The Review and Herald

826/1902

May 19, 1896

Take the Cup of Salvation

EGW

Jesus says, “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.” The peace spoken of by the great Teacher is larger and fuller than we have imagined. Christ is ready to do large things for us, to restore our natures by making us partakers of his divine nature. He waits to link our hearts with his heart of infinite love, in order that we may be fully reconciled to God; but it is our privilege to understand that God loves us as he loves his Son. When we believe in Christ as our personal Saviour, the peace of Christ is ours. The reconciliation provided for us in the atonement of Christ is the foundation of our peace; but gloomy feelings are no evidence that the promises of God are of no effect. You look at your feelings, and because your outlook is not all brightness, you begin to draw more closely the garment of heaviness about your soul. You look within yourself, and think that God is forsaking you. You are to look to Christ. In me, Christ says, ye shall have peace. Entering into communion with our Saviour, we enter the region of peace. RH May 19, 1896, par. 1

Satan is our destroyer, but Christ is our restorer. We must put faith into constant exercise, and trust in God, whatever our feelings may be. Isaiah says: “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” You can say with the psalmist, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth forever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord sent ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” Consider the fact that the Lord has given his only begotten Son, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” RH May 19, 1896, par. 2

God has given Jesus as our sin-bearer, in order that we may be presented perfect in the merits of Christ before the throne of God. Those who receive Jesus as the way the truth, and the life, are beloved of God, even as his only begotten Son is beloved. Jesus died to rescue souls from the bondage of sin, and every one who returns to his loyalty, is precious in the sight of God. Our glorious Redeemer, who died to secure our eternal happiness, is a risen Saviour, who has ascended to the Father. He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. The administration of his grace is in his hands, and he ever liveth to dispense blessings in abundant measures of grace. He will give power to his children, according as their circumstances demand. He says, “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Little annoyances and trials borne with patience, will fit the soul for the endurance of greater trials and more severe tests, but proportionate grace will be given for every trial that shall come upon us. The Saviour says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” RH May 19, 1896, par. 3

Satan knows that Christ has purchased redemption for the whole world, and he is determined to wrest from the hand of Christ every soul that he can possibly influence. But believing in Christ, we shall have grace to meet his temptations. Jesus would have us comforted with faith in his goodness. Whatever may be the tribulation that shall come upon us in the world, we are to be of good cheer, knowing that Christ has overcome the world. We will have tribulation in the world, but peace in Jesus Christ. Turn your eyes from within, and look to Jesus, who is your only helper. RH May 19, 1896, par. 4

How thankful we should be that Christ took human nature upon himself, and became subject to temptation, even as we are! Though he took humanity upon himself, he was divine. All that is attributed to the Father himself is attributed to Christ. His divinity was clothed with humanity; he was the Creator of heaven and earth; and yet while upon earth, he became weary, as men do, and sought rest from the continual pressure of labor. He who made the ocean, who controls the waters of the great deep, who opened the springs and channels of the earth, felt it necessary to rest at Jacob's well, and to ask a drink of water from a strange Samaritan woman. When she questioned the propriety of his request,—how it was that he, being a Jew, should ask water of one who was a Samaritan,—he spoke words to her that revealed his divine character. He said: “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” When the woman expressed surprise at this statement, he continued, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” RH May 19, 1896, par. 5

Christ was one with us in suffering the temptations common to human nature. He was tempted in all points like as we are, and yet he sinned not, neither was guile found in his mouth. When tempted, he sought strength from his Heavenly Father, just as every individual may do who is tempted. He prayed often, pouring out his petitions with strong crying and tears. He besought his Father for help, in order that he might be braced for trial and strengthened for duty. My dear brother, you place yourself in the society of those who bring temptations upon you, and you do not always resist temptation; yet the first decided resistance would bring angels to your side, to strengthen you. When you present your petitions to God for help, an angel lifts up a standard for you against the enemy, in order that you may not be overcome. You should look by faith to Jesus, saying, “Lord, save, or I perish.” When this petition is sincerely offered, the heavenly standard is raised, and one stronger than your enemy shields you from his assaults. Our precious Saviour condescended to take humanity upon himself, and for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich,—not rich in worldly treasure, but rich in the gold of love and faith,—rich in imperishable treasure. The Lord has given us precious blessings in the simple flowers of the field, in the fragrance so grateful to our senses. He has tinted every flower with beauty; for he is the great master artist. He who has created the beautiful things in nature will do far greater things for the soul. God is a lover of the beautiful, and he would adorn our characters with his own rich graces. He would have our words as fragrant as the flowers of the field. He has given us blessings in daily provision for our physical needs. The very bread we eat has upon it the image and superscription of the cross. If Christ had not died upon the cross of Calvary, we should all have miserably perished. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” RH May 19, 1896, par. 6

But though the Lord has freely given us all things richly to enjoy, it is essential that we pray to him, in order that he may bestow upon us his gifts. There is no uncertainty as to what will be the result. The promise is, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Watch unto prayer, and be assured that the representatives of Christ are close beside you. When you are placed in circumstances where you are tempted to indulge appetite, or to forget that you are not your own to do with yourself as you please, ask God for help. You are in the service of God, and Jesus is waiting to restore to you his moral image. He loves you. He knows that your temptations are strong; but he is by your side, in order to make a way of escape, that you may be set free from the snares of the enemy. Do not fix your eyes upon the discouraging features of your religious experience. Look to Jesus. Seek for a new heart, and never rest until you can say, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” Acknowledge every ray of light that Jesus in his matchless love and mercy gives to you. RH May 19, 1896, par. 7

Do not think that because you have made mistakes, you must always be under condemnation; for this is not necessary. Do not permit the truth to be depreciated before your mind because those who profess it do not live consistent lives. Cherish faith in the truth of the third angel's message. If you do not cultivate faith, its importance will gradually lose its place in your mind and heart. You will have an experience like that of the foolish virgins, who did not supply oil for their lamps, and their light went out. Faith should be cultivated. If it has become weak, it is like a sickly plant that should be placed in the sunshine, and carefully watered and tended. The Lord would have every one who has had light and evidence, cherish that light, and walk in its brightness. God has blessed us with reasoning powers, so that we may trace from cause to effect. If we would have light, we must come to the light. We must individually lay hold on the hope set before us in the gospel, making the most of the blessings that are placed within our reach. Instead of looking to see if we have not made some mistakes in believing, we should look for evidence by which to strengthen and confirm faith. The things that have been revealed, belong unto us and to our children. God's promises have been given for our encouragement. RH May 19, 1896, par. 8

Shall we look at our sins, and begin to mourn, and say, I have done wrong, and I cannot come to God with any degree of confidence? Does not the Bible say, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”? It is a proper thing for us to have a realization of the terrible character of sin. It was sin that caused Christ to suffer an ignominious death on Calvary. But while we should understand that sin is a terrible thing, we should not listen to the voice of our adversary, who says, “You have sinned, and you have no right to claim the promises of God.” You should say to the adversary, It is written, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” I am so glad that God has made a provision whereby we may know that he does pardon our transgressions! We do not believe in God as we should, and I have thought that this unbelief is our greatest sin. The psalmist says, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.... The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” This is the kind of experience that we should have. RH May 19, 1896, par. 9

We must not think, when we are afflicted, that the anger of the Lord is upon us. God brings us into trials, in order that we may be drawn near to him. The psalmist says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” He does not desire us to be under a cloud. We should pray as did David, “Open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.” The Lord would have us lay hold of these promises for ourselves. He does not desire us to go in anguish of spirit. We are not to look at the thorns and the thistles in our experience. We are to go into the garden of God's word, and pluck the lilies, the roses, and the fragrant pinks of his promises. Those who look upon the difficulties in their experience, will talk doubt and discouragement; for they do not behold Jesus, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. We should keep our minds upon the love, the mercy, the graciousness of our God, in order that we may become changed into his image, by beholding the divine character. Thus joy will be brought into our experience; for by studying the word of God we shall see that we are not left to our weakness, to our doubts, and that there is no occasion for sinking under discouragement. Talk faith; act faith. Cultivate the faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. RH May 19, 1896, par. 10

I have not always dwelt on the good things of God as I should have done; but I do not make it a practice to look on the dark side. This morning my heart was drawn away from the things that are seen and temporal, to the things that are unseen and eternal. I said, O God, I will pluck the roses and the lilies and the pinks! I will call upon the name of the Lord! I will take the cup of salvation! RH May 19, 1896, par. 11