The Youth’s Instructor


May 12, 1898

The Fight of Faith


There are many precious promises on record for those who seek the Saviour early. Solomon says, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, when the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” God declares, “I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me.” The Great Shepherd of Israel is still saying, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” YI May 12, 1898, par. 1

Many of the youth have not a fixed principle to serve God. They sink under every cloud, and have no power of endurance. They do not grow in grace. They appear to keep the commandments of God, but they are not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Their carnal hearts must be changed. They must see beauty in holiness: then they will pant after it as the hart panteth after the water-brooks; then they will love God and his law; then the yoke of Christ will be easy, and his burden light. YI May 12, 1898, par. 2

If your steps are ordered by the Lord, dear youth, you must not expect that your path will always be one of outward peace and prosperity. The path that leads to eternal day is not the easiest to travel, and at times it will seem dark and thorny. But you have the assurance that God's everlasting arms encircle you, to protect you from evil. He wants you to exercise earnest faith in him, and learn to trust him in the shadow as well as in the sunshine. YI May 12, 1898, par. 3

The follower of Christ must have faith abiding in the heart; for without this it is impossible to please God. Faith is the hand that takes hold of infinite help; it is the medium by which the renewed heart is made to beat in unison with the heart of Christ. YI May 12, 1898, par. 4

In her endeavors to reach her home, the eagle is often beaten down by the tempest to the narrow defiles of the mountains. The clouds, in black, angry masses sweep between her and the sunny heights where she secures her nest. For a while she seems bewildered, and dashes this way and that, beating her strong wings as if to sweep back the dense clouds. She awakens the doves of the mountains with her wild cry in her vain endeavors to find a way out of her prison. At last she dashes upward into the blackness, and gives a shrill scream of triumph as she emerges, a moment later, in the calm sunshine above. The darkness and tempest are all below her, and the light of heaven is shining about her. She reaches her loved home in the lofty crag, and is satisfied. It was through darkness that she reached the light. It cost her an effort to do this, but she is rewarded in gaining the object which she sought. YI May 12, 1898, par. 5

This is the only course we can pursue as followers of Christ. We must exercise that living faith which will penetrate the clouds that, like a thick wall, separate us from heaven's light. We have heights of faith to reach, where all is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. YI May 12, 1898, par. 6

Have you ever watched a hawk in pursuit of a timid dove? Instinct has taught the dove that in order for the hawk to seize his prey, he must gain a loftier flight than his victim. So she rises higher and still higher in the blue dome of heaven, ever pursued by the hawk, which is seeking to obtain the advantage. But in vain. The dove is safe as long as she allows nothing to stop her in her flight, or draw her earthward; but let her once falter, and take a lower flight, and her watchful enemy will swoop down upon his victim. Again and again have we watched this scene with almost breathless interest, all our sympathies with the little dove. How sad we should have felt to see it fall a victim to the cruel hawk! YI May 12, 1898, par. 7

We have before us a warfare,—a lifelong conflict with Satan and his seductive temptations. The enemy will use every argument, every deception, to entangle the soul; and in order to win the crown of life, we must put forth earnest, persevering effort. We must not lay off the armor or leave the battle-field until we have gained the victory, and can triumph in our Redeemer. As long as we continue to keep our eyes fixed upon the Author and Finisher of our faith, we shall be safe. But our affections must be placed upon things above, not on things of the earth. By faith we must rise higher and still higher in the attainment of the graces of Christ. By daily contemplating his matchless charms, we must grow more and more into his glorious image. While we thus live in communion with Heaven, Satan will lay his nets for us in vain. YI May 12, 1898, par. 8

Conscious that the world lieth in wickedness, that he has constantly to battle with the enemy of God and man, and that in himself he does not possess power to purify the recesses of the heart, the humble follower of Christ will turn to the mighty Helper; and unto him Christ is made wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. To the praying soul, Jesus reveals himself as the One who hears and answers prayer,—the One who lifts up those that are cast down, and heals the broken in heart. YI May 12, 1898, par. 9

The young convert has everything to learn. He should meditate and pray much, that he may do thorough work in meeting God's standard of righteousness. “Honor thy father and thy mother,” is part of that great standard; and through the apostle James, Christ declares, “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Yet how many youth who profess to be Christians are in the habit of speaking in a disrespectful manner to their parents! God has seen fit, dear youth, to entrust you to the care of your parents for them to train and discipline, and thus act their part in forming your characters for heaven. Yet it rests with you to say whether you will develop a Christian character. YI May 12, 1898, par. 10

Be entreated, then, to make an entire surrender of your soul to Christ. Take hold of his strength, follow his example, and you will have peace and rest and joy in him. Let every soul breathe the prayer that God will grant unto him according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with all might in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in the heart by faith, that he, being rooted and grounded in love, “may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,” being filled “with all the fulness of God.” YI May 12, 1898, par. 11

Mrs. E. G. White