Courage in the Lord
Well may our hearts turn to our Redeemer with the most perfect trust, when we think of what he has done for us, even when we were sinners. Through faith we may rest in his love. “Him that cometh to me,” he says, “I will in no wise cast out.” It would be a terrible thing to stand before God clothed in sinful garments, with his eye reading every secret of our lives. But through the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice we may stand before God pure and spotless, our sins atoned for and pardoned. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The redeemed sinner, clothed in the robes of Christ’s righteousness, may stand in the presence of a sin-hating God, made perfect by the merits of the Saviour. “As many as received him,” the promise is, “to them gave he power to become the sons of God.”
Christ has given us no assurance that to attain to perfection of character is an easy matter. It is a conflict, a battle and a march, day by day. It is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of heaven. In order to share with Christ in his glory we must share in his suffering. “It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” “Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” He has overcome for us. Shall we, then, be timid and cowardly because of the trials that we meet as we advance? Shall we not meet them without repining and complaining?
When we have a deeper appreciation of the mercy and loving-kindness of God, we shall praise him, instead of complaining. We shall talk of the loving watchcare of the Lord, of the tender compassion of the Good Shepherd. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining. Praise, like a clear, flowing stream, will come from God’s truly believing ones. They will say, “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.”
Why not awake the voice of spiritual song in the days of our pilgrimage? Why not return to our life of fervor? We need to study God’s Word, to meditate and pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the notes of thanksgiving sung by the heavenly choir around the throne. When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assembly of the saints. Little disappointments and difficulties will be lost sight of.
The Lord is our helper. He will guide us in all matters, if we will trust him. One thing is certain, we must have faith in God,–faith that he will arrange matters in a way that will enable us to work successfully. No one ever trusted God in vain. He never disappoints those who put their dependence on him. If we would only do the work that the Lord would have us do, walking in the footsteps of Jesus, our hearts would become sacred harps, every chord of which would send forth praise and thanksgiving to the One sent by God to take away the sin of the world.
“Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth forever.” They praised God for the victory, and four days thereafter the army returned to Jerusalem, laden with the spoils of their enemies, singing praise for the victory won.
Do you not think that if more of this were done now, our hope and courage and faith would be revived? Would not the hands of the soldiers who are standing in defense of the truth be strengthened? If there were much more praising the Lord, and far less doleful recitation of discouragement, many more victories would be gained.
God is the eternal, uncreated Fountain of all good. All who trust in him will find him to be this. To those who serve him, looking to him as their Heavenly Father, he gives the assurance that he will fulfil his promises. His joy will be in their hearts, and their joy will be full.
It is our privilege to open our hearts, and let the sunshine of Christ’s presence in. My brother, my sister, face the light. Come into actual, personal contact with Christ, that you may exert an influence that is uplifting and reviving. Let your faith be strong and pure and steadfast. Let gratitude to God fill your hearts. When you rise in the morning, kneel at your bedside, and ask God to give you strength to fulfil the duties of the day, and to meet its temptations. Ask him to help you to bring into your work Christ’s sweetness of character. Ask him to help you to speak words that will inspire those around you with hope and courage, and draw you nearer to the Saviour.
— E.G. White, Review and Herald, May 5, 1910