From the Christian Science Sentinel, December 11, 1915, by William D. McCrackan
There is no valid reason for fear or discouragement in God’s universe. No element of failure, disappointment, or limitation is ever truly real or eternal. Harmony and spiritual joy characterize what God has made. Discouragement could only come from a mistaken sense that evil is real. If we believe that evil exists and has the power or ability to make something happen, we’re going to be discouraged; but the understanding of evil’s unreality encourages us to persevere, and rejoice!
Christian Science is a mighty power. It gives us the assurance that God governs and that He is wholly good. Christian Science discloses the hidden treasures of the Bible and reveals its history, prophecy, and precept for our encouragement and salvation. The Bible tells of Jesus Christ’s instructions to his followers to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.” Christian Science proves that Jesus’ works were normal and scientific, and it encourages Christians today to imitate those works as best they can, and thus fit themselves to feel the love of God and be a help in this world.
A material sense of existence presents only spasmodic moments of satisfaction, most often followed by periods of doubt and depression. There is little to stimulate the joy of living when human life seems vulnerable to assaults of many kinds. To counteract this evil tendency, Christian Science unfurls the banner of spiritual freedom, emblazoned with Truth. It teaches the eternal nature of good and the unreality of evil. It encourages sick, sinning, and sorrowing humanity by the assurance that there is a way out of every difficulty, a cure for every disease, and a relief from every burden.
True courage can proceed only from spiritual understanding. Christian Science reveals the fact that God is the only Mind and that He is absolute good. Moreover, this wholly good Mind operates as law; and with it man can speak to sin and sickness as one having authority, so that every problem, individual or collective, is capable of solution, here and now.
An interesting example of temporary discouragement is that of Elijah as recorded in the first book of Kings. The great prophet had received many striking proofs of God’s ever watchful care when the ravens fed him by the brook Cherith, the widow’s cruse of oil had not failed, and through the power of God he had raised her son from the shadow of death, and conquered the priests of Baal. Yet when Jezebel, the wicked queen, sent a threatening message to him, he yielded to bitter discouragement and fled into the wilderness. Not until the “still small voice” came to his rescue, did Elijah fully awaken and take up once more the work that God had given him to do.
Many an earnest Christian has nobly overcome the more obvious temptations of evil, only to fall under the subtle suggestions of irritation, worry, stress, and hate. We must guard against experiences similar to those of Elijah. We must learn to draw the line between Truth and error, Life and death, Love and hate or fear, so closely that the unreal cannot reach the real, nor the false the true in our experience.
This process requires moral courage of a very high order, and discouragement would naturally attempt to try to stop it. But, with God at our right hand, “moral courage, the lion of the tribe of Juda, will roam free and fearless in the forest. Undisturbed it lies in the open field, or rests in green pastures, beside the still waters.” (S&H)