The Signs of the Times


February 18, 1903

“Stand, and Rejoice”


Life is disciplinary. While in the world, the Christian will meet with adverse influences. There will be provocations to test the temper; and it is by meeting these in a right spirit that the Christian graces are developed. If injuries and insults are meekly borne, if insulting words are responded to by gentle answers, and oppressive acts by kindness, this is evidence that the Spirit of Christ dwells in the heart. ST February 18, 1903, par. 1

The standard is high to which we must attain if we would be children of God, pure, holy, and undefiled. How could we reach this standard if there were no difficulties to meet, no obstacles to surmount, nothing to develop patience and endurance? Trials are not the smallest blessings that come to us. They are designed to nerve us to determination to succeed. Instead of allowing them to hinder, oppress, and destroy us, we are to use them as God's means of enabling us to gain the victory over self. ST February 18, 1903, par. 2

In the daily life we often come in contact with those who are full of pettishness. In dealing with such ones, we are enjoined to “stand, and rejoice.” By obeying this injunction we shall be able always to gain the victory. When some one speaks fretfully, simply “stand, and rejoice.” Do not speak a word in reply to the provoking utterance. If the lips are opened to speak in vindication of self, a volume of words will flow out. Keep silent. This is the easiest way to gain the victory. ST February 18, 1903, par. 3

Words spoken in reply to those who are angry, usually act as a whip, lashing the temper into fury instead of soothing it. Great blessings are lost because of passionate words. Let us learn lessons of self-control. Feelings of anger, when met with silence, die out very quickly. Silence is eloquence, and puts to shame the one who is full of wrath. We can mortify Satan by keeping the tongue with all diligence. ST February 18, 1903, par. 4

Not only are we to rejoice, but we are to “glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Wonderful love! “Scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” ST February 18, 1903, par. 5

The apostle Paul declares, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Those who do not have this peace are liable to become irritable. He who manifests a fretful, scolding spirit may well ask himself the question, Am I a Christian? So long as he frets and scolds, he is not a Christian, and is exerting an influence that does great harm. Let us put on Christ; let us be Christ-like in every word and act; let us so live that others may see the difference between the disposition of a Christian and the disposition of one who makes no claim to be a follower of Jesus. ST February 18, 1903, par. 6

We are to realize that the divine Presence is constantly by our side. Christ has said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” He hears every unkind word, every harsh, cutting expression. Could we see Him standing by our side, would we speak such words? Words that create heart-burnings and disunion should never escape our lips. Let us guard carefully every word and act, walking in all lowliness of mind, cherishing a spirit of meekness and kindness. ST February 18, 1903, par. 7

Fathers and mothers, whether you are in your home or elsewhere, it is never right for you to speak one disrespectful word to each other. If you are harassed, say firmly to yourself, “This is from Satan. He wants me to echo his words, to communicate his spirit; but this I will not do.” Determine to speak in love; to cultivate patience, kindness, long-suffering, courtesy, and delicacy in dealing with one another. Why?—Because you are Christians; because you are preparing for the society of the heavenly angels, for a home in the kingdom of glory, where no harsh, unkind, impatient words are ever spoken. Remember that it is Satan who prompts men and women to speak unkindly. Sanctify your talent of speech. Words are a precious gift, capable of doing much good, of accomplishing a great work for the Master. Every thought, every word, is recorded in the books of heaven. Guard well your thoughts and words, that in the judgment you may not be ashamed to meet your record. ST February 18, 1903, par. 8

As Satan failed utterly in his attempt to cause Christ to sin, so he will fail of overcoming us, if we will act sensibly. Let us firmly resolve that when the enemy tempts us to speak hastily, feeling that we are treated unjustly or are misunderstood, we will not open our lips. If we should speak even one word in reply, the enemy would be almost sure to gain the victory. We must learn the lesson of silence. With tongues bridled, we may be victorious in every trial of patience through which we are called to pass. ST February 18, 1903, par. 9