Do Not Doubt
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4.
It is the privilege of everyone who has a part in any branch of the Lord’s work to know that his sins are forgiven, and to rejoice in the assurance of a higher life in the courts above. This hope is more precious than silver or gold or precious stones. Keep this hope ever bright, and seek to impart it to others. In the knowledge that God’s smile rests upon you, your heart will be filled with joy and peace.
Heed the gracious invitation of Christ; “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Let all seek for that rest which Christ has promised. You are to reveal to the world the truth of His words. You are to show that in wearing the yoke of Christ, there is genuine happiness.
Do not, by doubting God’s words, dishonor Him. As you believe in Him, He will cooperate with you in your efforts, and in union with Him, you may perform an acceptable work. Through the righteousness that He imparts, you may escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). O that we might hear more of the praise of God proceeding from thankful hearts. We need Christians who constantly live in the sunshine, who under all circumstances can praise the Lord. With the hope and assurance that Christ has promised, how can we be unhappy?
There is no excuse or justification for any Christian to be discontented. Never give the impression that you are disappointed with the way that Christ has marked out for you to follow.
Our characters are to be conformed to the image of Christ. In deed and in truth we are to be amenable to the law of God. Then He can demonstrate through us the blessings that come through obedience to the principles of His word. The King of heaven stands ready to acknowledge the humblest soul that serves Him.—Letter 299, October 22, 1905, to the helpers at the Paradise Valley Sanitarium.
What to Do With Depression
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God. Psalm 43:5.
In the night season I was conversing with you. I was saying to you, …“Do not give way to depression, but let the comforting influence of the Holy Spirit be welcomed into your heart, to give you comfort and peace.”
I am praying that the Lord will reveal Himself to you as a personal Comforter. The eyes of the soul must be kept open, in order to recognize the great mercies of our heavenly Father. Jesus is a bright and shining light. Let Him reflect His bright beams into the heart and mind. Do not forget thanksgiving. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me” (Psalm 50:23). Look to Him, and lay before Him all your necessities. Is anything too hard for the Lord? He is the Great Physician. He can heal soul and body, and He would have you take hold of Him in faith. He fully understands the needs of your case. He is a very present help in every time of need. And He is pleased when we show our gratitude to Him.
Christ is the light of the world. “Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2). Let the light of His peace shine into your soul. He has a tender care for you, and you should praise Him with heart and soul and voice. You can please Him by manifesting a cheerful spirit. Let not one cloud of despondency or dissatisfaction hide from you the sunshine of His presence.
It is in recognizing His light that you will conquer. You may increase in faith, by exercising the voice in speaking forth the praises of God. To the heart that recognizes Him is the promise, “I am …the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16).
If you would obtain precious victories, face the light that emanates from the Sun of Righteousness. Talk hope and faith and thanksgiving to God. Be cheerful, hopeful in Christ. Educate yourself to praise Him. This is a great remedy for diseases of the soul and of the body. “I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 42:11; 43:5).—Letter 322, October 23, 1906, to the wife of a church leader in Australia.
Put Self Out of Sight
We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience, and experience, hope. Romans 5:3, 4.
The experience gained in the furnace of trial and affliction is worth more than the inconvenience and painful experience it all costs. The prayers you offered in your loneliness, in your weariness and trial, God answered as you could bear it. You did not have clear and correct views of your brethren, neither did you see yourself in a correct light. But in the providence of God, He has been at work to answer the prayers you have offered in your distress in a way to save you and glorify His own name.
In your ignorance of yourself, you asked for things which were not the best for you. God hears your prayers of sincerity, but the blessing granted is something very different from your expectations. God designed to place you in His providence in connection with His church more directly, that your confidence should be less in yourself and greater in others whom He is leading out to extend His work….
It is God that has led you through straight places. He had a purpose in this, that tribulation might work in you patience, and patience experience, and experience hope. The trials He permitted to come upon you were that through the exercise of these you would experience the peaceable fruits of righteousness….
God would lead you through affliction and trials that you might have more perfect trust and confidence in Him and that you might think less of your own judgment. You can bear adversity better than prosperity. The all-seeing eye of Jehovah detected in you much dross that you considered gold and too valuable to throw away. The enemy’s power over you had at times been direct and very strong….
Your will must be molded by God’s will or you will fall into grievous temptations. I saw that when you labor in God, putting self out of sight, you will realize a strength from God which will give you access to hearts….
You are not always kindly, considerate of the feelings of others, and you create trials and dissatisfaction, all needlessly. More love in your labors, more kindly sympathy would give you access to hearts and win souls to Christ and the truth.—Letter 54, October 24, 1874, to an early SDA minister.
Importance of Home Religion
I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Hebrews 2:13.
There is need of constant watchfulness, a daily reconversion, that our individual traits of character shall be wholly sanctified to God. All our powers are to be purified from the dross of sin, and trained for service. There are many who, while professing to be the servants of God, and to be looking for the soon return of Christ, are not having the experience that all must have who stand without fault before God. They are making mistakes in the work of character building. To continue to make these mistakes is a costly business, for they hinder the progress in the divine life.
Our religious obligations begin in serving God faithfully in the home life. I am urged to bear earnest testimony to parents in public and private, that they may be led to devote all their powers in sanctified service for Christ. I am instructed to urge upon our people the need of being imbued with the Spirit of God. This Spirit will teach believers to work in harmony with Christ whenever and wherever opportunity offers. As different families among our people have been presented before me, I have been shown their great need of the converting power of God….
Religion in the home is of vital importance. Upon fathers and mothers rest to a large degree the responsibility for the mold of character that their children receive…. If parents will teach their children to conduct themselves according to the principles of the Word of God, these children will unconsciously teach others what it means to be Christians. Let parents maintain true Christian dignity before their children, and they will be greatly aided in their work of upbuilding the kingdom of Christ.
The apostle Paul, describing the children living in these last days, declares them to be “disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” It is important that parents realize the tendency of the age, and labor untiringly to educate their children away from those things, preparing them, by teaching them to love and copy the life of Christ, for a place in the future life of holiness.—Letter 90, October 25, 1911, to Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell.