He actually chooses affliction!
(J.C. Ryle, "Faith's Choice!" 1879)
"By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin." Hebrews 11:24-25
Is there any cross in your Christianity?
There is a common worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have — a cheap Christianity . . .
which offends nobody,
which requires no sacrifice,
which costs nothing — and is worth nothing!
But if you really are in earnest about your soul,
if your religion is something more than a mere fashionable Sunday cloak,
if you are determined to live by the Bible,
if you are resolved to be a New Testament Christian —
then you will soon find that you must carry a cross. You must endure hard things; you must suffer in behalf of your soul, as Moses did — or you cannot be saved.
The offense of the cross is not ceased!
God's true people are still a despised little flock.
True evangelical religion still brings with it reproach and scorn.
A real servant of God will still be thought an enthusiast and a fool by many.
If there is no cross — there will be no crown!
Moses left the ease and comfort of Pharaoh's court — and openly took part with the despised children of Israel. In fact, if ever a man seemed to be choosing pain, trials, poverty, distress, anxiety, perhaps even death, with his eyes open — Moses was that man!
Let us think how astonishing was this choice.
Flesh and blood naturally shrink from pain. We draw back by a kind of instinct from suffering, and avoid it if we can. If two courses of action are set before us, which both seem right — we take that which is the least disagreeable to flesh and blood.
But look here! Here is a man of like passions with ourselves, and he actually chooses affliction! Moses saw the cup of suffering that was before him if he left Pharaoh's court — and he chose it, preferred it, and took it up!
Faith told Moses that affliction and suffering are not real evils. They are . . .
the school of God, in which He trains the children of grace for glory;
the medicines, which are needful to purify our corrupt hearts;
the furnace, which must burn away our dross;
the knife, which must cut the ties which bind us to the world.