In this life we shall be tempted and tried. Friends may prove treacherous, enemies may be inspired by Satan to cause sadness. In these trials let us turn to the Strong for strength. There we shall find comfort, consolation, and tender sympathy.
Christ interposes between us and the difficulties that appear so formidable. The flame and the flood are behind Him. Then lift Him up, with voice and song, and let the melody of thanksgiving and praise ascend to heaven in your life service. Keep cheerful, full of faith and courage and hope. Elijah was subject to like passions as we are, yet the Lord was his strength. He prayed most earnestly, and the Lord heard his prayer. Let us, under all circumstances, preserve our confidence in Christ. He is to be everything to us—the first, the last, the best in everything. Then let us educate our tongues to speak forth His praise, not only when we feel gladness and joy, but at all times.
Let us keep the heart full of God’s precious promises, that we may speak words that will be a comfort and strength to others. Thus we may learn the language of the heavenly angels, who, if we are faithful, will be our companions through the eternal ages. Every day we should make advancement in gaining perfection of character, and this we shall certainly do if we press toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus. Let us not talk of the great power of Satan, but of the great power of God. We are to speak even as Christ spoke, allowing no harsh, impatient words to fall from our lips. Thus we shall be a savor of life to all with whom we come in contact.
In every soul two powers are struggling earnestly for the victory. Unbelief marshals its forces, led by Satan, to cut us off from the source of our strength. Faith marshals its forces, led by Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Hour by hour, in the sight of the heavenly universe the conflict goes forward. This is a hand-to-hand fight, and the great question is, Which shall obtain the mastery? This question each must decide for himself. In this warfare all must take a part, fighting on one side or the other. From the conflict there is no release.
Paul says to those who are fighting on the side of truth: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). We are urged to prepare for this conflict. “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10, 11). The warning is repeated, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (verse 13).
He who is mighty in counsel, to whom all power in heaven and earth has been given, will come to the help of those who trust in Him. In the Scriptures we read that in certain places Christ could not do many mighty works, because of the unbelief existing there. It is of great importance that we have a faith that will not wait for the evidence of sight before it ventures to advance. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:3–6).
The Youth’s Instructor, January 10, 1901.