Devotional by Phoebe Palmer, Focus 5

The burden of the cross
By Phoebe Palmer (1807-1870)

Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden light. The strength of Christ being imparted to the soul that trusts wholly in him, how can the burden be otherwise than easy, and even delightsome, when borne in almighty strength, and with the soul filled with the constraining love of Christ.

The soul that thus relies, has only to ask, “Could my Savior have endured under such a trial? such a cross? or under any circumstances, however varied, in which I may be placed?—then I may endure.” “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me;” not only who did strengthen, or can strengthen, but who strengtheneth just now, and continually, for every emergency as it occurs. It is only by a careful, constant, and entire reliance on Christ, that holiness can be retained.

It is an important consideration, that the entire way to Heaven is narrow. It is the way of the cross. We sometimes hear persons speak of going around the cross; but those who speak thus have not carefully acquainted themselves with the chart leading from earth to Heaven. He who would be a disciple begins to lift it, in the strength of Christ, the first step he takes in the Heavenward course. Before he entered upon the way, the Spirit presented the terms of discipleship, and never could he have become a follower of Christ unless he had resolved on entire compliance with the conditions of discipleship, which, in the Savior’s own words, stand recorded thus: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

–Phoebe Palmer was an evangelist and the author of books such as The Way of Holiness, Entire Devotion to God, and Faith and Its Effects.