Thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. Isaiah 43:1. Every obstacle to the redemption of the people of God is to be removed by the opening of the Word of God and the presentation of a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” The true light is to shine forth, for darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. The truth of the living God is to appear in contrast with error. Proclaim the glad tidings: We have a Saviour who has given His life that all who believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Obstacles to the advancement of the work of the Lord will appear, but fear not. To the omnipotence of the King of kings, our covenant-keeping God unites the gentleness and care of a tender shepherd. Nothing can stand in His way. His power is absolute, and is the pledge of the sure fulfillment of His promises to His people. He can remove all obstructions to the advancement of His work…. The church of Christ is God’s agency for the proclamation of truth, empowered by Him to do a special work, and if she is loyal to God, obedient to all His commandments, there will dwell within her the excellency of divine power. If she will honor the Lord God of Israel, there is no power that can stand against her. If she will be true to her allegiance, the forces of the enemy will be no more able to overpower her than is the chaff to resist the whirlwind. There is before the church the dawn of a bright, glorious day, if she will put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, withdrawing from all alliance with the world. The members of the church need now to confess their backslidings, and press together. My brethren and sisters, allow nothing to come in that will separate you from one another and from God. Talk not of differences of opinion, but unite in the love of the truth as it is in Jesus. Come before God and plead the shed blood of the Saviour as a reason that you should receive help in the warfare against evil. I assure you that you will not plead in vain. As you draw near to God, with heartfelt contrition and in full assurance of faith, the enemy who seeks to destroy you will be overcome. Turn to the Lord, ye prisoners of hope. Seek strength from God, the living God. Show an unwavering, humble faith in His power and willingness to save. From Christ is flowing the living stream of salvation. He is the Fountain of life and the Source of all power.—Letter 199, September 8, 1903, to “My Brethren in Positions of Responsibility in the Cause of God.”
The Upward Look p. 265
—-I would ask for prayers for a young lady fighting depression. Her name is Courtney. She is constantly crying and cannot receive professional help till the 25th of this month. Lift up the husband also as he is terribly frightened. Ernest
A friend often talks of her verbally abusive father and all of the hurt that caused. She and her siblings determined to be “cycle breakers” and raise their children in a loving manner. Sometimes, as she is talking of the things that they suffered at their father’s hand, I think of my own grandfather when he was a little boy. His father was not only verbally but physically abusive to him and his brother. They greatly feared their father, but they had no love for him. In fact, they hated to see him come home from work. He would not allow the boys to talk at the table or to laugh or sing in his presence.
Worse still, my great-grandfather, when he came home from work each day, made the boys come to him for their punishment. He had no idea if they had done something wrong or not. He just figured that they had to deserve punishment just because they were boys and he knew that boys got into mischief.
First, my great-grandfather would make Harold lie across his knees and the spanking would start. This was no gentle spanking: it was way too hard. Harold had a way of coping with this injustice, however. Almost immediately, he would start crying loudly. Satisfied that he had been punished enough, his father let him go.
Then it would be my grandfather’s turn. Even though he knew that by crying he could escape quickly from his father’s hand, he would not make a sound. Soon the spanking would turn into a beating. Still my grandfather would not cry. Finally his father would tire of this and let him go. Because of this unjust treatment, he ran away from home at age 10 and spent his teen years roaming the forests of the eastern United States, eating the wild plants his grandmother had taught him were safe and whatever fish he could catch. When he got married and had children of his own, he left all the disciplining to his wife. He did not want to become like his father.
Many people view God as being much like my great-grandfather. They think He is severe and cruel and angry with us continually. They picture Him as looking down upon the earth and watching for reasons punish us, but He is not like that at all. He is, “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” Ex 34:6 ”He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Ps 103:10-12 He assures us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jer 29:11 “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” Isa 49:15,16 “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened [made us alive] us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Eph 2:4 Wonderful Saviour!
May we see God as He really is—loving and kind, just and fair, the Giver of all true happiness and goodness. May we wholeheartedly respond to His great heart of love. May we serve Him joyfully throughout all our life is my prayer.