We are often tempted to give up Christ’s service because of the cross and affliction which it entails.  We see few with us and many against us.  We find our names cast out as evil and all manner of evil said of us because we believe and love the gospel.  Year after year, we see our companions in Christ’s service removed by death and we feel as if we knew little about them except that they are gone to an unknown world and that we are left alone.  All these things are trying to flesh and blood.  No wonder that the faith of believers sometimes languishes and their eyes fail while they look for their hope. – J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), commenting on Matthew 17.1-8.

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