I have a word of great comfort for you today. Do you find yourself in a season of difficulty? Are the storm winds blowing your way? Is God disciplining and/or pruning you for greater growth? The writer of Hebrews tells us that, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11, emphasis added).
How sweet those words, “Later on, however” to the tried and tested, tired and triumphant Christian! There is a special blessing that can only be experienced “later on.”
LATER ON, HOWEVER . . . after the storm we find calm
LATER ON, HOWEVER . . . after the rain we find sunshine
LATER ON, HOWEVER . . . after the battle we find rest
LATER ON, HOWEVER . . . after the night we find day
LATER ON, HOWEVER . . . after physical death we find eternal life!
Regardless of what trial we are currently experiencing, God promises to bring us to the other side of it. When God says, “Later on, however,” He is telling us that the best is yet to come. All may seem lost today; “Later on, however,” we will experience victory. We know this to be true because we know the One who said it is Truth. The One who says, “Later on, however,” superintends all of life, regardless of how dark and dismal the day becomes. Not a bird falls to the ground apart from His will (Matthew 10:29). When we forget this truth we become practical agnostics, living lives of hopelessness and helplessness.
“Later on, however” is the fuel for forward motion regardless of the cost or circumstance. What are you facing today? Struggles in school? Obstacles at the office? Miscommunication in your marriage? Disappointment in your dating life? If Jesus is on the throne of your life, count it all joy, because “later on” every trial, every disappointment will produce a harvest of deep peace and sweet rest.
Henri Nouwen rightly observed, “Those who dream of better things are not those who hate what is now, but who love the present enough to seek its transformation.” To be sure, life is hard on this side of heaven. But Jesus is in the process of transforming everything and making all things new, and that includes you.
The Bible says we must lose to win; give to get; empty to be filled; and die to live. If our Lord received a crown of thorns, should we expect to receive a crown of glory? Yes, we should . . . “Later on, however!”
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!