“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they willreign upon the earth.'” -Rev. 5.9-10
Never give ear to a man who claims that the walk of faith will be all roses and no thorns. The Christian who suffers no testing, experiences no difficulty, has no trials is the one who is falling short of the glory of God. He is seeking to evade the work of the cross. True saints are not formed on an assembly line, but in the bumps and bruises of real life experience. Apostles are not made in seminaries, but in the nit and grit of the “real stuff” that comes to all men who would follow the Lamb wheresoever He goes.
Flee quickly from any “gospel” that promises a fullness of joy and maturity by some slipshod or easy-going path. We must settle it in our souls: There will be trials, breakings, seasons of great barrenness, and opposition from the powers of darkness and the world around us. “We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.”
The Lord is not so much concerned with our religious success as He is with conforming us to the image of His Son. This requires great and painstaking attention from the Potter, but we must face the times of trial that He permits with a trust that His own character will eventuate from them; so long as we cling to Him right through the uncertainty and struggle.
When we are weary and at the end of our rope, we can find refreshing in the promise that He will be the lifter of our heads and living water for our souls throughout the pilgrimage. The reward will be all the sweeter at the end of this age.
Be content to live unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for He has ‘made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever’. Oh! wonderful thought for the children of God! We have Christ for our glorious representative in heaven’s court now, and soon He will come and receive us to Himself, to be with Him there, to behold His glory, and to share His joy.
(C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening; April 22nd selection)