Some think of reigning with Christ—but not of suffering
with Christ. The cross leads to the crown! "If we suffer,
we shall also reign with Him." 2 Timothy 2:12
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow Me." Luke 9:23
Christ shows us His cross. If we will not have Him upon
these terms, the match is not likely to go on. Sufferings
are waiting for us, Acts 20:23. "Everyone who wants to
live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."
The devil has not grown kinder. "Your enemy the devil
prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone
to devour!" 1 Peter 5:8
The flesh cries out, "That cross is painful! There are
nails in that cross which tear me!"
Can wicked men be content to suffer for their
lusts—and shall we not suffer for Christ?
The prophet Isaiah sawn in half.
Jeremiah was killed by stoning.
Amos was killed with an iron bar.
Luke was hanged on an olive tree.
I read that Irenaeus was carried to a place where a
cross was set on one side—and an idol on the other.
He was given a choice either to bow to the idol—or
suffer on the cross. He chose the latter.
Basil speaks of a virgin condemned to the fire. She
was offered her life and estate if she would bow down
to an image. She answered, "Let life and money go;
"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan