THE CROSS BEFORE THE CROWN
“In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him” (Ecc 7:14 ESV).
“There are some things that must be taken in order, and if we want to gain the second, we must secure the first. Heaven does not come first but second, and only by persevering to the end can we gain a share in it. The cross must be carried before the crown can be worn. We must follow our Lord in His humiliation, or we will never rest with Him in glory. [T]ake the difficult things for the sake of the sweet love of Jesus, which will compensate you for everything. In such a spirit, laboring and suffering, you will find that bitter things grow sweet, and hard things easy” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 14th PM).
“Spiritually prosperous is the man who remains steadfast under trial, because after he has met the test and has been approved, he shall receive the crown” (James 1:12 Wuest).
“[A] Christian has his best things last, and, in this world, he receives his worst things first. But even his worst things are ‘afterward’ good things; harsh plowings yield joyful harvests. Even now he grows rich by his losses, he rises by his falls, he lives by dying, and he becomes full by being emptied. [T]he rest is not for today, nor the triumph for the present, but ‘afterward.’ Wait, O soul, and ‘let patience have her perfect work’ (James 1:4)” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 18th PM).
“[W]e truly reap advantage from the discipline of the cross only, when we learn that this life, taken by itself, is full of unrest, trouble, and misery, and not really happy from any point of view; and that all its so-called blessings are uncertain, passing, vain, and mixed with endless adversity” John Calvin (ref#313, p69).
“[W]hen the house begins to shake, and the clay falls away, we see Christ through the openings; and between the rafters, the sunlight of heaven comes streaming in” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 16th PM).