He Has Made Me Glad
No one can get more from a verse of scripture than Charles Spurgeon could.
Reflecting on Psalm 126:3, which says “The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad,” Spurgeon observed:
Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has vouchsafed them.
As followers of Jesus, we ought not pretend that hardships aren’t real or that there is no room for sorrow in our lives.
You know people like this. Maybe this describes you. Certainly in our world in 2022, there is reason for lament, for sorrow, for our souls to be cast down. Some of you are doubtless experiencing personal hardships that have set joy seemingly out of reach.
As followers of Jesus, we ought not pretend that hardships aren’t real or that there is no room for sorrow in our lives. But God would not have us build a nest in a field of despair. Spurgeon writes
A Christian whose soul is in a healthy state, will come forward joyously, and say, ‘I will speak, not about myself, but to the honor of my God. He hath brought me up out of a horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings: and He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad.’
We need, according to Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, to spend less time listening to ourselves and more time speaking to ourselves. We need to spend more time reminding ourselves of what God declares is true. We need to counsel our own soul
This is what Spurgeon is telling us to do. Yes, we can look at the afflictions and sorrows we’re facing, which are indeed real. But we can also choose to life our eyes and recall the glorious things our God has done for us in saving us and bringing us into His family.
“The deeper our troubles,” Spurgeon writes, “the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our life’s song, ‘He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.’”
The Bible tells us we are to set our minds on the things above, not on things on earth (Colossians 3:2). That doesn’t mean that we ignore the realities of life in our world. But it means that we develop a mindset that puts the pain of this life in an eternal perspective. It means we learn to look at the struggles of this life, as painful and as real as they might be for us as “light and momentary afflictions” that are producing in us “an eternal weight of glory.”
There is a day ahead when the pain of this life will be a distant memory. We will be so overcome by the glory of God that is to be revealed to us that we will forget the sorrows of this life.
There is a day ahead when the pain of this life will be a distant memory. We will be so overcome by the glory of God that is to be revealed to us that we will forget the sorrows of this life. In the meantime, it will do us good not to forget the great things God has done and is doing for each of us, every day. Psalm 103:1–5 gives us a good place to start that process:
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.