The Signs of the Times


May 7, 1896

Faith Unlocks the Storehouse


It is no sign that Jesus has ceased to love us because we experience doubts and discouragements. Affliction comes to us in the providence of God in order that we may see that Christ is our helper, that in him is love and consolation. We may receive grace whereby we may be overcomers, and inherit the life that measures with the life of God. We must have an experience so that when affliction comes upon us, we shall not depart from our faith, and choose fables. ST May 7, 1896, par. 1

There were men among the disciples of Christ who did not always manifest faith in the word of God. When Christ told them that he would go away and prepare mansions for them, and come again and receive them unto himself, and said, “Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know,” Thomas said unto him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” Jesus said unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” Thomas did not believe in the word of God, and did not discern the divine character of Christ. But he was not alone in his unbelief. “Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” ST May 7, 1896, par. 2

We should be in a position where we may believe that God is willing to do for us more than we can ask or think. With the key of faith we may unlock the storehouse of God. Then why should we not be believing Christians instead of doubters? Faith will enable us to show the compassion of Jesus in a much larger measure than we do when we remain in doubt. How foolish it would be to go into a cellar, and mourn because we were in the dark! If we want light, we must come up into a higher room. It is our privilege to come into the light, to come into the presence of God. We are to come to him confessing our sins, and believing in the promise that we shall be cleansed from all unrighteousness. The apostle says: “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.... My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” ST May 7, 1896, par. 3

We should grow daily in faith in order that we may grow up to the full measure of the spiritual stature in Christ Jesus. We should believe that God will answer our prayers, and not trust to feeling. We should say, My gloomy feelings are no evidence that God has not heard me. I do not want to give up on account of these sad emotions; for “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The rainbow of promise encircles the throne of God. I come to the throne, pointing to the sign of God's faithfulness, and cherish the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. We are not to believe because we feel or see that God hears us. We are to trust to the promise of God. We are to go about our business believing that God will do just what he has said he would do, and that the blessings we have prayed for will come to us when we most need them. Every petition enters into the heart of God when we come believing. We have not faith enough. We should look upon our heavenly Father as more willing to help us than an earthly parent is to help his child. Why not trust him? “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” I wish that the beams of light which shine from God's word could find ready entrance into our hearts; for then we should receive comfort. Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Christ is inviting us to open the door of our heart, to clear the rubbish away, and let the Saviour in. Shall we not remove the burden that is piled at the door, and make Christ first, last, and best in everything? ST May 7, 1896, par. 4

We desire to be Christians, then let us sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of him. He will give us strength to overcome every defect in our character, and to oppose to these hereditary or cultivated defects the virtues of Jesus Christ. We must push our way through the deceptive darkness to the divine light. Jesus says, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Discouragement and gloom come upon us not because the truth is not sufficient for us, but because we do not bring it into our hearts, and let it have a controlling influence over our lives and actions. Jesus has loved us with a love surpassing that of a mother for her child. The question has been asked, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?” And the answer is given: “Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” By the hand of faith let us grasp the promises of God, and be upon vantage ground. Then we shall be where Satan can not come near and say, “God can not help you. You have sinned, and you can not claim the promises.” The adversary would have us think that the way to life is so difficult that it will be impossible to reach the bliss of heaven. But God has placed us in circumstances where the very best of our natures may be developed, and where the highest faculties may be exercised. If we cultivate that which is good, the objectionable tendencies will not gain the supremacy, and at last we shall be accounted worthy to join the family above. But if we desire to be saints above, we must first be saints upon the earth. ST May 7, 1896, par. 5