Crosses and Crowns and Counting Costs

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12
"He that does not receive the gospel with all its difficulties, does not receive it as it is proposed to him. He that does not receive Christ with his cross as well as his crown, does not truly receive him at all....

"If there be any one kind or degree of temporal suffering that we have not a spirit to undergo for Christ, then there is something that we do not forsake for him....

"Those that will do contrary to the will of Christ and his glory, for the sake of avoiding suffering, deny Christ instead of denying themselves. Those that do not confess Christ before persecutors, do in fact deny him before men, and are of the number of whom Christ says, that he will deny them before his Father in heaven (Matt. 10:33); and as to whom the apostle says, 'If we suffer, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us' (2 Tim. 2:12)....

" overcome the world, implies that we overcome amid its flatteries and frowns, its sufferings and difficulties. These are the weapons of the world, by which it seeks to conquer us; and if there be any of these that we have not a spirit to encounter for Christ's sake, then by such weapons the world will have us in subjection, and gain the victory over us. But Christ gives his servants the victory over the world in all its forms.

"Every true Christian has the spirit of a martyr. And if you have not the suffering spirit in the lesser trials or sufferings that God may have sent upon you, how will it be if he should expose you to bitter persecutions, such as the saints of old sometimes were called to endure? If you cannot bear trials in little things, how can you possess that charity which beareth all things?
-----Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits (emphasis in bold mine)
"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Rev. 2:10b


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