Cyprian of Carthage (200 – 258 AD)

No Victory Without a Battle

The fear and faith of God ought to make you prepared for everything, whether it is the loss of private estate, the constant and cruel harassment of your limbs by agonizing disorders, or the deadly and mournful wrench from wife, from children, from departing dear ones. Do not let these things be offenses to you, but battles; nor let them weaken nor break the Christian’s faith, but rather show forth his strength in the struggle, since all the injury inflicted by present troubles is to be despised in the assurance of future blessings. Unless the battle has gone before, there cannot be a victory. When there shall have been, in the onset of battle, the victory, then also the crown is given to the victors. For the helmsman is recognized in the tempest; in the warfare the soldier is proved. It is a wanton display when there is no danger. Struggle in adversity is the trial of the truth.

Reflection: Romans 5:3; 8:18; 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Corinthians 1:7; 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:3–5; Revelation 2:10