And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. -Luke 14:27
Our holy Apostle says “The sufferings of Christ abound in us.” Before we buckle on the Christian armour we ought to know what that service is which is expected of us… Jesus Christ himself said, “Count the cost.” He wished to have no disciple who was not prepared to go all the way-“to bear hardness as a good soldier.” I have sometimes heard religion described in such a way that its high coloring displeases me. It is true “her ways are ways of pleasantness;” but it is not true that a Christian never has sorrow or trouble. It is true that light-eyed cheerfulness, and airy-footed love, can go through the world without much depression and tribulation but it is not true that Christianity will shield a man from trouble; nor ought it to be so represented. In fact, we ought to speak of it in the other-way.
Soldier of Christ, if thou enlisteth, thou wilt have to do hard battle. There is no bed of down for thee; there is no riding to heaven in a chariot; the rough way must be trodden; mountains must be climbed, rivers must be forded, dragons must be fought, giants must be slain, difficulties must be overcome, and great trials must be borne…it is only pleasant because of the company, because of the sweet promises on which we lean, because of our Beloved who walks with us through all the rough and thorny brakes of this vast wilderness.
Christian, expect trouble: “Count it not strange concerning the fiery trial, and as though some strange thing had happened unto thee;” for as truly as thou art a child of God, thy Saviour hath left thee for his legacy,-“In the world, ye shall have tribulation; in me ye shall have peace.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon