I am glad that I have a lively hope in my heart of Jesus’ coming again. It wasn’t always that way.
One of the dearest thoughts of my heart is that Jesus loves even me and that He looks after me. I am so thankful for the night He called me to serve Him. I had been brought up carefully; my parents were Christians as far back as I can remember. I knew there was a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun, and I loved Jesus and the stories of the Bible, but I am thankful for the night He talked to me and made me know I needed to pray.
That night I knew I wasn’t a Christian. I had tried hard to live right in my own strength, but I was condemned; and as I knelt at that little chair in the back of the church and asked God to make a change in my heart, He answered that prayer. Within my heart He gave me an assurance, and a deep settled peace. His Spirit bore witness with my spirit that I was His child. I am so grateful for that. Salvation became real to me. It was more than just Christian training; it was my very own possession. I am glad it is my possession these days. I still know the Lord loves me and I know He answers prayer.
Later I was sanctified, but I didn’t have my baptism for quite a few years. The Lord’s coming wasn’t a bright prospect in those days because I felt I needed that power to be ready to go. But I am so glad that changed, too, on one Sunday afternoon when the Lord dropped faith into my heart. He helped me realize that what I had asked of Him was what He was giving me. I had come to Portland to work in our church publishing office and I didn’t have my baptism, so I told the Lord, “Lord, I am coming to Portland to be a worker; I don’t want to be a seeker.” I asked the Lord to teach me how. You know, He did that! He opened the Scriptures and gave me two or three promises out of His Word, and then that Sunday afternoon He helped me realize that what I had asked was what He was doing for me. And He did it! It is just that simple, when you finally believe. I am so glad that experience changed my hopes. I knew then that when the Lord came, I would be ready. The enemy told me “You won’t be ready for the Lord’s coming anyway. You’ll let it slip, or you’ll grow cold.” But the Lord gave me that Scripture, “Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” I knew if I would just keep that hope bright in my heart, I would see the Lord; and I am glad that hope is bright now. I want to see Him. I want to hear that trumpet sound. There isn’t another thing in this whole world that matters, except that I want to be ready when Jesus comes. There have been a few clouds and a few storms, but I have an anchor in Jesus. There has never been a burden too heavy or a battle too hard when the Lord takes the heavy end.
I am glad that I can face the future with confidence in my Savior. I don’t know what it will bring. I don’t know where it might lead—it doesn’t matter so long as the Lord leads. I feel that my hand is in His. One day He taught me a lesson about that. He told me the only way I would know defeat was to take my hand out of His, because I serve a Captain who never lost a battle. So long as I trust Him and follow Him, it will be victory. I am glad I have victory in my life today, and I thank Him for it and for all He has done for me.