The Review and Herald

829/1902

June 9, 1896

Lay Hold of the Hope

EGW

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When you begin to feel despondent, look unto Jesus, and commune with him. When you think your brethren misunderstand you, remember that Jesus, your Elder Brother, never makes a mistake. He will judge righteously. The words of Christ uttered in the great day of the feast have a wonderful meaning and power. He lifted up his voice and said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” We are not to be driven to Christ. It is our part to come,—to make our own choice, and come to the fountain of life. Why should we not come to Christ? for in him our hope of eternal life is centered. The lessons that have come to us through Christ are not oft-repeated maxims; they are full of vital thought. But it is our part to appropriate divine truth. The apostle Paul exhorts us to lay hold on the hope set before us in the gospel. By faith we are to appropriate the promises of God, and to provide ourselves with the abundant blessings which have been secured for us through Christ Jesus. Hope has been set before us, even the hope of eternal life. Nothing short of this blessing for us will satisfy our Redeemer; but it is our part to lay hold upon this hope by faith in him who has promised. We may expect to suffer; for it is those who are partakers with him in his sufferings, who shall be partakers with him in his glory. He has purchased forgiveness and immortality for the sinful, perishing souls of men; but it is our part to receive these gifts by faith. Believing in him, we have this hope as an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast. We are to understand that we may confidently expect God's favor not only in this world, but in the heavenly world, since he paid such a price for our salvation. Faith in the atonement and intercession of Christ will keep us steadfast and immovable amid the temptations that press upon us in the church militant. Let us contemplate the glorious hope that is set before us, and by faith lay hold upon it. RH June 9, 1896, par. 1

We must not permit Satan to cast his hellish shadow athwart our pathway, and accomplish his purpose of eclipsing the bright views of our future reward. Let us not look upon his shadow of darkness. We gain heaven not through our own merits, but through the merits of Jesus Christ. We cannot find salvation in our own individual selves; we are to look unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, and as we look, we live. Satan would point us to ourselves, and seek to make us feel that we must bear our own sins. How hard poor mortals strive to be sin-bearers for themselves and for others! but the only sin-bearer is Jesus Christ. He alone can be my substitute and sin-bearer. The forerunner of Christ exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Shall we not give up our sins, and let them go? Shall we not turn from them and hate them, and still remember that Christ regards his human agents as of great value? We cannot calculate the estimate placed upon the soul. Then take your eyes off yourself, and encourage hope and confidence in Christ. Let your hope not be centered in yourself, but in him who has entered within the vail. Talk of the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. RH June 9, 1896, par. 2

It is true that we are exposed to great moral peril; it is true that we are in danger of being corrupted. But this danger threatens us only as we trust in self, and look no higher than our own human efforts. In doing this we shall make shipwreck of faith. Our hope of salvation is an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, when it entereth into that which is within the vail. Anchored in Christ, the soul, like a ship amid the raging elements, tempest-tossed and driven, is immovable. It is not driven on the rocks or drawn into the whirlpool. “Wherefore didst thou doubt?” said Christ to the sinking Peter. The same question may be addressed to us. Why do we dishonor God with our shameful unbelief? The Lord has pledged himself to give us strength to enable us to stand. As we search the Scriptures, we find ground for confidence, provision for sufficiency. It is our privilege to say boldly, yet humbly, The Lord is my helper, therefore I shall not be moved from my steadfastness. My life is hid with Christ in God. Because he lives, I shall live also. Let us pledge ourselves before God and the angels of heaven that we will not dishonor God by speaking words of discouragement or unbelief. If we talk faith, we shall have faith; we shall be confirmed in faith. Close the door to distrust, and open the door wide to faith. Invite into the soul temple the heavenly Guest. Let every word we utter, every line we trace with the pen, give evidence of unwavering faith. Let us not think that Jesus is the Saviour of some one else, but that he is our personal friend. Entertain the precious thought that Jesus loves me. In this way the cloud of despondency and gloom will be rolled back from the soul, and we shall be enabled to make melody in our hearts unto God. We may triumph in the Lord, every day acknowledging the fact that our heavenly treasure, our everlasting portion, is sure to us through the atonement and righteousness of Jesus Christ. Believing this ourselves, we shall be able to aid others to see that their only help is in God, and encourage them to flee for refuge to Christ, laying hold on the hope set before us in the gospel. RH June 9, 1896, par. 3

You need never feel that you are alone. Angels are your companions. The Comforter that Jesus Christ promised to send in his name, abides with you. Christ said of his followers, “Ye are the light of the world.” It is your part to let the light shine forth in clear, steady rays. Let your good works represent Christ. How many there are who feel that it would be a good thing to tread the soil of old Jerusalem, and that their faith would be greatly strengthened by visiting the scenes of the Saviour's life and death! But old Jerusalem will never be a sacred place until it is cleansed by the refining fire from heaven. The darkest blot of guilt rests upon the city that refused the light of Christ. Do we want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus? We need not seek out the paths in Nazareth, Bethany, and Jerusalem. We shall find the footprints of Jesus by the sick-bed, by the side of suffering humanity, in the hovels of the poverty-stricken and distressed. We may walk in these footsteps, comforting the suffering, speaking words of hope and comfort to the despondent. Doing as Jesus did when he was upon earth, we shall walk in his blessed steps. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” When the sin-cursed earth is purified from every stain of sin; when the Mount of Olives is rent asunder, and becomes an immense plain; when the holy city of God descends upon it,—the land that is now called the Holy Land will indeed become holy. But God's cause and work will not be advanced by making pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The curse of God is upon Jerusalem for the rejection and crucifixion of his only begotten Son. But God will cleanse away the vile blot. The prophet says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:1-5, R. V. RH June 9, 1896, par. 4