“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Jesus is to be reflected in the Christian’s deportment; our characters must be beautiful with the graces of heaven. The presence of God is to be an abiding presence with us; wherever we are, we are to carry light to the world. Those around us should realize that the atmosphere of heaven surrounds us.
But many say, “How can I help sinning? I have tried to overcome, but I do not make advancement.” In your own strength you will fail, but help has been laid upon One who is mighty. In His strength you may be more than conqueror. Say, “Through the grace of God I will be an overcomer.” Put your will on the side of God’s will, and with your eye fixed upon Him who is the author and finisher of your faith, you may make straight paths for your feet. When you are tempted, say, “Jesus is my Saviour, I love Him because He first loved me.” Show that you trust Him. As you walk the streets, as you work about your house, you can communicate with your Lord; lay hold upon Him by living faith, and believe His word to the letter.
Now suppose you put away all murmuring and complaining, and look to the light. Let us try it, and see what kind of a life we shall have. When Satan suggests doubt and darkness, say, “I will be free, I am free,” and when Satan tells you that you are a sinner, tell him, “I know it; but Jesus said, ‘I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ ” Ask God to help you to place your thoughts upon Jesus, and Satan cannot control your mind. Put away all commonness; determine that through Jesus you will elevate your soul above all that is low and earthly, and become lights to the world. Let your words be as choice silver, your conversation full of hope and courage in the Lord, and wherever you are those around you will realize that a precious influence goes with you. The light and love and power of God will rest upon you.
Through the mercy of God we have been taken out of the quarry of the world by the mighty cleaver of truth, and we are to be hewn and polished, and fitted for the heavenly building. … As pilgrims we have been brought into the highway cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in; and we should go in this way with rejoicing, instead of with complaining. This privilege has been bought for us at an infinite cost, and we ought to manifest our joy and gratitude that we are permitted to be numbered among the children of God. Should we walk from day to day with rejoicing and gladness of heart, showing forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light, what effect should we have upon the minds of those around us? They would say, “Certainly they have been with Jesus, and have learned of Him.”
Our lives will not be all sunshine; there will be trials. “In the world ye shall have tribulation,” says Christ; but in Me ye shall have peace. But the trials are for a purpose. Pride, selfishness, evil passions, and love of worldly pleasures, must all be overcome; therefore afflictions come to test and prove us, and show that these evils exist in the character. We must overcome them through divine strength and grace, that we may become like Jesus, our perfect pattern. Afflictions, crosses, temptations, adversity—all our varied trials—are God’s workmen to refine and sanctify us, and make us channels of light to the world. And “our light affliction,” says Paul, “which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
Trials are also God’s appointed means to separate the chaff from the wheat. Satan never sleeps. He is watching to lead souls away from Christ. He suggests worldly principles. The “good seed” is choked in many hearts, because it is overgrown with unnecessary cares and needless anxiety—with love for the worldly pleasures and honors that riches give. Meetings are neglected; the heart is not strengthened by these religious privileges, because time and energy are absorbed in money-getting. In other cases there is no depth and stability of character. Principle does not reach down deep, underlying the springs of action. When such persons are tested and proved by the heat of trial and temptation, when the pruning knife of God is applied, that they may bring forth fruit unto perfection, their zeal dies, their piety withers.
The sincere believers of truth are often made sad, and their trials greatly increased, by elements among them that annoy and dishearten them in their efforts. But there is no need of doubts and fears that the work of God will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and He will set everything in order. Let us have faith that He is going to carry the noble ship which bears His people, safely into port. … When you think that the work of God is in danger, pray, “Lord, stand at the wheel; carry us through this perplexity; bring us safely into port.” Have we not reason to believe that the Lord will bring us through triumphantly?
With each one it is an individual work. You are to commit the keeping of your soul unto God as unto a faithful Creator. When you do this, you will know something of the love of God; for it will abound in your heart unto His glory. When you come together for the worship of God, the meetings will be uplifting in character; for the Lord will put a new song into your mouth, even praise unto our God. You will say, “Hear what the Lord has done for my soul.” Your soul will be all light in the Lord. Perhaps you have been looking on the dark side of the picture. Now, turn to the other side. Turn the dark side to the wall, and look on the beautiful pictures of the love of God. Educate your tongue to talk of God’s mercy, and speak forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light. Let us answer to the purpose of God, and be indeed the “light of the world.” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, July 15, 1892