It would seem to you from the outside point of view that things had a tendency to go wrong. It would have seemed that the shadows were determined to destroy or hinder. But God has spoken, the word has gone forth, and nothing will be allowed to interfere with the working out of His plans. Most of God’s children, therefore, look forward with great anticipation, for it is as though they brought their troubles and sorrows in a heap and laid them before Him, and the burden is left behind.
That is the position and that is going to be the position not only today and tomorrow but forever. Give this word to those who may have doubted; those who thought, as they so often are prone to think, that the shadows are more powerful than the Spirit Itself.
How could this be so when God created everything? All those forces and powers that keep this world going; all the wonderful mysteries of the planets that go on unknown, unseen by you, but work to perfection in the part in which they play in the great and mighty whole!
It comes down to this and has done since the world began. You must remember that those who have been chosen for service immediately attract to their sides the forces of destruction, the evil in its many phases. The worst phase being the assaults on the spiritual in regard to faith and the protective Love of God.
The way of discipleship is the way of the cross, but you have quite a wrong idea of what this means. The Christ was the Redeemer of the world and His road, hard and difficult, ended literally on the Cross of Calvary so far as the physical was concerned. But because the Christ died for you and for everyone that last sacrifice is taken from you in a spiritual sense.
Visualise that road and take your troubles, your trials, and your tests as the obstacles and the rough parts which have got to be either climbed over or dug away. This is the road to God, and in front is the cross of sacrifice, which you think you have to take up and bear in addition to your other burdens.
If you go forward in faith and in trust, to the best of your ability, then as you reach the cross instead of the agony of the cross, you shall see nothing but the smiling, tender Face of the Saviour Himself. Sorrow will fall from you and joy will be in your heart and mind instead! The cross of sacrifice turned into the loving, welcome look of the Father.
You have got to get this right, God is not expecting the impossible. The way seems long, the hills so high, and the wind so keen. But if you are holding the hand of someone who is strong and fearless, it makes all the difference in the world. Although you cannot see it, and you forget to so often, this is what you are doing spiritually, because there is gathered to your side the Master. The Master who understands weariness, sadness of heart, falling spirits and the longing for home and safety. Because He understands so well He is there beside you and will be for ever more!
Rise in heart and mind and take that which is offered to you so freely, so eagerly. Then your tears will be stemmed and the pain will go out of your heart and the weariness from your limbs. You will have the glorious vision, and seeing this will go on your way rejoicing; rejoicing that the Christ has said "Follow Me." Not to the cross but to that perfect harmony, gladness, and elation which only unity with the Spirit within, which is of God indeed, can bring you.
Let the world go by. Don't cling to the material things; the toys and those attractions that draw you and distract your attention from the things of the spirit. Let them all go. You are offered instead gifts in plenty, gifts which will not please the mind for a moment and leave you dissatisfied later, but gifts which once you have you will never wish to part with! The things that are of God grow in beauty, in power, and in revelation. Only these can satisfy the hungry heart of humanity. But they do not know it. Here and there they go, trying to get the happiness which forever escapes them; trying to drug the spirit which cries out "Let me be free and let me demonstrate God in my life!"
This is just a little fragment of the Truth; beyond these are others, and beyond again and again with no ending. Fresh beauties, fresh visions, and as you step forward the greatest gift of all; further revelation of the Love of God and all that means. Prepare your heart and mind to meet the Saviour, to meet Him with the wish to be as He was and to live as He lived. That done the Saviour does the rest. This is the only gift you can make; the dedication of your heart and mind, and is the only thing asked from you. In return, there are things which cannot be touched upon because in the earth language there is nothing to express them.
Remember that the Sign of the Cross to you, a child of God, only represents the Compassionate Saviour who came to earth to bear your cross and the cross of everyone else. He who came to lift you from all the sadness and all the pain which, of necessity, physical life brings. It is but preparation for the life hereafter when sorrow is no more; when gladness fills the heart and mind to overflowing, and when the one wish of all is to pass on that same freedom to another, and in so doing to be just a little as the Saviour wills. Just a little, that is all that is expected from you.
Remember the words "At even ere the sun was set the sick Oh Lord around thee lay." Then it goes on as to the diverse pains in which they met, and with what joy they went away. That is the result; the effect of all these communions with God. His children come, depressed, saddened by the trials of life and its many irritations. Then their minds are healed, their spirits are restored and, for the time being, they can go on their way rejoicing.
When you find this brightness, which you prize so much, slipping from you, recall that you are a soldier of the Christ. That being so, the Light is around you always. Yet it is not easy. You get up from the times when you feel the Holy Spirit has been upon you and your courage is high. You ask yourself why you felt so sad, for everything is going to be all right. Then the enemy, which has been pushed back, regains its strength and slowly approaches. The chill comes again and the mind, the physical mind remember, cries out: "How long, Oh Lord, how long!" That cry gives the first advantage to the shadows. Make no mistake. No one who wishes to love and serve their Saviour is ever allowed to give all the advantage to the enemy. The protection is complete, but the little stings, the flying darts, they reach you. Those in the Spirit World, with all their love and wish to help, cannot do the impossible because, all unconsciously, you listen to the voice which tells you that God cannot love you, otherwise He would not allow the evil to strike you so.
This is very sad for the Spirits, and it is terribly sad for the Christ! Your own heart ought to tell you that you cannot turn from the One who is Love Itself without bringing a double blow; the blow that strikes your shrinking heart and the deeper blow that strikes the Tender Heart of He who is your Father.
If you could but see the tactics of the enemy, how they deceive and divert you, you would indeed throw all aside and know that with the Christ you are secure! But your physical mind tells you, suggests to you, that the security is not quite perfect, and that is how the sorrow comes.
Your work is this. Even that of He who came "to give Light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.” This is your work. This is the Christ's work, and this is the purpose and plan of it all.
Every moment of concentration, of trying and of striving, is the preparation, the building of the foundation. See that the foundation is firm, so that when the beautiful edifice is created piece by piece above that which was done in ignorance, and with much suffering and self-denial, it shall be found worthy to bear that which is of God.