Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33.
Many speak of the life of the Christian taking away from us pleasure and worldly enjoyment. I say it takes away nothing worth having. Is there perplexity, poverty, and distress endured by the Christian? Oh, yes, this is expected in this life. But are the sinners of whom we speak as enjoying the pleasures of this world free from these ills of life? Do we not often see in them the pale cheek, the wracking cough, indicating a fatal disease? Are they not subject to burning fevers and contagious diseases? How often do you hear their complaints of meeting with heavy losses of worldly goods; and consider, this is their only treasure. They lose all. These troubles of sinners are overlooked.
Christians are too apt to think they are the only ones who have a hard time, and some seem to think that it is a condescension in them to embrace unpopular truth and profess to be Christ’s followers. The road seems hard. They think they have many sacrifices to make, when in truth they make no real sacrifice. If they are adopted into the family of God, what sacrifices have they made? Their following Christ may have broken friendship with worldly relatives, but look at the exchange—their names written in the Lamb’s book of life—elevated, yes, greatly exalted to be partakers of salvation—heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ to an imperishable inheritance. If the link which binds them to worldly relatives is weakened for Christ’s sake, a stronger one is formed, a link which binds finite humanity to the infinite God. Shall we call this a sacrifice on our part because we yield error for truth, light for darkness, weakness for strength, sin for righteousness, and a perishable name and inheritance for honors that are lasting and an immortal treasure? …
If there is anyone who enjoys happiness even in this life, it is the faithful follower of Jesus Christ…. If Christians dwell too much upon the rough pathway, they make it harder than it really is. If they dwell upon the bright spots in the way and are grateful for every ray of light, and then dwell upon the rich reward that lies at the end of the race, instead of gloom, mourning, and complaints, they will bear a cheerful countenance.—The Review and Herald, April 28, 1859.