Oh believe me, Christians are not so much in danger when they are persecuted as when they are admired. When we stand upon the pinnacle of popularity, we may well tremble and fear. When we are hissed at, and hooted, then we do not have cause to be alarmed; when we are dandled on the lap of fortune, and nursed upon the knees of the people; when all men speak well of us then woe is to us. It is not in the cold wintry wind that I take off my coat of righteousness, and throw it away; when the sun comes up, when the weather is warm, and the air balmy, then I unguardedly strip off my robes and become naked. Good God! how many a man has been made naked by the love of this world! The world has flattered and applauded him; he has drunk the flattery; it is an intoxicating draught; he has staggered, he has reeled, he has sinned, he has lost his reputation; and as a comet that before flashed across the sky, does wander far into space, and is lost in darkness, so does he; great as he was, he falls; mighty as he was, he wanders, and is lost. But the true child of God is never so; he is as safe when the world smiles, as when it frowns; he cares as little for her praise as for her criticism. If he is praised, and it is true, he says, “My deeds deserve praise, but I refer all honor to my God.” Great souls know what they merit from their critic; to them it is nothing more than the giving of their daily income. Some men cannot live without a large amount of praise; and if they have no more than they deserve, let them have it. If they are children of God, they will be kept steady; they will not be ruined or spoiled; but they will stand with feet like hinds’ feet upon high places. – “This is the victory that overcomes the world.”
– Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Victory of Faith,” preached March 18th, 1856.