Our work now is to confirm our souls in the faith,—that faith which is a working faith, which works by love and purifies the soul. Faith, living, active, working faith, we must have. Christ demands this of us. Verily Christ hath need of us now to represent him, not the cold, harsh, denunciatory, overbearing and ruling power of the prince of darkness. Those who are Christ’s friends will now do whatsoever he commands them. Stand, therefore, having on the whole armor, and having done all, to stand. Let the soul temple be cleansed of prejudice, of that root of bitterness, and hatred, whereby many are being defiled. Cling to the mighty one. Communicate to others light, with cheerful words, and with courage in the Lord. Labor to diffuse that faith and confidence that has been your own consolation. Let it be heard from every lip and voice, “Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: “for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
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“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” The man who waits upon the Lord is strong in his strength, strong enough to hold firm under great pressure. Yet he is easy to be entreated on the side of mercy and compassion, which is the side of Christ. The soul that is submissive to God is ready to do the will of God; he diligently and humbly seeks to know that will. He accepts discipline, and is afraid to walk according to his own finite judgment. He communes with God, and his conversation is in heaven.
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We shall be subject to heavy trials, opposition, bereavement, affliction, but we know that Jesus passed through all these. These experiences are valuable to us; the advantages of varying experiences are not by any means confined to this short life; they reach into eternal ages. Through patience, faith, and hope, in all the changing scenes of earth, we are forming characters for the everlasting life. And whatever we are called upon to bear, we may be assured that all things work together for good to those that love God.
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The dark hours of trial are to come to every one as a part of his education for higher work, for more devoted, consecrated effort. The storm was not sent upon the disciples to shipwreck them, but to test and prove them individually. Before the great trouble shall come upon the world such as has never been since there was a nation, those who have faltered and who would ignorantly lead in unsafe paths will reveal this before the real vital test, the last proving, comes, so that whatsoever they may say will not be regarded as voicing the True Shepherd. The time of our educating will soon be over. We have no time to lose in walking through clouds of doubt and uncertainty because of uncertain voices.
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We have a living Head, and every man in office where sacred responsibilities are involved must inquire at every step, “Is this the way of the Lord?” He must look constantly and continuously to Jesus for His guidance, and maintain principle at any cost. It is not what finite men can do, but what God can do through finite men who are teachable, humble, unselfish, and sanctified. We cannot put the least confidence in human ability, unless the divine power cooperate with the human. When men make God their trust, it will be evidenced by meekness, by much prayer, by love, by Christian politeness and genuine courtesy to all people, and by great caution in their position and movements. They will reveal dependence upon God, and give evidence that they have a firm platform of solid, uncontaminated principle beneath their feet. These men will show that they have the mind of Christ.
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But when the world makes void the law of God, what will be the effect upon the truly obedient and righteous? Will they be carried away by the strong current of evil? Because so many rank themselves under the banner of the prince of darkness, will God’s commandment keeping people swerve from their allegiance? Never! Not one who is abiding in Christ will fail or fall. His followers will bow in obedience to a higher authority than that of any earthly potentate. While the contempt placed upon God’s commandments leads many to suppress the truth and show less reverence for it, the faithful ones will with greater earnestness hold aloft its distinguishing truths. We are not left to our own direction. In all our ways we should acknowledge God, and he will direct our paths. We should consult his word with humble hearts, ask his counsel, and give up our will to his. We can do nothing without God.
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There must be a life-giving power in the ministry. Life must be infused into the missionaries in every place, that they may go forth giving the trumpet no uncertain sound, but with heaven-sent, awakening power, such as can be found only in the preaching of Jesus Christ—His love, His forgiveness, His grace. Justification by faith is to be accepted by every soul, not according to some lifeless, dead idea, but according to the truth presented in the gospel. It is Christ that we need. It is Christ that every sinner needs. Let Him be presented in the Spirit and with power—Christ’s humiliation, His meekness, and His lowly life of poverty, that every son and daughter of Adam might be made rich. He died our Sacrifice. He rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven, and there intercedes in man’s behalf that he might be brought to believe on Him whom the Father hath sent.
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