The Man of Sorrows, of Patience and of Joy

 
We get three very different displays of Christ. In Christ down here, a babe in a manger — despised, rejected and acquainted with grief—you see the Man of Sorrows. Yet, nowhere do I find such divine glory as at His cross. But when I think of what I have been taken out of by Him, through that cross, and where I have been brought by Him, the next thought comes: Where is the Christ, whose death has done all this, now? And the answer is, He is at the right hand of God, where — as the Man of Patience—He has been quietly waiting for 2000 years, for the glory and the people.
If you and I have served, we are ready for our reward. But this Blessed One, the Man of Patience, has been going on for nigh 2000 years of patience — not claiming the reward. But what has He been doing? Why, turning to us and saying, “I am occupied with you in the glory. I am occupied with all your sorrows. Turn your eyes upward; open your hearts to Me; let Me see everything. As a shepherd, I am occupied with each of My sheep, binding up each wound.”
He is now the Man of Patience, but soon to be the Man of Joy, “anointed  ... with the oil of [joy and] gladness above [His] fellows." Most blessed to think of seeing the One who was emphatically the Man of Sorrows anointed with the oil of joy! But it is well often to think of Him as the Man of Sorrows in connection with what we are passing through down here. Oh, talk of your sorrows, if you can in the presence of His life, of all you have had of sorrow by the way, that has worn you down, and what will you say in the presence of One who says to you, “Was ever sorrow like unto My sorrow?” And He, the Man of Sorrows, is now at the right hand of God, sitting there as the Man of Patience for nearly 2000 years and saying to each, “You and I have to do one with the other. Rob Me not of My service, of My glory. Let Me be occupied with you; let Me serve you this little while?” Soon, He will be the Man of Joy, as He was the Man of Sorrows and of Patience.
Is the thought of Christ's joy sweet to your hearts? Do you love to think there will be no face so beautiful, no face so bright as Christ's? No heart so happy and so perfect in its joy, as the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ? Surely that ought to give you a little patience now, as you pass along the wilderness! Are your loins weary? Are you tired by the roughness of the way? Is all around tending to distract you? Christ says, “Be of good cheer. What are all those troubles? What are all your sorrows in the presence of My cross? Nothing! Your patience. What is it compared with Mine, waiting for the glory and stooping down to interest Myself with all that interests you?”
Only “a little while” and you will soon be with Me, and I will write on you My new name — My name of joy. Christ's heart is not fed with the externals of glory, but it is fed with the joy of serving God. When all the children God has given Him are brought home and the new name written on them, that will be Christ's joy.
Do you want comfort? I am sure you do; you want something to give you a little bit of courage? Well, nothing can do it as much as the thought of His coming. There will then be joy enough in the morning, though there be sorrow now in the night. There will be fullness of joy in that morning when we see Him as He is, in fullness of joy forevermore.
F. G. Patterson (adapted)