We sang “More Love to Thee” by Elizabeth Payson Prentiss last Sunday, July 31, 2016. I’d like to point out one stanza that is especially intriguing.
“Let sorrow do its work come grief or pain
Sweet are Thy messengers sweet their refrain
When they can sing with me
More love O Christ to Thee
More love to Thee more love to Thee”
Seriously?!? Who thinks and prays like that? What is the writer of the song saying?
- Sorrow, grief and pain work in such a way to cause us to love Christ more.
- Sorrow, grief and pain are “sweet messengers” from the Lord.
- Sorrow, grief and pain are a “refrain“, that is, the writer wants them come again because of the outcome.
- We are to welcome them (sorrow, grief and pain) to help us know Christ and worship Him.
Do you think of sorrow, grief and pain in this manner? This type of thinking goes against the typical American Evangelical mindset of what it means to walk with Christ. If we are to be honest with ourselves, we typically thing of sorrow, grief and pain as something we need to “get through” and “get over”. But the Bible tells us that these tools work in our lives to help us know Christ.
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him…I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:8-10, added emphasis).
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17, added emphasis).
- What pains/sorrows you are experiencing that are causing you to love Christ more?
- In what ways can you welcome pains/sorrows as “sweet messengers” and worship God?
Click below to see a video entitled “God’s Goodness in Your Pain.” Hear about the Platts’ struggle with infertility, when Piper’s mom died, and a 10,000-year perspective.