Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ—2 Tim. 2: 3.
The true soldier does not debate his cause. He is rightly supposed to have settled upon its justice and righteousness before he enlisted to serve it. Thereafter he avouches it and defies contradiction of it. He is ready to spend all and be all spent in its defense. It is glorious to serve Christ in honesty and in fullness of fidelity. There is an ineffable joy in being on the right side, in knowing that beyond the field of blood and the valley of shadows is an abundant entrance into the joys and peace of the triumphant King of kings. For that hope none should shrink from the hardness of battle, none quail before the rage of the enemy, and none tremble before the certainty of hunger, thirst, nakedness, wounds or death.
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The Lord's people are soldiers in that army of which Jesus is the Commander. Their warfare requires strong endurance because of the many hardships to which they are exposed. Self-denial must be persevered in amid their many privations. Their many defects tax their endurance almost unto fainting. Their faults call for endurance against discouragement, and the strenuousness of their trials and sufferings can be borne only by a spirit that is inured to hardship and is sustained by the Lord.
Parallel passages: Heb. 2: 10; Isa. 59: 16, 17; 54: 17; Eph. 6: 10-17; Rom. 13: 12; 2Cor. 6: 7; 10: 4, 5; 1Thes. 5: 8; 1Tim. 6: 12; 2Tim. 4: 7; 1Cor. 16: 13; 1Pet. 5: 8, 9; Phil. 1: 27; 4: 1; Josh. 1: 6, 7; Dan. 11: 32.
Questions: What have I endured in the Christian warfare this week? How? Why? What helped or hindered? What were the effects?
I CANNOT say,
Beneath the pressure of life's cares today,
I joy in these;
But I can say
That I would rather walk this rugged way,
If Him it please.
I cannot feel
That all is well when dark'ning clouds conceal
The shining sun;
But then I know
God lives and loves; and say, since it is so,
"Thy will be done."
I cannot speak
In happy tones; the tear-drops on my cheek
Show I am sad;
But I can speak
Of grace to suffer with submission meek,
Until made glad.
I do not see
Why God should e'en permit some things to be,
When He is love;
But I can see,
Though often dimly, through the mystery,
His hand above.
I may not try
To keep the hot tears back; but hush that sigh,
"It might have been;"
And try to still
Each rising murmur, and to God's sweet will
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