Scripture teaches us to view the relationship between our present sufferings and our future glory as analogous to childbirth (e.g Rom.8:22-23). If an expectant mother thinks of nothing but the pending pains of labour, she will lose heart and be overtaken with dread and apprehension. But which expectant mother forgets the wonderful prospect of having a baby? To the contrary, she is filled with hope and expectancy! Which mother would say after the birth that the (transitory through real) pain of labour outweighs the (lasting and momentous) joy of now having a baby? Or, that she would now rather not have experienced the pain in order to have become a mother? Undoubtedly childbirth is full of pain; but in comparison to the joy of motherhood, it’s agony seems now to be of little consequence.

Our Lord endured the unspeakable agonies and shame of the cross by fixing His eyes on “the joy that was set before Him” (Heb:12 :2).
 

*We know that the natural trend of our feelings is to be grieved and saddened by any kind of temptation. Nor can any of us entirely escape the instinct to break down and cry, when trouble comes; but this does not prevent God’s children from rising above fleshly pains, under the guidance of the Spirit. By this means, they may continue to rejoice, even in the midst of sorrow.

* John Calvin, Clavin’s New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989 vol.3, p.262.)

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