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How Memory in Heaven will Serve to Increase our Joy!

Today we continue our meditations on Richard Baxter’s incredible book on heaven, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest. Baxter here reflects on the role that memory will play in our experience of heaven. Rather than bring sadness or regret, it will only serve to highlight the majesty of what is ours in heaven.

“To compare past with present things must surely raise in the soul an inconceivable esteem and sense of its blessed condition. To stand at that height where we can see the wilderness and Canaan both at once, to stand in heaven and look back on earth and weigh them together in the balance, how that must transport the soul!

That soul will cry out, ‘Is this the purchase that cost such a price as the blood of God? No wonder! Oh, blessed price and thrice-blessed love that so condescended to me! Have the gales of grace blown me into such a harbor? Is this the glory that the Scriptures spoke of and ministers preached so much of? Now I see that the gospel indeed is good tidings. Have my mourning, my fasting, my heavy walking, my groaning, and my complains all come to this? Have all my afflictions, sickness, languishing, and fears of death come to this? Have all Satan’s temptations and the world’s scorns and jeers come to this? Oh, vile nature resisted so much and so long such a blessing as this!

That soul will look back with astonishment at the flesh that demanded to be pleased, even at the loss of this happiness. ‘Did you make me question the truth of this glory? Did you draw me to distrust the Lord? Did you question the truth of the Scripture that promised this rest? Well, my soul, are you not now ashamed that you ever questioned the love that has brought you here? You suspected his love when you should only have suspected yourself. Now you are convinced that the ways you called hard and the cup you called bitter were necessary. Your Lord intended sweeter ends than you would believe. Your Redeemer was saving you just as much when he crossed your desires as when he granted them, just as much when he broke your heart as when he bound it up. Oh, no thanks to you, unworthy self, but shame, for this crown you have received. But to Jehovah and the Lamb be glory forever’” (37-38).

 

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