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The Great Hope (Condensed)

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    Faith and Courage

    It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness; He desired to lead them directly to Canaan and establish them there, a holy, happy people. But “they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19. In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed and His people remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. Unbelief separated them from God. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays His coming, that sinners may hear the warning and find shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out.GrH_c 36.4

    Now as in former ages, the presentation of truth will excite opposition. Many with malice assail the character and motives of those who stand in defense of unpopular truth. Elijah was declared a troubler in Israel, Jeremiah a traitor, Paul a polluter of the temple. From that day to this, those who would be loyal to truth have been denounced as seditious, heretical, or schismatic.GrH_c 36.5

    The confession of faith made by saints and martyrs, those examples of holiness and steadfast integrity, inspires courage in those who are now called to stand as witnesses for God. To the servant of God at this time is the command addressed: “Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” “I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.” Isaiah 58:1; Ezekiel 33:7.GrH_c 36.6

    The great obstacle to the acceptance of truth is the fact that it involves inconvenience and reproach. This is the only argument against the truth which its advocates have never been able to refute. But true followers of Christ do not wait for truth to become popular. They accept the cross, with the apostle Paul counting that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”; with one of old, “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” 2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 11:26.GrH_c 36.7

    We should choose the right because it is right, and leave consequences with God. To men of principle, faith, and daring, the world is indebted for its great reforms. By such men the work of reform for this time must be carried forward.GrH_c 36.8

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