Your Secret Martyrdom

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10

There are many ways in which the devil’s whip can reach the back of the child of God. Persecution is still abundant, and many a man’s foes are of his own household. I will rehearse no stories of Christian women with jeering husbands, nor of godly youths who endure scoffing, and far worse; but many a house is still a place of martyrdom. Gracious sufferers, may the Lord keep you from anger and unkindness! By faith alone can you bear persecution, and turn it to account for the good of others. Do not attempt to escape by yielding what is right and true; but ask the Lord to help you to stand fast for Him. If it be true that the Lord has His martyrs still, let it be seen that they are as brave as ever. Not now do they gather in the great amphitheater, where sits the emperor in state, with all the proud citizens of Rome in the nearer gallery, tier on tier, and the multitude up yonder, gazing with their cruel eyes into the vast arena below. Not now do I see them lift up the great iron door, and let loose the monsters that come forth roaring, hungry for their prey. Not now do I see, standing in the middle, a man and his wife and children, all unarmed. Not now do I hear the shouts of the mob, as they exult that Christians are given to the lions. This is all over. Christ, in His suffering members, has conquered Caesar and pagan Rome; for out of weakness believers were made strong. A softer spirit has come over the human mind; but there is as much enmity against God as ever; and now it finds a less public arena, and a meaner mode of torture. Today, the tried one suffers alone, and misses the encouragement of Christian eyes. At times he has to feel that it were better for him to fight with beasts at Ephesus than to bear the taunts, and threats, and slanders of ungodly kinsfolk. My sister, my brother, have faith in God in your hidden sorrow! Cry to Him in the secret of your soul, and you will bear your load; yes, you will bear it calmly, and you will win those who hate you. Of your secret martyrdom angels will be spectators, and Christ will suffer in you-wherefore, fear not. Out of weakness you shall be made strong by faith. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

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