Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12.
We may strengthen our faith and quicken our love by going often to the foot of the cross, and there contemplating our Saviour’s humiliation. Behold the Majesty of heaven suffering as a transgressor! Spotless purity, untarnished righteousness, did not shield Him from falsehood and reproach. He meekly bore the contradiction of sinners against Himself, and yielded up His life, that we might be forgiven and live forevermore. Are we willing to follow in His steps? The only reason why we do not now suffer greater persecution is, we do not in our lives more faithfully exemplify the life of Christ. I assure you, brethren and sisters, if you walk as He walked, you will know what it is to be persecuted and reproached for His sake.
If we hope to wear the crown, we must expect to bear the cross. Our greatest trials will come from those who profess godliness. It was so with the world’s Redeemer; it will be so with His followers…. Those who are in earnest to win the crown of eternal life need not be surprised or disheartened because at every step toward the heavenly Canaan they meet with obstacles and encounter trials….
The Saviour knows what is best. Faith grows by conflict with doubt and difficulty and trial. Virtue gathers strength by resistance to temptation. The life of the faithful soldier is a battle and a march. No rest, fellow pilgrim, this side the heavenly Canaan…. But John in holy vision beholds the faithful souls that come up out of great tribulation, surrounding the throne of God, clad in white robes, and crowned with immortal glory. What though they have been counted the offscouring of the earth? In the investigative judgment their lives and characters are brought in review before God, and that solemn tribunal reverses the decision of their enemies. Their faithfulness to God and to His Word stands revealed, and Heaven’s high honors are awarded them as conquerors in the strife with sin and Satan.47The Review and Herald, August 28, 1883.