Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. — 2 Corinthians 7:1, MEV
Many who are sincerely seeking for holiness of heart and purity of life seem perplexed and discouraged. They are constantly looking to themselves, and lamenting their lack of faith; and because they have no faith, they feel that they cannot claim the blessing of God. These persons mistake feeling for faith. They look above the simplicity of true faith, and thus bring great darkness upon their souls. They should turn the mind from self, to dwell upon the mercy and goodness of God and to recount his promises, and then simply believe that he will fulfill his word. We are not to trust in our faith, but in the promises of God. When we repent of our past transgressions of his law, and resolve to render obedience in the future, we should believe that God for Christ’s sake accepts us, and forgives our sins.
Darkness and discouragement will sometimes come upon the soul, and threaten to overwhelm us; but we should not cast away our confidence. We must keep the eye fixed on Jesus, feeling or no feeling. We should seek to faithfully perform every known duty, and then calmly rest in the promises of God.
We may not feel today the peace and joy which we felt yesterday; but we should by faith grasp the hand of Christ, and trust him as fully in the darkness as in the light.
Be not discouraged because your heart seems hard. Every obstacle, every internal foe, only increases your need of Christ. He came to take away the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh. Look to him for special grace to overcome your peculiar faults... Cry to the dear Saviour for help to sacrifice every idol, and to put away every darling sin.
Satan may whisper, “You are too great a sinner for Christ to save.” While you acknowledge that you are indeed sinful and unworthy, you may meet the tempter with the cry, “By virtue of the atonement, I claim Christ as my Saviour. I trust not to my own merits, but to the precious blood of Jesus, which cleanses me. This moment I hang my helpless soul on Christ.” The Christian life must be a life of constant, living faith. An unyielding trust, a firm reliance upon Christ, will bring peace and assurance to the soul.
— The Review and Herald, November 15, 1887
My Heavenly Father, I am seeking purity of heart but am feeling discouraged. I will no longer put any trust in myself, but I will trust fully in Your promises alone. I hang my helpless soul on You, O Lord. Help me sacrifice every idol and cleanse me according to Your promise. Your ways are full of mercy and goodness and I want to follow You. I fix my eyes on Christ as my Savior and will rely on Your promises and not my feelings.