The Reward Of The Tempted
The Apostle Paul says, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a farmore exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Cor. 4:17). In overcoming temptations, we not only develop soul fiber, but our patience is enriched, our faith is strengthened, and our capital is enhanced to better carry on for God. By overcoming the temptations of life, we shall receive greater blessedness in the world to come. “They work for us,” which means we shall receive greater honors and a larger pension when this holy war is over. The soldier who never endured hardness, and suffered losses, cannot hope to receive the same consideration at the close of the war as does the battle-scarred soldier who returns from the conflict with an armless sleeve or some ghastly wound. And, of course, there is no reward at all for the man who is shot in the back while fleeing from the foe. The laurels of the victor are determined by the fierceness of the battle and the faithfulness of the soldier.
Yes, even now, great trials and temptations make way for great grace — for “As ye are partakers of the sufferings of Christ, so shall ye be also of consolation” (II Cor. 1:7). After we have thus suffered with Him, we shall be “joint-heirs with Christ”, and “shall also reign with him”(Romans 8:7); (II Tim. 2:12). Therefore, the promised rewards to the “overcomer” are beyond human computation, or infinite comprehension.
In the Book of Revelation, the Lord has promised some great rewards to the overcomers. John was banished to the lonely island of Patmos. There the Lord appeared unto him, and gave him seven messages to the seven churches in Asia Minor. At the conclusion of these messages, the Lord gave a glorious promise to each overcomer. He said, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7).
“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” (Rev. 2:10, 11). To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and shall give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth” (Rev. 2:17). He that overcometh, and keepeth my words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron –and I will give him the morning star” (Rev. 2:26-28).
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels”(Rev. 3:5).
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go nomore out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God,which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Rev. 3:12).
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21).
No wonder the Apostle Paul said, “I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). What a glorious day it will be when the tempted saints of earth shall come forth to meet their Lord. The beloved John saw this great army of saints in glory. He said, in describing them, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:14-17).
Again, John speaks of the day that all sorrow and crying shall be done away with. “AndGod shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death; neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev.21:4).
In that glorious day the Lord will bestow crowns to those who merit them. Peter says, “And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (IPeter 5:4). Earthly crowns will fade with the passing of the years, but this crown will be enriched and beautified. The mighty Paul says, “Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me in that day” (II Tim. 4:8). When the apostle looked toward the future, his eyes brightened, his bosom heaved, his heart beat a little faster, and his hope enlarged. He saw Jesus, Who will bestow this blessed crown of righteousness.
The practical James says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him”(James 2:12).
Friends may fail us, circumstances may discourage us, and all human props swept away with one mighty stroke. But when it is so dark that we cannot see our way before us, there is a light beyond the hills. The troubled waters of this life may be about our feet, and it may seem that we shall be submerged, yet, there comes Jesus walking across the turbulent waves of our night, saying, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid” (Mark 6:50).
Yonder comes a countless multitude of tempted and tried saints of this earth. They have borne burdens, and carried crushing loads. Often they have needed encouragement that never came. Had this mighty army failed, the Church of Jesus Christ would have failed. So, fight on, struggle on, believe on, toil on, and pray on ye faithful and noble souls! There is a better day coming I know — it will not always be so. Soon this holy war will be over, and the faithful, battle-scarred soldiers of the cross will be coming from the fields of conflict to the grand home-coming over yonder. What does it all mean? War is over! No more burdens, no more difficulties, no more misunderstandings, no more hard financial loads, and no more bitter attacks from the enemy. Lookup, for there is a glad tomorrow for the tempted and tried saints of this world!
It was a high day in London when the Crimean War came to an end in 1855. Great galleries had been erected for Parliament and the royal family. Queen Victoria sat on the throne, and through her secretary, gave out the medals to those heroes who fought in the war. One soldier had lost his leg, but took hold of a tree, drew his sword ready to fight on, when another cannon ball took off the other leg. He had been carried before the Queen on a stretcher — his face was thin and pale. The Queen arose and with her own hands pinned the medal on his breast, while tears of grateful love fell on the brave soldier’s face. Multitudes waved their hands, wept, and shouted, “God save the Queen!” One of these days the tempted and tried saints of earth will come forth, and will march in grand review before the Lord Jesus Christ. And with His own nail-pierced hands He will give out the crowns of glory. In that glorious day, we will cast our crowns at His blessed feet, and crown Him Lord of all.
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