When a time of great suffering comes, will you honour Christ faithfully, or sin against him to ease the pain? We might hope for faithfulness; but if we have not prepared ourselves, then we risk a damaging, even ruinous fall. The Puritan John Flavel writes to encourage faithfulness.
The central idea is that we are blessed if we are prepared for suffering. Flavel reasons from Paul’s readiness to be bound and die in Acts 21:13. It might have been encouraging if he had noted how Paul’s sufferings in Acts mirror Christ’s, since his sharing in Christ’s sufferings prepares him for sharing in his glory. But here nonetheless is advice dearly needed by today’s church.