”It is good for a man that he bears the yoke in his youth.” Lamentations 3:27.
I am going to finish with this last head. Practically, brothers and sisters WE ARE ALL OF US IN OUR YOUTH. I see some gray heads and bald heads here, and yet they belong to persons in their minority. My dear brother, though you are 70 and more, yet you have not come of age in the heavenly kingdom; for if you were of age you would have your estates. None of us will come of age till we enter heaven. We are still under tutors and governors, because we are even now as little children. We have not come to that period in which we are fit for all the joys of heaven, for if we were we should be taken home to our Father’s house to enjoy our inheritance at once. We are still in our youth. Well, it is good for us at this present time that we should bear the yoke, and continue to bear it. It is good, my dear brothers and sisters, that we who have gone some distance on the road to heaven should still have some-thing to bear, because it enables us to still honor Christ! If we do not suffer with Him, how can we have fellowship with Him? If we have no crosses to carry, how can we commune with our Lord, the chief cross-bearer? Let us be glad that we are not spared tribulations; that we are not screened from affliction; but are permitted to glorify God by patience, by resignation, and by unstaggering faith. Do not ask the Lord that you may have no trouble, but rather remember you have only a little while in which you can be patient—only a little while in which you can be a cross-bearer, and therefore it behooves you to use each moment well. A few more revolving suns and you will be where there is no more cross to carry, no sorrow to bear, and, therefore, where there is no room for patience, and no opportunity of being acquiescent in the divine will. Be content to bear the yoke now, for it is but a little while, and this honor will be no longer yours.
It is good for us all to bear the yoke, too, because thus old Adam is kept in check. A wonderfully vivacious thing is that old Adam. He has been reported dead a good many times, but to my certain knowledge he is still very brisk! When we are in trouble, proud old Adam often seems to be quiet, and does not so well succeed in keeping us from prayer, and, consequently, in time of trouble, we often enjoy our very sweetest seasons of devotion. By the Lord’s goodness we escape the trial, but, alas, old Adam soon lifts up his proud head again. He says, “Ah , you are a favorite of heaven, your mountain stands firm. Your affliction has been sanctified to you, and you have grown in grace very wonderfully. The fact is, you are a very fine fellow.” Yes, that is old Adam’s way, and whenever he sees an opportunity he will return to his old game of flattery. Whenever you are tempted to be vain, say to yourself, “I know you, old Adam. I know you, and will not yield to your crafty devices.” What happens when we become self-satisfied? Why, the yoke returns upon our shoulders heavier! We fall into another trouble, and then old Adam is up in the stirrups again, and begins to grumble and rebel. The flesh begins proudly to despair, whereas a little while before it was boasting! Trials, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, are a great help to overcome corruptions. C. H. Spurgeon