Christ says to His followers, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Then let your light shine forth in clear, steady rays, Do not wrap about you a cloud of darkness. Cease to suspect others. By good works represent the character of Christ. When you are tempted to yield to despondency, look to Jesus, and talk with Him. Your Elder Brother will never make a mistake. He will judge righteously. He will guide you aright.
God is not pleased to see His children wrapped in gloom and sadness. His arm is mighty to save all who will lay hold on Him. He desires us to be cheerful, but not trifling. He says to each one of us, “But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:15). God wants us to be happy. He desires to put a new song on our lips, even praise to our God. He wants us to believe that He forgives our sins, and takes away our unrighteousness. He wants us to make melody in our hearts to Him.
The “hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18) – what is it? – The hope of eternal life. Nothing short of this will satisfy the Redeemer; and it is our part to lay hold of this hope by living faith in Him. If we are partakers with Him in His sufferings, we shall be partakers with Him in the glory which will be His; for His merits have purchased forgiveness and immortality for every sinful, perishing soul. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” Our trust in this hope, purchased for us by the atonement and intercession of Christ, is to keep us steadfast and unmovable in every hour of conflict. With such a hope as this before us, shall we allow Satan to cast his shadow across our pathway, to eclipse our view of the future?
Christ values human beings with a value that is beyond any human computation. Then let us encourage faith. Take your eyes off yourself. Faith and hope are not to be centered in self: they are to enter into that within the veil, whither our Forerunner is for us entered. Talk of the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are exposed to great moral danger; and if we trust in self, looking no higher, we shall make shipwreck of faith. Do not fail nor be discouraged. Hope is an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast when it enters into that within the veil. Thus the tempest-tossed soul becomes anchored in Christ. Amid the raging of temptation, he will neither be driven upon the rocks nor drawn into the whirlpool. His ship will outride the storm.
Close the door of the heart to distrust, and throw it open to the heavenly Guest. Put away all fretting and complaining; for these things are a snare of the devil. Let us make a pledge before God and the heavenly angels that we will not dishonor our Maker by cherishing darkness and unbelief, by speaking words of discouragement and mistrust. Let every word we utter, every line we write, be fraught with encouragement and unwavering faith. If we live faith, we shall talk faith. Think not that Jesus is the Saviour of your brother only. He is your personal Saviour. If you entertain this precious thought, you will beat back the clouds of despondency and gloom, and make melody to God in your soul. It is our privilege to triumph in God. It is our privilege to lead others to see that their only hope is in God, and to flee to Him for refuge.
Every act of consecration to God brings joy; for as we appreciate the light He has given us, more and greater light will come. We must banish the spirit of complaining, and open the heart to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. There is peace in perfect submission. Peace follows grace. They work in perfect harmony, and are multiplied in progression. When the hand of faith takes hold of the hand of Christ, the expression of the heart is: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 1:3, 4).
Open the windows of the soul heavenward, and let the rays of the Sun of Righteousness in. Look on the bright side. Let the peace of God reign in your soul. Then you will have strength to bear all suffering, and you will rejoice that you have grace to endure. Praise the Lord; talk of His goodness; tell of His power. Sweeten the atmosphere that surrounds your soul. Do not dishonor God by words of fretfulness and repining. Praise, with heart and soul and voice, Him who is the health of your countenance, your Saviour, and your God.
The Youth’s Instructor, December 27, 1900.