The Joy of the Cross
Madame Guyon, "The Joy of the Cross"
1647 - 1717
Long plunged in sorrow, I resign
My soul to that dear hand of thine,
Without reserve or fear;
That hand shall wipe my streaming eyes;
Or into smiles of glad surprise
Transform the falling tear.
My sole possession is thy love;
In earth beneath, or heaven above,
I have no other store;
And, though with fervent suit I pray,
And importune thee night and day,
I ask thee nothing more.
My rapid hours pursue the course
Prescribed them by love’s sweetest force,
And I thy sovereign will,
Without a wish to escape my doom;
Though still a sufferer from the womb,
And doomed to suffer still.
By thy command, where’er I stray,
Sorrow attends me all my way,
A never–failing friend;
And, if my sufferings may augment
Thy praise, behold me well content—
Let sorrow still attend!
It cost me no regret, that she,
Who followed Christ, should follow me,
And though, where’er she goes,
Thorns spring spontaneous at her feet,
I love her, and extract a sweet
From all my bitter woes.
Adieu! ye vain delights of earth,
Insipid sports, and childish mirth,
I taste no sweets in you;
Unknown delights are in the cross,
All joy beside to me is dross;
And Jesus thought so too.
The cross! Oh, ravishment and bliss—
How grateful e’en its anguish is;
Its bitterness how sweet!
There every sense, and all the mind,
In all her faculties refined,
Tastes happiness complete.
Souls once enabled to disdain
Base sublunary joys, maintain
Their dignity secure;
The fever of desire is passed,
And love has all its genuine taste,
Is delicate and pure.
Self–love no grace in sorrow sees,
Consults her own peculiar ease;
‘Tis all the bliss she knows;
But nobler aims true Love employ;
In self–denial is her joy,
In suffering her repose.
Sorrow and love go side by side;
Nor height nor depth can e’er divide
Their heaven–appointed bands;
Those dear associates still are one,
Nor till the race of life is run
Disjoin their wedded hands.
Jesus, avenger of our fall,
Thou faithful lover, above all
The cross has ever borne!
Oh, tell me,—life is in thy voice—
How much afflictions were thy choice,
And sloth and ease thy scorn!
"Thy choice and mine shall be the same,
Inspirer of that holy flame
Which must for ever blaze!
To take the cross and follow thee,
Where love and duty lead, shall be
My portion and my praise."
The cross and resurrection is my favorite thing to contemplate. The finished work of Jesus in the world and in my life.
When the Word says that death has been defeated and that God has removed the power of sin off of us, through Christ's sacrifice, we can do what he tells us to, and rejoice in every trial. Every mistake, pain or grief, is then a means for realizing the finishedness of the work of the cross.
The night before he died, he was able to say to his Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4).
When death no longer holds us, neither does it's fruit. Every curse that seems to come against us is upturned by the resurrection into blessing, once we are in Christ. There is no "wait and see". It's done. We cannot see all of the steps that have already been predestined by God to arrive there, but we have already arrived, when we believe in the Lamb who was slain for our sins. There are no exceptions in his salvation.
God is the author and finisher of our faith. Because we, for now, see through a glass dimly, the chasm between our trouble and the day of redemption, when we behold in full, appears insurmountable. Vast. A wide open grave. But, when we put on our corrective lenses, through his living Word, he can pull us up to his point of view. There, we can behold that there isn't a single thing we've done or that has come against us that isn't going to astonish and dazzle in the splendor of his glorious, redeeming grace. So much so, that we are going to rejoice that it happened. Yes. Even this.
The surpassing worth of knowing Christ requires that we experience the valley of the shadow of death. The deeper the valley, the greater the revelation of God's love, as his rivers of life rush down to embrace us in mercy. To know sorrow is to look to the power in the blood of the Lamb that makes every shadow spring into song, "Risen!"
At the name of Jesus, every ache and pain is an invitation to marvel at our redeemer. To know the depth of the pain of sin is to know the depth of the power of the glory of redemption.
As we cling to the blood of Jesus, we triumph in him. It will be worth it.
O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?
O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?”
1 Corinthians 15:55