"I see heaven's glories shine and faith shines equal."
Mr. Simeon lay on his bed, ready to breathe his last. Many gathered round the old saint. They waited for finality. They hoped for words. They clung to truth. He yearned to speak. . . .
The story shared of this one Charles Simeon compels us to think of that one path we must all walk one day. Before sharing this story from John Piper, please allow me to share just a brief moment from my own heart.
Hearing news of a passing brings startle and wince. Whether such word is brazenly given by media about those well-known, or personally whispered in our ears for one so dearly and closely known by a familiar few, it inevitably leads us all to mediation, deep thought, questions, . . . and answers from God's word.
As Christians, we have HOPE! And, oh, dear friends, this "hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us" (Romans 5:5,).
Sitting at my computer this morning, I read this brief story I am about to share. After reading, the Lord burned Romans 5:5 in my heart. I could only lift my hands, worship God, and say over and over again "Hope makes us not ashamed! Hope makes us not ashamed! Hope makes us not ashamed!" God's presence filled my heart, and peace swept over me.
Our faithful walk with Christ will bring us one day to a finish line, and as we cross, HIS words will rapturously echo, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23). We who have run our race and finished the course well will have no shame. Hope will be fulfilled! A forever finality will dawn! The mystery of earthly shadows will no longer be impeded because of holy light! I thank God for this glorious celebration of victory that awaits us!
And here is just one story of that triumphant day. . . .
I've learned beside many dying believers that the battle with impatience can be very intense on the deathbed. On October 21, 1836, those with Charles Simeon (with the Church of England) heard him say these words slowly and with long pauses:
Infinite wisdom has arranged the whole with infinite love; and infinite power enables me - to rest upon that love. I am in a dear Father's hands - all is secure. When I look to Him, I see nothing but faithfulness - and immutability - and truth; and I have the sweetest peace - I cannot have more peace.
The reason Simeon could die like that is because he had trained himself for 54 years to go to Scripture and to take hold of the promises of future grace and use them to conquer the unbelief of impatience.
Dear friends, discover the beauty of these powerful words today, almost two hundred years later. We who live for God have nothing to fear. For there waits ahead of us a "crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award . . . on that day . . . to all who have longed for his appearing" (II Timothy 4:8).
May peace, hope, and rest guard your hearts this weekend as you serve our God! May you seize God's holy word, and cling to his promises to you! Embrace them! Cherish them! Live with them! Abide in them!
I love you all because of the precious love of Jesus Christ placed in my heart through His grace.
All scripture is from the NIV Bible.
The story of Charles Simeon is from Future Grace by John Piper.