In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33.
The world's Redeemer presents to His followers the plan of the battle in which they are called to engage, and He bids them count the cost. He assures them that angels who excel in strength shall be in His army, and will enable those who trust in Him to fight valiantly. One shall chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight--not through their own strength, but through the power of Omnipotence. . . . The Captain of the Lord's host is with them, taking the command of the armies, and leading them on to victory.
Because of their human frailty, because of their sinfulness, they may fear and tremble as they view the vast hosts of the powers of darkness; but they may rejoice as they look upon the angels of God ready to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They may rejoice as they realise that the Captain of the Lord's host will lead them forward in every conflict against natural and supernatural foes. . . . Your Leader is a conqueror. Advance to victory. . . .
How precious are these assurances that we shall never be left to take one step in our own finite strength, for He has said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Heb. 13:5. We are fighting in the presence of invisible hosts. Unseen intelligences survey the whole array of evil, and help is at hand. We shall not only be provided with that which is necessary but shall be placed upon vantage ground. . . .
To every Christian comes the word that was addressed to Peter, "Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." Luke 22:31. Thank God we are not left alone. This is our safety. Satan can never touch with eternal disaster one whom Christ has prepared for temptation by His previous intercession; for grace is provided in Christ for every soul, and a way of escape has been made, so that no one need fall under the power of the enemy.
Chap. 306 - Will You Bear the Refiner's Fire?
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:17.
Gold is tried in the fire, that it may be purified from dross; but faith that is purified by trial, is more precious than refined gold. Then let us look upon trials in a reasonable way. Let us not come through them with murmuring and discontent. Let us not make mistakes in getting out of them. In times of trial we must cling to God and His promises.
Some have said to me, "Do you not get discouraged at times when you are under trial?" And I have answered, "Yes, if by discouragement you mean sad or cast down." "Didn't you talk to any one of your feelings?" "No; there is a time for silence, a time to keep the tongue as with a bridle, and I was determined to utter no word of doubt or darkness, to bring no shade of gloom upon those with whom I was associated. I have said to myself, I will bear the Refiner's fire; I shall not be consumed. When I speak, it shall be of light; it shall be of faith and hope in God; it shall be of righteousness, of goodness, of the love of Christ my Saviour; it shall be to direct the minds of others toward heaven and heavenly things, to Christ's work in heaven for us, and our work upon earth for Him."
The refining furnace is to remove the dross. When the Refiner sees His image reflected in you perfectly, He will remove you from the furnace. You will not be left to be consumed or to endure the fiery ordeal any longer than is necessary for your purification. But it is necessary for you, in order to reflect the divine image, to submit to the process the Refiner chooses for you, that you may be cleansed, purified, and every spot and blemish removed--not even a wrinkle left in your Christian character. May the Lord help you . . . to choose to have the will and work of God accomplished in you. . . . Look up! Jesus lives. Jesus loves. Jesus pities, and He will receive you with all your burden of care and trouble if you will come to Him and lay your burden upon Him. He has promised He will never leave or forsake those who put their trust in Him.
Chap. 307 - Joy Through Suffering with Christ
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12, 13.
We do not always consider that the sanctification we so earnestly desire and for which we pray so earnestly is brought about through the truth and, by the providence of God, in a manner we least expect. When we look for joy, behold there is sorrow. When we expect peace, we frequently have distrust and doubt, because we find ourselves plunged into trials we cannot avoid. In these trials we are having the answers to our prayers. In order for us to be purified, the fire of affliction must kindle upon us, and our will must be brought into conformity to the will of God. . . . God sees it best to put us under a course of discipline which is essential for us before we are fit subjects for the blessing we crave.
We should not become discouraged and give way to doubt, and think that our prayers are not noticed. We should rely more securely upon Christ and leave our case with God to answer our prayers in His own way. God has not promised to bestow His blessings through the channels we have marked out. . . . The plans of God are always the best, although we may not always discern them. Perfection of Christian character can be obtained only through labour, conflict, and self-denial. We do not always count upon this, and do not consider the painful and often protracted process of purifying necessary for us in order that we may be conformed to the image of Christ. God frequently answers our prayers in a way we least expect. He brings us into positions which are the most trying, to reveal what is in our hearts. To further the development of Christian graces He will place us in circumstances which will demand increased exertion on our part to keep our faith in lively exercise.
Let us bear in mind how inestimably precious are the gifts of God-- the graces of His Spirit--and we shall not shrink from the trying, testing process, be it ever so painful or humiliating to us.
Chap. 308 - Token of the Everlasting Covenant
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. Gen. 9:16.
Some time ago, we were favoured with a view of the most glorious rainbow we ever beheld. We have often visited galleries of art, and have admired the skill displayed by the artist in paintings representing God's great bow of promise. But here we saw the varied tints--crimson, purple, blue, green, silver, and golden, all perfectly blended by the great Master Artist. We were entranced as we looked upon this glorious picture in the heavens.
As we look upon this bow, the seal and sign of God's promise to man, that the tempest of His wrath should no more desolate our world by the waters of a flood, we contemplate that other than finite eyes are looking upon this glorious sight. Angels rejoice as they gaze upon this precious token of God's love to man. The world's Redeemer looks upon it; for it was through His instrumentality that this bow was made to appear in the heavens, as a token or covenant of promise to man. God Himself looks upon the bow in the clouds, and remembers His everlasting covenant between Himself and man. . . . The bow represents Christ's love which encircles the earth, and reaches unto the highest heavens, connecting men with God, and linking earth with heaven.
As we gaze upon the beautiful sight, we may be joyful in God, assured that He Himself is looking upon this token of His covenant, and that as He looks upon it He remembers the children of earth, to whom it was given. Their afflictions, perils, and trials are not hidden from Him. We may rejoice in hope, for the bow of God's covenant is over us. He never will forget the children of His care. How difficult for the mind of finite man to take in the peculiar love and tenderness of God, and His matchless condescension when He said, "I will look upon the bow in the cloud, and remember thee."
Oh, how easy for us to forget God, while He never forgets us; He visits us with His mercies every hour.
Chap. 309 - God Speaks Through the Silence
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev. 1:9.
By permitting John to be banished to the Isle of Patmos, Christ placed His disciple in a position where he could receive the most precious truth for the enlightenment of the churches. He placed him in solitude, that his ear and his heart might be sanctified to receive this truth. . . . The persecution of John's enemies became a means of grace. Patmos was made resplendent by the glory of a risen Saviour. . . . What a Sabbath that was to the lonely exile! . . . Never had he learned so much of Jesus. Never had he heard such exalted truth.
The worker for God often regards the activities of life as essential to the advancement of the work. Self is mingled with all that is said and done. . . . The worker looks upon himself as a necessity. God says, "This poor soul has lost sight of Me and My sufficiency. I must cast My light and My vitalizing power into his heart. I must prepare him to receive truth by anointing him with the heavenly eyesalve. He sees too many things. His eye is not fastened on Me. . . ."
Sometimes the Lord makes His path to the soul by a process painful to humanity. He is compelled to fortify the soul against self-esteem and self-dependence, in order that the worker shall not regard the failings and infirmities of his unsanctified nature as virtues, and thus be ruined by self-exaltation.
If those who claim to believe the grand truths for this time would prepare themselves by searching the Scriptures, by earnest prayer, and by the exercise of faith, they would place themselves where they would receive the light they so much crave. . . . The eloquence of silence before God is often essential. If the mind is kept in continual excitement, the ear is prevented from hearing the truth that the Lord would communicate to His believing ones. Christ takes His children from that which holds their attention, that they may behold His glory.
Chap. 310 - The Training Necessary for Heaven
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10.
The Lord will work for those who put their trust in Him. Precious victories will be gained by the faithful. Precious lessons will be learned. Precious experiences will be realised that will be of the greatest advantage in times of trial and temptation. Those who will give all the glory to God, not taking credit to themselves, will be trusted with more and more of the blessing of God. The Lord will be magnified by those who honour Him in the midst of the people. The trial that has been borne with patience, the test that has been met with faithfulness, will prove them worthy of responsibility, and God will make them agents to carry out His will. . . .
The conflicts of earth, in the providence of God, furnish the very training necessary to develop characters fit for the courts of heaven. We are to become members of the royal family, the sons of God, and "all things work together for good" to those who love God, and submit themselves to His will.
Our God is an ever-present help in every time of need. He is perfectly acquainted with the most secret thoughts of our heart, with all the intents and purposes of our souls. When we are in perplexity, even before we open to Him our distress, He is making arrangements for our deliverance. Our sorrow is not unnoticed. He always knows much better than we do, just what is necessary for the good of His children, and He leads us as we would choose to be led if we could discern our own hearts and see our necessities and perils, as God sees them. But finite beings seldom know themselves. They do not understand their own weakness. . . . God knows them better than they know themselves, and He understands how to lead them. . . .
If we will trust Him, and commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps in the very path that will result in our obtaining the victory over every evil passion, and every trait of character that is unlike the character of our divine Pattern.
Chap. 311 - God Knows What is Best
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Heb. 12:11.
God knows what is for our best good. The peculiar discipline to which we are subject is discipline to bring out not the worst and most unlovely traits of character, but the meekness and loveliness of Christ, developing the precious graces of Christ.
You need to learn in Christ's school to become Christlike. God adapts His grace to the peculiarities of each one's necessities. "My grace is sufficient for thee." 2 Cor. 12:9. As your burden grows heavier look up and by faith cling more firmly to the hand of Jesus, your mighty helper. As difficulties thicken about His people amid the perils of the last days, He sends His angels to walk all the way by our side, drawing us closer and still closer to the bleeding side of Jesus. And as the greater trials come, lesser trials are forgotten. . . .
You must remain pure and true and firm, remembering your character is being imprinted upon the books of heaven. . . . There is no circumstance or place or difficulty or hardship, where we cannot live beautiful lives of Christian fidelity and approved conduct. . . . Victory is not found in shunning trials--getting rid of them--but in meeting them heroically, enduring them patiently.
Everyone will meet with trials. . . . If you look to Jesus, if you believe in Him as your personal Saviour, you will be brought through every trial, and enduring these trials with patience, you will become stronger to endure the next test, the next trial.
It is only the narrowness of our vision that prevents us from discerning God's loving-kindness in the discipline to which He subjects His church, as well as in the great blessings which He provides. In all times of distress and confusion, God is a sure refuge to His people. In the shadow of His protection they may safely keep His way. In the affliction designed to purify them, the power of the gospel is to be their consolation. In His sure word they have a fortress.
Chap. 312 - All Things Work Together
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28.
The heart surrendered to God's wise discipline will trust every working out of His providence.... If God should let everyone do as he pleases, conceit and pride would be fostered, and the grace of humility would not be cherished in the heart. True culture is only possible for those who are truly humble.
The things we may so much desire to do may become a reality after God has proved us in the school of experience, and among our greatest blessings may be counted the thing we were not privileged to do, that would have barred the way from doing the very things best calculated to prepare us for a higher work. The plain, sober duties of real life were essential to prevent the fruitless striving to do things that we were not fitted to do. Our devised plans often fail that God's plans for us may be a complete success. Oh, it is in the future life we shall see the tangles and mysteries of life, that have so annoyed and disappointed our fond hopes, explained. We will see that the prayers and hopes for certain things which have been withheld have been among our greatest blessings.
We need not expect all sunshine in this world. Clouds and storms will cluster about us, and we must be prepared to keep our eyes directed where we saw the light last. Its rays may be hidden but they still live, still shine beyond the cloud. It is our work to wait, to watch, to pray, and to believe. We shall prize the light of the sun more highly after the clouds disappear. We shall see the salvation of God if we trust in God in the darkness as well as in the light.
All trials, all afflictions, all peace, all safety, health, hope, life, and success are in God's hands, and He can control them all for the good of His children. It is our privilege to be suppliants, to ask anything and everything of God, submitting our request in submission to His wise purposes and infinite will.
Chap. 313 - Seeing the Unseen
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:17, 18.
If our minds are fixed upon the things that are eternal, and not on the things of earth, we shall grasp the hand of infinite power, and what can make us sad? . . .
We need not be left a prey to Satan's power. . . . The children of God should not permit Satan to place himself between them and their God. If you permit him to do this, he will tell you that your troubles are the most grievous, the sorest troubles that any mortal ever bore. He will place his magnifying glasses before your eyes, and present everything to you in an exaggerated form to overwhelm you with discouragement.... Take the Word of God as the man of your counsel, and humble your doubting soul before God, and with contrition of heart say, "Here I lay my burden down. I cannot bear it. It is too heavy for me. I lay it down at the feet of my compassionate Redeemer." . . .
When Satan tempts you, breathe not a word of doubt or darkness. You may have your choice as to who shall rule your heart and control your mind. If you choose to open the door to the suggestions of the evil one, your mind will be filled with distrust and rebellious questioning. You may talk out your feelings, but every doubt you utter is a seed that will germinate and bear fruit in another's life, and it will be impossible to counteract the influence of your words. You may be able to recover from your season of temptation, and from the snare of Satan, but others that have been swayed by your influence may not be able to escape from the unbelief you have suggested. How important it is that we speak to those around us only those things which will give spiritual strength and enlightenment! Let us seek to lift souls to Jesus, whom having not seen we may love, and be filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Chap. 314 - No Power can Separate from Christ
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Rom. 8:35.
How precious in time of need is the assurance of union with Jesus! ... We can say. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation?"--No, for this makes us feel that Christ alone is our refuge, and we flee to Him for shelter. "Or distress?"--No, for He is our consolation. "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort: who comforteth us in all our tribulation. . . ." 2 Cor. 1:3, 4.
"Or persecution?"--No; "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:10.... "Or famine?"--No, for we have God's promise,... "In famine he shall redeem thee from death." Job 5:20. ". . . In the days of famine they shall be satisfied." Ps. 37:19. In fleeing unto Jesus we shall be fully satisfied. "Or nakedness?"--Hear the voice of Jesus saying, "Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." Rev. 3:18. . . . "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment." Rev. 3:5. . . .
"Or peril?"--No; Paul knew by experience what it was to be in peril. . . . "In perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren." 2 Cor. 11:26. "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee." 2 Cor. 12:9. . . . "Or sword?" . . . The sword cannot kill the soul, for the life is hid with Christ in God.
Well may we ask with Paul, "Who shall separate us from the love of God?" And answer, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 8:38, 39.
Chap. 315 - The Crucible of Trouble
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. Jer. 30:7.
The path to freedom from sin is through crucifixion of self, and conflict with the powers of darkness. Let none be discouraged in view of the severe trials to be met in the time of Jacob's trouble, which is yet before them. They are to work earnestly, anxiously, not for that time, but for today. What we want is to have a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ now, and a personal experience now. In these precious closing hours of probation, we have a deep and living experience to gain. We shall thus form characters that will ensure our deliverance in the time of trouble.
The time of trouble is the crucible that is to bring out Christlike characters. It is designed to lead the people of God to renounce Satan and his temptations. The last conflict will reveal Satan to them in his true character, that of a cruel tyrant, and it will do for them what nothing else could do, uproot him entirely from their affections. For to love and cherish sin, is to love and cherish its author, that deadly foe of Christ. When they excuse sin and cling to perversity of character, they give Satan a place in their affections, and pay him homage.
All heaven is interested in man and desires his salvation. This is the great aim in all God's dealings with individuals.... It is a matter of the greatest wonder to the heavenly host that so few care to be freed from the bondage of evil influences, so few are willing to exercise all their powers in harmony with Christ in the great work of their deliverance. If men could have unveiled before them the workings of the great deceiver to keep them in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity, how earnest would they be to renounce the works of darkness, how guarded lest they yield to temptation, how careful to see and remove every defect which mars the image of God in them; how they would press to the side of Jesus, and what earnest supplications would ascend to heaven for a calmer, closer, happier, walk with God.
Chap. 316 - A Jewel or a Pebble?
In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts. Haggai 2:23.
Christians are Christ's jewels. They are to shine brightly for Him, shedding forth the light of His loveliness. Their lustre depends on the polishing they receive. They may choose to be polished or to remain unpolished. But everyone who is pronounced worthy of a place in the Lord's temple must submit to the polishing process. Without the polishing that the Lord gives they can reflect no more light than a common pebble.
Christ says to man, "You are mine. I have bought you. You are now only a rough stone, but if you will place yourself in my hands, I will polish you, and the lustre with which you shall shine will bring honour to My name. No man shall pluck you out of My hand. I will make you My peculiar treasure. On My coronation day, you will be a jewel in My crown of rejoicing."
The divine Worker spends little time on worthless material. Only the precious jewels does He polish after the similitude of a palace, cutting away all the rough edges. This process is severe and trying; it hurts human pride. Christ cuts deep into the experience that man in his self-sufficiency has regarded as complete, and takes away self-uplifting from the character. He cuts away the surplus surface, and putting the stone to the polishing wheel, presses it close, that all roughness may be worn away. Then, holding the jewel up to the light, the Master sees in it a reflection of Himself, and He pronounces it worthy of a place in His casket. "In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee,... and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts." Blessed be the experience, however severe, that gives new value to the stone, and causes it to shine with living brightness.
God will not suffer one of His truehearted workers to be left alone to struggle against great odds and be overcome. He preserves as a precious jewel every one whose life is hid with Christ in God.
Chap. 317 - God Measures Every Trial
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. 10:13.
Each one has his own battles to fight, his own Christian experience to gain, independent in some respects from any other soul; and God has lessons for each to gain for himself that no other one can gain for him. . . . Our heavenly Father measures and weighs every trial before He permits it to come upon the believer. He considers the circumstances and the strength of the one who is to stand under the proving and test of God, and He never permits the temptations to be greater than the capacity of resistance. If the soul is overborne, the person overpowered, this can never be charged to God, ... but the one tempted was not vigilant and prayerful and did not appropriate by faith the provisions God had abundantly in store for him. Christ never failed a believer in His hour of combat. The believer must claim the promise and meet the foe in the name of the Lord....
Oh, there is a great work to be done for the people of God, ere they are prepared for translation to heaven! The heat of the furnace upon some must be severe to reveal the dross. Self will have to be crucified. When each believer is to the very extent of his knowledge obeying the Lord, and yet seeking to give no just occasion to his fellow men to oppress him, he should not fear the results, even though it be imprisonment and death....
The tender compassion of God is toward His people. Faith, wondrous faith--it leads the people of God in straight paths. Without this faith we shall certainly misunderstand His dealings with us, and distrust His love and faithfulness. Whatever may be the trials and sufferings, ... let there be no faintheartedness, no peevish repining, no complaining....
A single ray of the evidences of the undeserved favour of God shining into our hearts will overbalance every trial of whatever character and however severe it may be.
Chap. 318 - Faith Must Pierce the Gloom
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.... He also shall be my salvation. Job 13:15, 16.
The true Christian does not allow any earthly consideration to come in between his soul and God. . . .
When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God has changed. He is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Heb. 13:8. You are sure of the favour of God when you are sensible of the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but if the clouds sweep over your soul, you must not feel that you are forsaken. Your faith must pierce the gloom. Your eye must be single, and your whole body will be full of light. The riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind. Treasure up the lessons that His love provides. Let your faith be like Job's, that you may declare, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him."...
The most trying experiences in the Christian's life may be the most blessed. The special providences of the dark hours may encourage the soul in future attacks of Satan, and equip the servant of God to stand in fiery trials. The trial of your faith is more precious than gold. You must have that abiding confidence in God that is not disturbed by the temptations and arguments of the deceiver. Take the Lord at His word. You must study the promises, and appropriate them as you have need. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rom. 10:17....
It is faith that familiarizes the soul with the existence and presence of God; and when we live with an eye single to His glory, we discern more and more the beauty of His character. Our souls become strong in spiritual power, for we are breathing the atmosphere of heaven, and, realizing that God is at our right hand, we shall not be moved.... We should live as in the presence of the Infinite One....
Divine wisdom will order the steps of those who put their trust in the Lord. Divine love will encircle them, and they will realise the presence of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
Chap. 319 - "I Tasted the Lord's Goodness"
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:3.
Have you tasted that the Lord is gracious? Does your spiritual appetite crave communion with the Lord? You may discover that He is gracious, not by having all you desire, but by passing through the school of affliction. Since I was nine years old I have been learning in the school of affliction. In my early childhood I could find nothing desirable but the precious words of Jesus. Since I tasted the Word of God in all its sweetness, I have never lost the desire for more.
After I went to Australia I was afflicted with rheumatism and malaria. For eleven months I did not have the free use of my arms. After the first week of wonder as to what it all meant, I concluded it would be best to stop wondering, and to leave myself in the hands of the Lord. I tasted His goodness and found that He is gracious. Only a little while during the night could I forget the pain enough to sleep. Yet I tasted the Lord's goodness. The sense of His presence shut me in from the world, so that it seemed as if I could speak to Him face to face, as did Moses. Throughout all the pain and suffering, I felt that I had with me a heavenly Companion. . . .
Christ says, I am at thy right hand to help thee. What more could we in our weakness desire? Shall we go to one another with all our troubles, telling human beings the temptations we have and how weak we are? The Saviour is standing at our right hand, offering to lift us up, that we may "sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Eph. 2:6. But so often we turn away from Him and His promises, and tell our troubles to those who, like ourselves, are but mortal, with troubles which only Christ can bear. . . . Let us no longer dishonour God by turning from Him to human inefficiency. . . .
Take your troubles to the Master. Say, "Here I am, Lord. Thou knowest all about me, and Thou canst help me. I will follow in Thy footsteps and do Thy will." When you commit yourself to God, you may be sure that in all times of affliction you will have the very help that you need.
Chap. 320 - Rejoice!
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. . . . Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Phil. 4:4-6.
It may seem difficult to rejoice in the Lord when in trouble, but we lose a great deal by giving way to a spirit of complaint. It is our privilege to have in our hearts, at all times, the peace of Christ. We should not allow ourselves to be easily disturbed. It is to test us that God brings us through trials and difficulties, and if we are patient and trustful under His proving, He will purify us from all dross, and at last bring us forth with triumph and rejoicing. Great blessings are reserved for those who uncomplainingly submit to the yoke that God wishes them to bear. . . .
Let the light of truth shine forth in your life. Do you say, How shall I let it shine? If before you accepted the truth, you were impatient and fretful, let your life now show to those around you that the truth has had a sanctifying influence upon your heart and character, that instead of being fretful and impatient, you are now cheerful and uncomplaining. Thus you reveal Christ to the world. . . .
"In every thing give thanks" (1 Thess. 5:18) for the keeping power of God through Jesus Christ. . . . At the moment when you are offering your prayer for help you may not feel all the joy and blessing that you would like to feel, but if you believe that Christ will hear and answer your petition, the peace of Christ will come. . . .
If you take hold of the strength of the mighty Helper, and not reason with your adversary and never complain of God, His promises will be verified. The experience that you gain today in trusting Him will help you in meeting the difficulties of tomorrow. Each day you are to come, trusting as a little child drawing nearer to Jesus and heaven. In meeting with unwavering trust in God the daily trials and difficulties, you will again and again test the promises of Heaven, and each time you will learn a lesson of faith. Thus you will gain strength to resist temptation, and when the harder trials come, you will be able to endure.
Chap. 321 - Peace in Affliction
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7.
Jesus came to earth to be not only man's Redeemer but his great Exemplar. His was a perfect life, a life of meekness, lowliness, purity, and unlimited trust in God. . . . He taught us practically the great lesson of calm, constant, unwavering confidence in our heavenly Father. He permits temptations, trials, and afflictions to come to His loved ones. They are His providences, visitations of mercy to bring them back when they stray from His side, and give them a deeper sense of His presence and providential care. The peace that passeth understanding is not for those who shrink from trials, from struggles, and from self-denial. . . .
The eye of Jesus is upon us every moment. The clouds which intervene between the soul and the Sun of Righteousness are in the providence of God permitted to arise that our faith may be strengthened to grasp the great hopes, the sure promises, that shine undimmed through the darkness of every storm. Faith must grow through conflict and suffering. We must individually learn to suffer and be strong, and not sink down in weakness. . . .
It is a great kindness on the part of our heavenly Father when He allows us to be placed under circumstances that lessen the attractions of earth, and lead us to place our affections on things above. Frequently, the loss of earthly blessings teaches us more than their possession. When we pass through trials and afflictions, it is no evidence that Jesus does not love and bless us. The pitying Lamb of God identifies His interest with that of His suffering ones. He guards them every moment. He is acquainted with every grief; He knows every suggestion of Satan, every doubt that tortures the soul. . . . He is pleading the case of the tempted, the erring, and the faithless. He is striving to lift them into companionship with Himself. It is His work to sanctify His people, to cleanse, ennoble, and purify them, and fill their hearts with peace. He is thus fitting them for glory, honour, and eternal life; for an inheritance richer and more lasting than that of any earthly prince.
Chap. 322 - Christ's Legacy of Peace
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27.
Shortly before His crucifixion Christ bequeathed to His disciples a legacy of peace. . . . This peace is not the peace that comes through conformity with the world. It is an internal rather than an external peace. Without will be wars and fightings, through the opposition of avowed enemies, and the coldness and suspicion of those who claim to be friends. The peace of Christ is not to banish division, but it is to remain amid strife and division.
Though he bore the title of Prince of Peace, Christ said of Himself, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matt. 10:34. . . . The Prince of Peace, He was yet the cause of division.
Families must be divided in order that all who call upon the name of the Lord may be saved. All who refuse His infinite love will find Christianity a sword, a disturber of their peace. . . .
It is impossible for anyone to become a true follower of Jesus Christ without distinguishing himself from the worldly mass of unbelievers. If the world would accept of Jesus, then there would be no sword of dissension; for all would be disciples of Christ and in fellowship one with another, and their unity would be unbroken. But this is not the case. Here and there an individual member of a family is true to the convictions of his conscience, and is compelled to stand alone. . . . The line of demarcation is made distinct. One stands upon the Word of God, the others upon the traditions and sayings of men. . . .
The peace that Christ gave to His disciples, and for which we pray, is the peace that is born of truth, a peace that is not to be quenched because of division. Without may be wars and fightings, jealousies, envies, hatred, strife; but the peace of Christ is not that which the world giveth or taketh away.
Chap. 323 - The Foundation of All True Peace
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. John 16:33.
"That in me ye might have peace"--peace in Christ, peace through belief of the truth. The Comforter is called the Spirit of truth because there is comfort and hope and peace in the truth. Falsehood cannot give genuine peace; this can be received only through the truth. . . .
Jesus prayed that His followers might be one; but we are not to sacrifice the truth in order to secure this union, for we are to be sanctified through the truth. Here is the foundation of all true peace. Human wisdom would change all this, pronouncing this basis too narrow. Men would try to effect unity through concession to popular opinion, through compromise with the world, a sacrifice of vital godliness. But truth is God's basis for the unity of His people.
Sanctification, unity, peace--all are to be ours through the truth. The belief of the truth does not make men gloomy and uncomfortable. If you have peace in Christ, His precious blood is speaking pardon and hope to your soul. Yes, more, you have joy in the Holy Spirit, through accepting the precious promises. Jesus says, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33. Therefore the world shall not overcome you if you believe in Me. It is a world that I have conquered. Because I have overcome, if you believe in Me, you shall overcome. . . .
All that Jesus has promised, He will fulfil; and it is greatly dishonouring to Him for us to doubt Him. All His words are spirit and life. Accepted and obeyed, they will give peace and happiness and assurance forever. . . . Christ declares that He has given us peace; it belongs to us. And He has spoken these things, that in Him we may have that which through infinite sacrifice He had purchased for us--what He holds as ours. This peace we need not seek in the world, for the world has it not to bestow. It is in Christ. He will give it, in spite of the world, notwithstanding its threats and decrees, its alluring, deceiving promises.
Chap. 324 - A Superficial Experience Not Enough
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Phil. 2:15.
There is always danger of being satisfied with a superficial work; there is always danger that souls will not anchor themselves in God, but be content to drift hither and thither, the sport of Satan's temptations. . . . The work of the Spirit of God in the heart will develop true penitence, which will not end with confession, but will work a decided reformation in the daily life. There will be manifested an earnestness, a perseverance, and a determination that can be properly represented by agonizing. . . .
The fact that iniquity abounds, that we are surrounded by infidels and sceptics, or by professed Christians who have a name to live, and are dead, is no reason why one of us should be swept away by the current toward perdition. Because there is an almost universal forsaking of God, there is the greater need that we stand firm and loyal. . . . We must gather the divine rays from the Sun of Righteousness, and reflect them to the world. In the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, we must show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.
Nothing but a deep personal experience will enable us to stand the test of the trials and temptations we shall meet in the Christian warfare. Too often we feel well when everything goes smoothly; but when doubts assail the soul, and Satan whispers his suggestions, our defence is gone, and we yield quickly to the arts of the temper, with scarcely an effort to resist and repulse him, It is not enough to have good impulses. The soul must be barricaded by prayer and study the Scriptures. Armed with these weapons, Jesus encountered our wily foe on the field of battle, and overcame him. We may all conquer in His strength; but it will not answer for us to suppose that we can dispense with His help. He says, "Without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5. But no truly humble soul who walks in the light as Christ is in the light, will be ensnared by Satan's deceptive devices.
Chap. 325 - Rooted in Christ
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Ps. 92:12.
The Christian is likened to the cedar of Lebanon. I have read that this tree does more than send down a few short roots into the yielding loam. It sends strong roots deep down into the earth, and strikes down farther and still farther in search of a still stronger hold. And in the fierce blast of the tempest, it stands firm, held by its network of cables beneath.
So the Christian strikes root deep into Christ. He has faith in his Redeemer. He knows in whom he believes. He is fully persuaded that Jesus is the Son of God and the Saviour of sinners. . . . The roots of faith strike deep down. Genuine Christians, like the cedar of Lebanon, do not grow in the soft surface soil, but are rooted in God, riveted in the clefts of the mountain rocks.
If the Christian thrives and progresses at all, he must do so amid strangers to God, amid scoffing, subject to ridicule. He must stand upright like the palm tree in the desert. The sky may be as brass, the desert sand may beat about the palm tree's roots, and pile itself in heaps about its trunk. Yet the tree lives as an evergreen, fresh and vigorous amid the burning desert sands. Remove the sand till you reach the rootlets of the palm tree, and you discover the secret of its life; it strikes down deep beneath the surface, to the secret waters hidden in the earth.
As the palm tree, drawing nourishment from fountains of living water, is green and flourishing in the midst of the desert, so the Christian may draw rich supplies of grace from the fountain of God's love, and may guide weary souls, that are full of unrest and ready to perish in the desert of sin, to those waters of which they may drink, and live. The Christian is ever pointing his fellow men to Jesus, who invites, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." John 7:37. This fountain never fails us; we may draw, and draw again.
Chap. 326 - No Taproot?
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Cor. 15:58.
In order to be firmly anchored, there must be something firm to hold us; and nothing will avail until Christ takes possession of the soul. . . . Many who now appear strong, and talk in vindication of the truth, are not rooted and grounded. They have no tap-root; and when the storms of opposition and persecution come, they are like a tree uprooted by the blast.
We shall be attacked on every point; we shall be tried to the utmost. We do not want to hold our faith simply because it was handed down to us by our fathers, Such a faith will not stand the terrible test that is before us. We want to know why we are Seventh-day Adventists --what real reason we have for coming out from the world as a separate and distinct people. . . .
When men are willing to become intelligent in regard to the cause of God because they have invested faith and means in it, God will help them to understand, and they will be steadfast in the faith; but when they have merely a theory, a shallow faith they cannot explain, a sudden temptation will cause them to drift away with the current bearing toward the world. . . .
Our minds must be prepared to stand every test, and to resist every temptation, whether from without or from within. We must know why we believe as we do, why we are on the Lord's side. The truth must keep watch in our hearts, ready to sound an alarm, and summon us to action against every foe. The powers of darkness will open their batteries upon us; and all who are indifferent and careless, who have set their affections on their earthly treasure, and who have not cared to understand God's dealings with His people, will be ready victims. No power but a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, will ever make us steadfast; but with this, one may chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.
Chap. 327 - The Stamina of Pure Religion
And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. Ps. 119:45.
There are some who talk in a regretful way concerning the restraints that the religion of the Bible imposes upon those who would follow its teachings. They seem to think that restraint is a great disadvantage, but we have reason to thank God with all our heart that He has raised a heavenly barrier between us and the ground of the enemy. There are certain tendencies of the natural heart that many think must be followed in order that the best development of the individual may result, but that which man thinks essential God sees would not be the blessing to humanity which men imagine; for the development of these very traits of character would unfit them for the mansions above. The Lord places men under test and trial that the dross may be separated from the gold; but He forces none. He does not bind with fetters and cords and barriers; for they increase disaffection rather than decrease it. . . . Genuine religion does not have a narrowing influence; it is a lack of religion that cramps the faculties and narrows the mind.
Religion is an active, working principle, and furnishes a stamina sufficient for the stern realities of life.... Religion ever imparts power to its possessor to restrain, control, and balance the character and intellect and emotions. It has a power to persuade, entreat, and command with divine authority all the ability and affections. Religion--oh, I wish we all understood its workings! It lays us under the weightiest obligations. As we connect ourselves with Christ we solemnly pledge ourselves to walk as Christ walked.
It is our privilege to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. . . . The Lord's way must be kept, and His way is exalted in righteousness. Christians, in their manner and words and character, are to reveal their heavenly extraction. We are never to apologize to the world for being Christians and daring to be right.
Pure religion brings peace, happiness, contentment; godliness is profitable to this life and the life to come.
Chap. 328 - A Time to be Blind and Deaf
Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord's servant? Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. Isa. 42:19, 20.
What kind of blindness is this? It is a blindness that will not allow our eyes to contemplate evil. It will not allow our eyes to rest upon iniquity. It will not grasp the things of sight and lose eternity out of its reckoning. . . . We want to see aright, we want to see as God sees; for Satan is constantly trying to convert the things our eyes rest upon in order that we may see through his medium. . . .
The servant of the living God sees to some purpose. The eyes are sanctified and the ears are sanctified, and those who will close their eyes and ears to evil will become changed. But if they will listen to those who will address them and try to lead their thoughts away from God and their eternal interests, then their whole senses are perverted by that which their eyes rest upon. Jesus says, "If . . . thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness." Matt. 6:22, 23.
It makes every difference what we give our minds and souls to feed upon. We can let our minds dwell upon romance and castle-building, and what will it do for us? It will ruin us, soul and body. . . . We want to have that power that will enable us to close our eyes to scenes that are not elevating, that are not ennobling, that will not purify and refine us; and to keep our ears closed to everything that is forbidden in God's Word. He forbids us to imagine evil, to speak evil, and even to think evil. . . .
I see in Jesus everything that is lovely, everything that is holy, everything that is uplifting and pure. Then why should I want to open my eyes wide to see everything that is disagreeable? By beholding we become changed. Let us look to Jesus and consider the loveliness of His character, and by beholding we shall become changed into the same likeness.
Chap. 329 - Let God's Hand Mould the Clay
But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand. Isa. 64:8.
We do not know what the Lord will do for us, if we will come into line. God sees what He can make of man. There are possibilities which our feeble faith does not discern. "Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." 1 Cor. 3:9. He sees all the now unamiable traits of character in man, and He knows, if men will learn the meekness and lowliness of Christ, He can mould and fashion the combative spirit, the unamiable disposition, and bring every power of the being into working order to advance His kingdom. He longs to refine, elevate, and ennoble the entire life. . . . Through the Holy Spirit's power He can use the very worst characters, and make them men and women of opportunity.
Blessed is the man who by faith can get a glimpse of Christ's faith. . . . Then there is a possibility of his becoming Christlike in character. . . . Great light comes to man as he sees the privileges that are for him. He sees God's plans for him and he dies to self. . . . He submits to be worked. . . . When he submits to be as clay in the hands of the potter, then God works the man into a vessel of honour.
Clay in the hands of the potter . . . is turned again and again until the will of the potter is wrought out in the vessel. Grace and truth will make perfect the work of fashioning the human clay, that the glory of the great Potter may appear in the production of a shapely vessel, moulded and polished for service.
The Potter cannot mould and fashion unto honour that which has never been placed in His hands. The Christian life is one of daily surrender, submission, and continual overcoming. Every day fresh victories will be gained. Self must be lost sight of, and the love of God must be constantly cultivated. Thus we grow up into Christ. Thus the life is fashioned according to the divine model.
Let the hand of God work the clay for His own service. He knows just what kind of vessel He wants.
Chap. 330 - Examine Yourselves
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Cor. 13:5.
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith." Many . . . may immediately respond, "Why, yes; I am in the faith, I believe every point of the truth." But do you practice what you believe? Are you at peace with God and with your brethren? Can you pray with sincerity, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors"? ... Is there no bitterness in your hearts, no envying, no jealousy, no evil surmising? ... Is there no emulation, no desire for special favour and honours, no wish to have the supremacy? . . .
We do well to examine ourselves to see what manner of spirit we are cherishing. Let us learn to speak gently, quietly, even under circumstances the most trying. Let us control not only our words, but our thoughts and imaginations. Let us be kind, be courteous.
Many are sensible of their great deficiency, and they read, and pray, and resolve, and yet make no progress. They seem to be powerless to resist temptation. The reason is, they do not go deep enough. They do not seek for a thorough conversion of the soul, that the streams which issue from it may be pure, and the deportment may testify that Christ reigns within. All defects of character originate in the heart. Pride, vanity, evil temper, and covetousness proceed from the carnal heart unrenewed by the grace of Christ. If the heart is refined, softened, and ennobled, the words and actions will testify to the fact. When the soul has been entirely surrendered to God, there will be a firm reliance upon His promises, and earnest prayer and determined effort to control the words and actions.
We profess a great and holy faith; and our characters must be in accordance with that faith, and with God's great moral standard. . . .
Let us examine our hearts in the light of the great principles of the law of God as defined by Christ: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Luke 10:27.
Chap. 331 - "Keep Thyself Pure"
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matt. 5:8.
To know what constitutes purity of mind, soul, and body is the highest class of education. Paul the apostle sums up in his letter to Timothy the attainments possible for him, by saying "Keep thyself pure."
It is the special work of Satan in these last days to take possession of the minds of the youth, to corrupt their thoughts, and inflame their passions. All are free moral agents, and as such they must bring their thoughts to run in the right channel. . . . If Satan seeks to divert the mind to low and sensual things, bring it back again, and place it on eternal things; and when the Lord sees the determined effort made to retain only pure thoughts, He will attract the mind, like the magnet, and purify the thoughts. . . . The first work of those who would reform is to purify the imagination. If the mind is led out in a vicious direction, it must be restrained to dwell only upon pure and elevated subjects. When tempted to yield to a corrupt imagination, then flee to the throne of grace, and pray for strength from Heaven. In the strength of God the imagination can be disciplined to dwell upon things which are pure and heavenly. . . .
Those who would have that wisdom which is from God, must become fools in the sinful knowledge of this age, in order to be wise. They should shut their eyes, that they may see and learn no evil. They should close their ears, lest they hear that which is evil, and obtain that knowledge which would stain their purity of thoughts and acts. And they should guard their tongues, lest they utter corrupt communications, and guile be found in their mouths. All are accountable for their actions while upon probation in this world. All have power to control their actions. If they are weak in virtue and purity of thoughts and acts, they can obtain help from the Friend of the helpless. Jesus is acquainted with all the weaknesses of human nature, and if entreated, will give strength to overcome the most powerful temptations. All can obtain this strength if they seek for it in humility.
Chap. 332 - "On Unto Perfection"
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Eph. 4:13.
It is a great, a solemn work to obtain a moral fitness for the society of the pure and the blest. . . . Only by conforming to the Word of God can we hope to come to "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." But we must do this, or we shall never enter heaven. Without purity and holiness of heart, we cannot win the crown of immortal glory.
The life of the soul cannot be sustained, except by the right exercise of the affections heavenward, Christward, Godward. Repentance and faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins are essential, but not all that is required. . . . The Christian's life is now but just begun. He must, as exhorted by the apostle, "go on unto perfection." He must bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. If we believe in Jesus, we will love to think of Him, love to talk of Him, love to pray to Him. He is supreme in our affections. We love that which Christ loves, and hate that which Christ hates. . . .
The Christian life is never at a standstill. It is, it must be, progressive. Our love for Christ should become stronger and stronger. . . .
My brother, my sister, is your soul in the love of God? Many of you have a twilight perception of Christ's excellence, and your soul thrills with joy. You long for a fuller, deeper sense of the Saviour's love. You long to entwine your affections about Him more closely. You are unsatisfied. But do not despair. Give to Jesus the heart's best and holiest affections. Treasure every ray of light. Cherish every desire of the soul after God. Give yourselves the culture of spiritual thoughts and holy communings.... Make haste to ripen for Heaven....
It will cost us something to obtain a Christian experience, and to develop a true and noble character. . . . But the white-robed throng of the redeemed ones, are those who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Chap. 333 - Seeing Him Who is Invisible
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. . . . By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Heb. 11:24-27.
Moses . . . lived as seeing Him who is invisible, and was therefore able to count the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. If men would live in this way, we should see their faces aglow with the glory of God; for they would be viewing the glory of the eternal, and by beholding, would be transformed into the image of Christ.
Our minds take the level of the things on which our thoughts dwell, and if we think upon earthly things, we shall fail to take the impress of that which is heavenly. We would be greatly benefited by contemplating the mercy, goodness, and love of God; but we sustain great loss by dwelling upon those things which are earthly and temporal. We allow sorrow and care and perplexity to attract our minds to earth, and we magnify a molehill into a mountain. . . . Temporal things are not to . . . engross our minds until our thoughts are entirely of the earth and the earthly. We are to train, discipline, and educate the mind so that we may think in a heavenly channel, that we may dwell on things unseen and eternal, which will be discerned by spiritual vision. It is by seeing Him who is invisible that we may obtain strength of mind and vigour of spirit. . . .
In whatever place we are called by the providence of God, we may confidently expect that God will be our helper. We are not to be a toy to circumstances, but to be above circumstances. . . . When we are placed in trying positions, and find things about us that we do not like, that try our patience, and test our faith, we are not to sink down in despondency, but to take a firmer hold upon God, and prove that we are not setting our affection on things on the earth, but on things above; that we are looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus is to be the beginning and the end, the first and the last. He is to be our strength in every time of trial.
Chap. 334 - Charmed with Christ's Love
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Col. 3:1, 2.
When we are tempted to place our affections on any earthly object that has a tendency to absorb our love, we must seek grace to turn from it, and not allow it to come between us and our God. We want to keep before the mind's eye the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare for us. We must not allow our houses and lands, our business transactions and worldly enterprises to come between us and our God. We should keep before us the rich promises that He has left on record.
We should study the great waymarks that point out the times in which we are living. . . . We should now pray most earnestly that we may be prepared for the struggles of the great day of God's preparation. We should rejoice in the prospect of soon being with Jesus in the mansions He has gone to prepare for us. . . . Jesus can supply your every need. . . . As you behold Him you will be charmed with the riches of the glory of His divine love. The idolatrous love of things that are seen will be superseded by a higher and better love for things that are imperishable and precious. You may contemplate eternal riches until your affections are bound to things above, and you may be an instrument in directing others to set their affections on heavenly treasures. . . .
Those who rightly value money are those who see its availability in bringing the truth before those who have never heard it, and by this means rescuing them from the power of the enemy. If one soul accepts the truth, his love for earthly things is dislodged. He sees the surpassing glory of heavenly things, appreciates the excellency of that which relates to everlasting life. He is charmed with the unseen and eternal. His grasp loosens from earthly things. He fastens his eye with admiration upon the invincible glories of the other world. He realizes that his trials are working out for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, and in comparison to the riches that are his to enjoy he counts them light afflictions which are but for a moment.