“You that are beginners, I do not wish to frighten you; but on the way to Heaven there are ‘Cut-throat Lanes’ where, when the enemy finds your spirits down, he pounces with temptation, and before you know it you may be wounded. There are spots in the valley where every bush conceals an adversary, and temptations spring out of the ground like fiery serpents, and where the soul is among lions.
If you have not yet come to that part of your pilgrimage I am glad of it, and I hope that you may be spared it in answer to the prayer—’Lead us not into temptation.’ But if you are called to walk through this dangerous ravine what will you do? Say this to yourself—’Yea, though I walk through that dangerous pass of which I have heard, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.’
You who are placed in positions of great trial and temptation need not wish for an easier pathway, for it may be that you are safer now, being on your guard, than those who are not fiercely tried, and are in peril from sloth and spiritual indifference. The cold mountains of trial can be safer than the sultry plains of pleasure.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2000, p. 31.