(Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”)
“If anyone would come after Me — he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
Let the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, work us into a gracious willingness to embrace sufferings for His sake, and cheerfully and resolutely to take up His cross and follow Him.
Did Christ suffer, who knew no sin — and shall we think it strange to suffer, who know nothing but sin?
Shall He lie sweltering under His Father’s wrath — and shall we cry out under men’s anger?
Was He crowned with thorns — and must we be crowned with rose-buds?
Was His whole life, from the cradle to the cross, made up of nothing but sorrows and sufferings — and must our lives, from the cradle to the grave, be filled up with nothing but pleasures and delights?
Was He despised — and must we be admired?
Was He debased — and must we be exalted?
Was He poor — and must we be rich?
Was He low — and must we be high?
Did He drink of a bitter cup, a bloody cup — and must we have only cups of consolation?
Let us not think anything too much to do for Christ,
nor anything too great to suffer for Christ,
nor anything too dear to part with for such a Christ, such a Savior — who thought nothing too much to do, nor too grievous to suffer — so that He might accomplish the work of our redemption!
He left Heaven for us — and shall not we let go of this world for Him?
He left his Father’s bosom for us — and shall not we leave the bosoms of our dearest relations for him?
He underwent all sorts of sufferings for us — let us as readily encounter with all sorts of sufferings for Him.