They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb . . .; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12: 11)
When James and John came to Christ with their mother, asking Him to give them the best place in His kingdom, He did not refuse their request. He told them that the place would be given to them if they could do His work, drink His cup, and be baptized with His baptism. (See Mark 10: 38.)
Are we willing to compete for God’s best, with the knowledge that the best things are always achieved by the most difficult paths? We must endure steep mountains, dense forests, and the Enemy’s chariots of iron, since hardship is the price of the victor’s coronation. Arches of triumph are made not of rose blossoms and strands of silk but of hard blows and bloody scars. The very hardships you are enduring in your life today have been given to you by the Master, for the express purpose of enabling you to win your crown.
Therefore do not always look ahead to your tomorrows for some ideal situation, exotic difficulty, or faraway emergency in which to shine. Rise today to face the circumstances in which the providence of God has placed you. Your crown of glory is hidden in the heart of these things— the hardships and trials pressing in on you this very hour, week, and month of your life. Yet the most difficult things are not those seen and known by the world but those deep within your soul, unseen and unknown by anyone except Jesus. It is in this secret place that you experience a little trial that you would never dare to mention to anyone else and that is more difficult for you to bear than martyrdom.
Beloved, your crown lies there. May God help you to overcome and to wear it.
It matters not how the battle goes,
The day how long;
Faint not! Fight on!
Tomorrow comes the song.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 429-430). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.