CCXL. Soldiers of Christ.

2 TIM. ii. 3. “Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

THE question is put, why should I endure hardness?
Life has troubles enough in store; why should I add to
them? There is no religion in making myself uncom-
fortable. In reply, God desires and delights in all our
innocent happiness, and we are encouraged to endure
hardness because hardness is true happiness.
I. We must endure hardness because it is good for us as
men.
He who walks in the Spirit must keep under the body,
and no man can keep the body under control who is not
prepared to refrain—to give up.
II. Because it is the manifest will of God. God’s curses
are blessings in disguise. The thorns and thistles of the
world’s sterility involve the blessing of our necessitated
labour.
We must work for knowledge —for fame—for things far
better than those.
III. Because it is the training school of national and
individual worth.
Look at Sparta and Thermopylae; at Scotland and
Bannockburn. What would England have been without
the Armada or Trafalgar? We are sons and citizens of
no mean country.
IV. Because Christ endured hardness.
The essence of the life of our Saviour was that He
pleased not Himself. He chose the shop of the village
carpenter, and the hunger of the homeless prophet. It
was not on Calvary only, but all His life long, that Christ
bore the cross.
V. Because there is no virtue and there is no holiness
possible without it.
The voice of England is potent to her sons. Shall it be
more potent than the voice of God? Is there not a voice
as of a trumpet in heaven ever summoning every one of
us, and saying, Put on the whole armour of God, fight the
good fight of faith, endure hardness.
F. W. Farrar. D.D.

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