What endurance was this! Perfect truth in the midst of error; perfect love in the midst of ingratitude and coldness; perfect rectitude in the midst of perjury, violence, fraud; perfect constancy in the midst of contumely and desertion; perfect innocence, confronting every debased form of depravity and guilt; perfect patience, encountering every species of gross provocation -- "oppressed and afflicted, He opened not His mouth!" "For my love" (in return for my love), "they are mine adversaries; but" (see His endurance! -- the only species of revenge of which His sinless nature was capable) "I give myself unto prayer!" (Ps. cix.4.)
Reader! "let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus!" The greatest test of an earthly soldier's courage is patient endurance! The noblest trait of the spiritual soldier is the same. "Having done all to stand," "He endured, as seeing Him who is invisible!" Beware of the angry recrimination, the hasty ebullition of temper. Amid unkind insinuations -- when motives are misrepresented, and reputation assailed; when good deeds are ridiculed, kind intentions coldly thwarted and repulsed, chilling reserve manifested where you expected nothing but friendship -- what a triumph over natural impulse to manifest a spirit of meek endurance! -- like a rainbow, radiant with the hues of heaven, resting peacefully amid the storms of derision and "the floods of ungodly men." What an opportunity of magnifying the "sustaining grace of God!" "It is a small thing for me to be judged of you, or of man's judgment; He that judgeth me is the Lord." "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear what man can do unto me." "Blessed is the man that endureth." "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved."
If faithful to our God, we must expect to encounter contradiction in the same form which Jesus did -- "the contradiction of sinners." It has been well said, "There is no cross of nails and wood erected now for the Christian, but there is one of words and looks which is never taken down." If believers are set as lights in the earth, lamps in the "city of destruction," we know that "he that doeth evil hateth the light." "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you!"
Weary and faint ones, exposed to the shafts of calumny and scorn because of your fidelity to your God; encountering, it may be, the coldness and estrangement of those dear to you, who can not, perhaps, sympathize in the holiness of your walk and the loftiness of your aims, "consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds!" What is your "contradiction" to His? Soon your cross, whatever it be, will have an end. "The seat of the scorner" has no place in yonder glorious heaven, where all will be peace -- no jarring note to disturb its blissful harmonies! Look forward to the great coronation-day of the Church triumphant, -- the day of your divine Lord's appearing, when motives and aims, now misunderstood, will be vindicated, wrongs redressed, calumnies and aspersions wiped away. Meanwhile, "rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer shame for His name."
"ARM YOURSELVES LIKEWISE WITH THE SAME MIND."