Skip to content ↓

The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

Just as Olympic athletes cannot realistically expect to win a gold medal unless they strictly discipline themselves toward victory, Christians cannot hope to prevail in the Christian life unless they take a serious, disciplined approach to it. Yet lurking in the background is always the temptation to hope that we can have the result of diligent labor without the labor itself, that we can have the glorious end we desire without the difficult means.

The apostle Paul spoke longingly of “the crown of righteousness” that was awaiting him and all who persevere to the end (2 Timothy 4:8). James told of “the crown of life” that God promised to those who love him and who remain steadfast through trials (James 1:12). J.C. Ryle knew of these crowns and feared that many Christians wanted the glorious reward but without diligence in the means of grace. He feared that many wanted a payday without work, a plentiful harvest without hard labor, a victory parade without a battle. Hence, he warned, “Many, I fear, would like glory, who have no wish for grace. They would fain have the wages, but not the work; the harvest, but not the labor; the reaping, but not the sowing; the reward, but not the battle.”

Yet in the Christian life, as in every other area, the rewards are not dispensed indiscriminately, but are recognitions of effort, of diligence, of achievement.


  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 17)

    A La Carte: Honor good fathers and bad fathers alike? / Don’t give up, dad / How I respond to pride month / 5 myths about the pro-life movement / A seminar on biblical counseling / How do I know if I’m one of the elect? / Kindle deals / and more.

  • The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    Just as Olympic athletes cannot realistically expect to win a gold medal unless they strictly discipline themselves toward victory, Christians cannot hope to prevail in the Christian life unless they take a serious, disciplined approach to it. Yet lurking in the background is always the temptation to hope that we can have the result of…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (June 15)

    A La Carte: Learn to rest in God’s justice / 3 reasons why your small group is not a church / How can I be a godly father? / Gender in the void / Are images of Christ OK? / The getting of wisdom / and more.

  • Making Good Return

    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (June 14)

    A La Carte: 3 steps to find your voice / 7 things good dads say / One day leads to another / Let’s stop hyper-spiritualizing counseling / Enjoying the many flavors of the Word / What I wish you understood about the ethnic-specific church / and more.