Peace in CHRIST
Our Saviour represents his requirements as a yoke, and the Christian life as one of burden-bearing. Yet, contrasting these with the cruel power of Satan and the burdens imposed by sin, he declares, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
When we try to live the life of a Christian, to bear its responsibilities and perform its duties, without Christ as a helper, the yoke is galling, the burden intolerably heavy. But Jesus does not desire us to do this. He bids the weary and heavy-laden, “Come unto me, . . . and I will give you rest.” “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Here is revealed the secret of that rest which Christ promises to bestow. We must possess his meekness of spirit, and we shall find peace in him.
Many profess to come to Christ, while yet they cling to their own ways, which are as a painful yoke. Selfishness, love of the world, or other cherished sin, destroys their peace and joy. My fellow Christian, whatever may be your lot in life, remember that you are in the service of Christ. Whatever your burden or cross, lift it in the name of Jesus; bear it in his strength. He pronounces the yoke easy and the burden light, and I believe him. I have proved the truth of his words.
Those who are restless, impatient, dissatisfied, under the weight of care and responsibility, are seeking to carry their burden without the aid of Jesus. If he were by their side, the sunshine of his presence would scatter every cloud, the help of his strong arm would lighten every burden. The church is becoming weak for the want of consecrated members, who feel that they are not their own; that their time, their talents, their energies belong to Christ; that he has bought them with his blood, and is pleading for them in the Sanctuary above.
We cumber ourselves with needless cares and anxieties, and weigh ourselves down with heavy burdens, because we do not learn of Jesus. Many are so fearful of provoking unfriendly criticism or malicious gossip that they dare not act from principle. They dare not identify themselves with those who follow Christ fully. They desire to conform to worldly customs, and secure the approbation of worldlings. Christ gave himself for us “that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Christ’s true followers are unlike the world in words, in works, and in deportment. Oh, why will not all his professed children follow him fully? Why will any bear burdens which he has not imposed?
We would be much happier and more useful, if our home life and social intercourse were governed by the meekness and simplicity of Christ. Instead of toiling for display, to excite the admiration or the envy of visitors, we should endeavor to make all around us happy by our cheerfulness, sympathy, and love. Let visitors see that we are striving to conform to the will of Christ. Let them see in us even though our lot is humble, a spirit of content and gratitude. The very atmosphere of a truly Christian home is that of peace and restfulness. Such an example will not be without effect. Right thoughts and new desires will be awakened in the heart of the most careless.
In our efforts for the comfort and happiness of guests, let us not overlook our obligations to God. The hour of prayer should not be neglected for any consideration. Do not talk and amuse yourselves till all are too weary to enjoy the season of devotion. To do this, is to present to God a lame offering. At an early hour of the evening, when we can pray unhurriedly and understandingly, we should present our supplications, and raise our voices in happy, grateful praise.
Let all who visit Christians see that the hour of prayer is the most precious, the most sacred, and the happiest hour of the day. These seasons of devotion exert a refining, elevating influence upon all who participate in them. They bring a peace and rest grateful to the spirit.
In every act of life Christians should seek to represent Christ,–seek to make his service appear attractive. Let none make religion repulsive by groans and sighs and a relation of their trials, their self-denials, and sacrifices. Do not give the lie to your profession of faith by impatience, fretfulness, and repining. Let the graces of the Spirit be manifested in kindness, meekness, forbearance, cheerfulness, and love. Let it be seen that the love of Christ is an abiding motive; that your religion is not a dress to be put off and on to suit circumstances, but a principle, calm, steady, unwavering. Alas that pride, unbelief, and selfishness, like a foul cancer, are eating out vital godliness from the heart of many a professed Christian! When judged according to their works, how many will learn, too late, that their religion was but a glittering cheat, unacknowledged by Jesus Christ.
Love to Jesus will be seen, will be felt. It cannot be hidden. It exerts a wondrous power. It makes the timid bold, the slothful diligent, the ignorant wise. It makes the stammering tongue eloquent, and rouses the dormant intellect into new life and vigor. It makes the desponding hopeful, the gloomy joyous. Love to Christ will lead its possessor to accept responsibilities for his sake, and to bear them in his strength. Love to Christ will not be dismayed by tribulation, nor turned aside from duty by reproaches. The soul that is not imbued with this love for Jesus is none of his.
Peace in Christ is of more value than all the treasures of earth. Let us seek the Lord with all our heart, let us learn of Christ to be meek and lowly, that we may find rest of soul. Let us arouse our dormant energies, and become active, earnest, fervent. The very example and deportment as well as the words of the Christian should be such as to awaken in the sinner a desire to come to the Fountain of life.
Let us open our hearts to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Let us work cheerfully, joyfully in the service of our Master. A slothful, languid professor will never secure an abundant entrance into the kingdom of God. From the cross to the crown there is earnest work to be done. There is wrestling with inbred sin; there is warfare against outward wrong.
The Christian life is a battle and a march. Let us go forward, for we are striving for an immortal crown. Let us give diligence to make our calling and election sure. We shall triumph at last, if we do not become weary in well-doing.
— E.G. White, Review and Herald, November 29, 1887