“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” —Acts 7:55, 56
Behold, beloved, how independent of outward circumstances the Holy Ghost can make the Christian! See what a bright light may shine within us when it is all dark without! See how firm, how happy, how calm, how peaceful we may be, when the world shakes to and fro, and the pillars of the earth are removed! See how even death itself, with all its terrible influences, has no power to suspend the music of a Christian’s heart, but rather makes that music become more sweet, more clear, more heavenly, till the last kind act which death can do is to let the earthly strain melt into the heavenly chorus, the temporal joy into the eternal bliss! Let us have confidence, then, in the blessed Spirit. Are you looking forward, my dear friend, to poverty? Does your business decline? Do you see clearly before you that you will have to put up with the woes of penury? Fear not; the divine Spirit can give you, in your want, a greater plenty than the rich have in their abundance. You know not what joys may be stored up for you in the cottage which grace will make the cottage of content. Are you conscious of a growing failure of y our bodily powers? Do you expect to suffer long nights of languishing and days of pain? Oh, be not sad! That bed may become a throne to you. You little know how every pang that shoots through your body may be a refining fire to consume your dross— a beam of glory to light up the secret parts of your soul. Are the eyes failing? Do you expect blindness? Jesus will be your light. Do the ears fail you? Do you hear but few sounds? Jesus’ name will be your soul’s best music, and his person your dear delight. Socrates used to say this— “Philosophers can be happy without music;” and we Christians can be happier than philosophers when all outward causes of rejoicing are withdrawn. In thee, my God, my heart shall triumph, come what may of ills without! By thy power, O blessed Spirit, my heart shall be exceeding glad, even should all things fail me here below.
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, March 17, 1867
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 13, Sermon No. 740