Tested and Tried
Christians will be tested and tried. But if they are sincerely trying to serve God, strength will be given them for every conflict. They are not to listen to the false reports that come to their ears, but are to go straight forward in the path of duty. They are to learn to think for themselves, and their actions are ever to be in accordance with the word of God.
Do not go out of your way to call your enemy to account. His words of censure and malice are like sparks which, if not blown upon, will go out of themselves. Live down the evil reports of those whose tongues are set on fire of hell. If you stop to dispute, you will but open the way for further abuse. Often difficulties may be healed by silence. Let the evil talker alone. Go about your own work as one who has a sacred trust to fulfil. When you are criticised, move on as one who hears not. Your heart may be wounded: nevertheless, do not allow yourself to be turned aside from your work. Give your time and attention to matters of eternal interest.
Christ is your example. He came to this world, and in humanity lived the life that He desires you to live. Study His plans and methods and purposes. His life is our lesson book. A divine-human Saviour, He stands before us with the invitation, "Come unto Me, . . . and I will give you rest. . . . .My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
The life of Christ is a perfect revelation of the character of God. What then is our duty? Paul tells us. Christ revealed Himself to Paul as he was persecuting the saints, and the apostle declares. "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." Henceforth his one desire was to preach Christ and Him crucified. Writing to the Ephesians he says, "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ: and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
To us, also, this trust has been given,--the work of making known the unsearchable riches of Christ. How high a privilege is ours, and how willingly we should make all else secondary to the fulfilment of this trust!
E. G. W.