes further. Since Christ has died for me, I am God’s dear child; and now if I suffer, all my suffering comes from my Father’s hand—nay, more, from my Father’s heart.

He loves me, and therefore makes me suffer; not because He does not love, but because He does love He does thus afflict me. In every stripe I see another token of paternal love. This it is to sweeten Marah’s waters indeed.

Then will come the next reflection—that a Father’s love is joined with infinite wisdom, and that, therefore, every ingredient in the bitter cup is measured out drop by drop, and grain by grain, and there is not one pang too many ever suffered by an heir of heaven.

The cross is not only weighed to the pound but to the ounce, ay, to the lowest conceivable grain. You shall not have one half a drop of grief more than is absolutely needful for your good and God’s glory.

And does not this also sweeten the cross, that it is laid on us by infinite wisdom, and by a Father’s hand.

Ravishing, indeed, is the reflection in the midst of all our grief and suffering, that Jesus Christ suffers with us. In all thine affliction, O member of the body, the Head is still a sharer.

Deep are the sympathies of the Redeemer, acute, certain, quick, infallible; He never forgets His saints.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Marah; Or, the Bitter Waters Sweetened,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Volume 17 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1871), 17: 236–237.

[HT: Bobby Jamieson]

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“Arise, arise” by George Herbert

“Arise, arise;
And with His burial-linen dry thine eyes:
Christ left His grave-clothes, that we might, when grief
Draws tears, or blood, not want an handkerchief.”

–George Herbert, from ‘The Dawning” in Herbert: Poems (Everyman Library) (New York: Knopf, 2004), 131.

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“Go and tell Jesus” by Jonathan Edwards

“I would now apply myself to the honoured one, who stood in the nearest relation of any to the deceased, whom God by this awful providence has made a sorrowful widow.

Suffer me, honoured madam, in your great affliction, to exhibit to you a compassionate Redeemer.

God has now taken from you that servant of His, that was the nearest and best friend you had in this world. He was your wise and prudent guide, your affectionate and pleasant companion.

He was so great a blessing while he lived, to you and your family, and, under Christ, was so much the comfort and support of your life.

You see, madam, where your resort must be: your earthly friends can condole your loss, but cannot make it up to you. We must all confess ourselves to be but miserable comforters.

But you may go and tell Jesus, and there you may have both support and reparation. His love and His presence is far beyond that of the nearest and most affectionate earthly friend.

Now you are bereaved of your earthly consort, but you may go to a spiritual Husband, and seek His compassion and His company.

He is the fountain of all that wisdom and prudence, that piety, that tender affection and faithful care, that you enjoyed in your departed consort.

In Him is an infinite fountain of all these things, and of all good.

In Him you may have light in your darkness, comfort in your sorrow, and fulness of joy and glory in another world, in an everlasting union with your dear, deceased relative, in the glorious presence of the same Redeemer, in whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore.

This doctrine also directs the bereaved, afflicted children, that are, with hearts full of grief, now mourning over a dear departed father, where to go and what to do.

You will no longer have your father’s wisdom to guide you, his tender love to comfort and delight you, and his affectionate care to guard you and assist you.

You will no longer have his pious and judicious counsels to direct you, and his holy examples set before you, and his fervent, humble, believing prayers with you and for you.

But in the blessed Jesus, your father’s Lord and Redeemer, you may have much more than all those things. Your father’s virtues that made Him so great a blessing to you, were but the image of what is in Christ.

Therefore go to Jesus in your mourning: go and tell Jesus. Tell a compassionate Saviour what has befallen you.

Heretofore you have had an earthly father to go to, whose heart was full of tenderness to you. But the heart of His Redeemer is much more tender.

His wisdom and His love is infinitely beyond that of any earthly parent. Go to Him, and then you will surely find comfort.

Go to Him, and you will find that, though you are bereaved, yet you are not left in any want. You will find that all your wants are supplied, and all your loss made up, and much more.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Sorrows of the Bereaved Spread Before Jesus,” in  The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2. Ed. Edward Hickman (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1834/1998), 2:968. The entire sermon may be read here. Edwards preached this sermon on Matthew 14:12 on September 2, 1741, at the funeral of the Rev. William Williams. In this section Edwards is speaking directly to the widow and children of the deceased.

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“He gives songs in the night” by Jonathan Edwards

“Jesus was one that wept with those that wept. And indeed it was mere pity that brought Him into the world, and induced Him not only to shed tears but to shed His blood.

He poured out His blood as water on the earth, out of compassion to the poor, miserable children of men.

And when do we ever read of any one person coming to Him when on earth, with a heavy heart, or under any kind of sorrow or distress for pity or help, but what met with a kind and compassionate reception?

And He has the same compassion now He is ascended into glory. There is still the same encouragement for bereaved ones to go and spread their sorrows before Him.

Afflicted persons love to speak of their sorrows to them that have had experience of affliction, and know what sorrow is. But there is none on earth or in heaven that ever had so much experience of sorrow as Christ.

Therefore He knows how to pity the sorrowful. Christ is able to afford all that help that is needed. His power and His wisdom are as sufficient as His purpose, and answerable to His compassions.

By the bowels of His mercies, the love and tenderness of His heart, He is disposed to help those that are in affliction. And His ability is answerable to His disposition.

He is able to support the heart under the heaviest sorrows, and to give light in the greatest darkness. He can divide the thickest cloud with beams of heavenly light and comfort.

He is one that gives songs in the night, and turns the shadow of death into the morning: he has power to make up the loss of those that are bereaved…

Persons under sorrowful bereavements are ready to go and lay open their sorrows to them that they think will be ready to pity them, though they know they can but pity them, and cannot help them.

How much more is here in such a case to induce us to go to Jesus, who is not only so ready to pity, but so able to help, able abundantly more than to fill up the breach, and able to turn all our sorrows into joy!”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Sorrows of the Bereaved Spread Before Jesus,” in  The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2. Ed. Edward Hickman (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1834/1998), 2:966-967. The entire sermon may be read here. Edwards preached this sermon on Matthew 14:12 on September 2, 1741, at the funeral of the Rev. William Williams.

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