Beyond the Smiling and the Weeping

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Horatius Bonar loved to study the Bible, particularly prophecy. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1808, Bonar pastored important churches, demonstrating his compassion for the Lost as editor of several tracts. As he wrote, his goal was to communicate clearly and simply, so even children could understand the truths of the Gospel.

Bonar also wrote more than 500 hymns. They had such impact that many called him the prince of Scottish hymn writers. He was known to be inspired by many situations—the sight of  sea, streams, and stars, or, even travel by train.

Inspired by his love of prophecy, in 1849 Bonar wrote a poem which later became a hymn called, “Beyond the Smiling and the Weeping.”  It focused on that great day when Believers will stand in the presence of Jesus.

Bonar reflected on the nonstop rhythm of daily life and the many patterns and practices that fill our days. He saw lives dominated by contrasts: smiling and weeping, waking and sleeping, sowing and reaping, blooming and fading, hoping and dreading, rising and setting, calming and fretting, remembering and forgetting, coming and going, parting and meeting.

Bonar realized that all of these things were just temporary. He thought about the promise of Jesus that He is coming quickly. He also thought about John’s response—all Believers were to pray that Jesus would come soon.

As we go through life, Bonar encouraged us to remember that we, too, shall soon be in the Lord’s presence: “Beyond the ever and the never, I shall be soon.” We will be home!

The trials and challenges of life can consume our thoughts and emotions. But, in reality, they are very temporary. Today, think about your eternal home. Make this your prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus!”