“These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14)
Every one that gets to the throne must put their foot upon the thorn. The way to the crown is by the cross. We must taste the gall if we are to taste the glory. When justified by faith, God brought Israel through the Red Sea, He led them into the wilderness; so, when God saves a soul, He tries it. He never gives faith without trying it. The way to Zion is through the valley of Baca.
You must go through the wilderness of Jordan if you are to come to the Land of Promise. Some believers are much surprised when they are called to suffer. They thought they would do some great thing for God; but all that God permits them to do is to suffer. Go round every one in glory, every one has a different story, yet every one has a tale of suffering.
One was persecuted in his family, by his friends and companions; another was visited by sore pains and humbling disease, neglected by the world; another was bereaved of children; another had all these afflictions meeting in one, deep called unto deep. Mark, all are brought out of them. It was a dark cloud, but it passed away; the water was deep, but they have reached the other side. Not one of them blames God for the road He led them:
“Salvation” is their only cry. Is there any of you, dear children, murmuring at your lot? Do not sin against God. This is the way God leads all His redeemed ones. You must have a palm as well as a white robe. No pain, no palm; no cross, no crown; no thorn, no throne; no gall, no glory. Learn to glory in tribulations also. I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.”
by Robert Murray McCheyne