Living as People of Hope
Our assurance of eternal life is centered in Jesus.
By Ellen G. White
Christ says to His followers, “Ye are the light of the world.” Then let your light shine forth in clear, steady rays. Do not wrap about you a cloud of darkness. Cease to suspect others. By good works represent the character of Christ. When you are tempted to yield to despondency, look to Jesus, and talk with Him. Your Elder Brother will never make a mistake. He will judge righteously. He will guide you aright.
God is not well pleased to see His children wrapped in gloom and sadness. His arm is mighty to save all who will lay hold on Him. He desires us to be cheerful, but not trifling. He says to each one of us, “As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” God wants us to be happy. He desires to put a new song in our lips, even praise to our God. He wants us to believe that He forgives our sins, and takes away our unrighteousness. He wants us to make melody in our hearts to Him.
In Christ our hope of eternal life is centered. Of this Paul declares:
“God, willing more abundantly to [show] unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered.” Hebrews 6:17-20.
Our Only Hope
The hope set before us—what is it?—The hope of eternal life. Nothing short of this will satisfy the Redeemer, and it is our part to lay hold of this hope by living faith in Him. If we are partakers with Him in His sufferings, we shall be partakers with Him in the glory which will be His; for His merits have purchased forgiveness and immortality for every sinful, perishing soul. This hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast. Our trust in this hope, purchased for us by the atonement and intercession of Christ, is to keep us steadfast and unmoveable in every hour of conflict. With such a hope as this before us, shall we allow Satan to cast his shadow across our pathway, to eclipse our view of the future?
Christ values human beings with a value that is beyond any human computation. Then let us encourage faith. Take your eyes off yourself. Faith and hope are not to be centered in self. They are to enter into that within the veil, whither our Forerunner is for us entered. Talk of the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are exposed to great moral danger, and if we trust in self, looking no higher we shall make shipwreck of the faith. Do not fail or be discouraged. Hope is an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast, when it enters into that within the veil. Thus the tempest-tossed soul becomes anchored in Christ. Amid the raging of temptation, he will not be driven upon the rocks or drawn into the whirlpool. His ship will out-ride the storm.
The Lord desires tempted souls to stand firm and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of God. To the sinking Peter Christ said, “Wherefore didst thou doubt?” Often, like Peter, we dishonour God by our lack of faith.
The mightiest power is vouchsafed to us that we may stand firm. Looking unto Jesus, it is our privilege to say, boldly and yet humbly, The Lord is my helper; I shall not be moved from my steadfastness. My life is bound up with the life of Christ. Because He lives, I shall live also.
Children of Hope
Close the door of the heart to distrust, and throw it open to the heavenly Guest. Put away all fretting and complaining, for this is the snare of the devil. Let us make a pledge before God and the heavenly angels that we will not dishonor our Maker by cherishing darkness and unbelief, by speaking words of discouragement and mistrust. Let every word we utter, every line we write, be fraught with encouragement and unwavering faith. If we live faith, we shall talk faith. Think not that Jesus is the Saviour of your brother only. He is your personal Saviour. If you entertain this precious thought, you will beat back the clouds of despondency and gloom, and make melody to God in your soul. It is our privilege to triumph in God. It is our privilege to lead others to see that their only hope is in God, and to flee to Him for refuge.
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.” Stay your soul upon God. We are saved by faith in Christ. To those who realize this, it is, day by day, a source of infinite comfort.
Every act of consecration to God brings us joy; for as we appreciate the light He has given us, more and greater light will come. We must banish the spirit of complaining, and open the heart to the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness. There is peace in perfect submission. Peace follows grace. They work in perfect harmony, and are multiplied in progression. When the hand of faith takes hold of the hand of Christ, the expression of the heart is:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations; that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:3-9).
Open the windows of the soul heavenward, and let the rays of the Sun of righteousness in. Do not complain. Do not look on the dark side. Let the peace of God reign in your soul. Then you will have strength to bear all suffering, and you will rejoice that you have grace to endure. Praise the Lord; talk of His goodness; tell of His power. Sweeten the atmosphere which surrounds your soul. Do not dishonor God by words of repining. Praise Him with heart and soul and voice. Look on the bright side. Praise Him who is the health of your countenance and your God.
This article, written while Ellen G. White ministered in Australia, first appeared in the Bible Echo on September 24, 1900. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.