“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” (Rom.5:2-4). “Christians, do not envy the world’s happiness and success. You have advantages they do not. You have joy in your sorrows; in the midst of sorrows, you may have joy.” Christians have something that unbelievers do not: joy in suffering. In the midst of suffering, we can be joyful because (1) we know Christ and can draw nearer to him and become like him now; and (2) we have the promise that our suffering will soon end in unmatched, limitless joy. No unbeliever will ever know such joy.
“As the deer pants for flowing streams, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps.42:1-2). “Do you desire God? Be covetous Christians…Say with the psalmist, ‘This one thing I desire; nothing but God…’ Look often heavenward; get a sight of God and his glorious treasures; live more in the contemplation of his glory and goodness…You who have cold hearts heavenward, it is a sign that your eye is little on heaven…Some clearer views of the love, the goodness, the holiness, the kindness, and the glory of the Lord would whet your appetite, would put life into those dull desires, would make you hungry souls, and thirsty souls, and longing souls.”