_______ JANUARY 19 ______
THE TESTING OF SOULS
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.__Psalm 34:17__
As we near the close of time, the opposing element will work in the same lines in which it has worked in times past. Every soul will be tested. Under persecution it will be made manifest just what banner every individual has chosen to stand under.
While sin remains, the offense of the cross will never cease. Satan has a thousand masked batteries which will be opened upon the loyal, commandment-keeping people of God to compel them to violate conscience. The follow¬ers of Christ must expect to encounter sneers. They will be reviled; their words and their faith will be misrepresented. Coldness and contempt may be harder to endure than martyrdom. With some persons it would require more courage to encounter a laugh than to be thrust through with a sword.
But we must stand steadfastly for the truth, not returning railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing. Parents will turn harshly against their children who accept unpopular truth. Those who conscientiously serve God will be accused of rebellion. Property that was willed to children or other relatives who believe the present truth will be given into other hands. Guardians will rob orphans and widows of their just dues. Those who depart from evil will make them¬selves a prey, through laws enacted to compel the conscience. Men will take to themselves property to which they have no right. The words of the apostle will be verified in the near future: “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” [2 Timothy 3:12.1 (Letter 30a, September 6, 1892)
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 Lord would have us lay hold of these promises for ourselves. … We should keep our mina’ upon the love, the mercy, the graciousness of our God, in order that we may become changed into His image. (The Review and Herald, May 19, 1896)