Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 258

Obstacles a Test of Faith, September 9

Ezra 4:6-24

For who hath despised the day of small things? Zechariah 4:10.

In rebuilding the house of the Lord, Zerubbabel had labored in the face of manifold difficulties. From the beginning, adversaries had “weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,” “and made them to cease by force and power.” But the Lord had interposed in behalf of the builders, and now He spoke through His prophet to Zerubbabel, saying, “Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain.” ...

Throughout the history of God's people great mountains of difficulty, apparently insurmountable, have loomed up before those who were trying to carry out the purposes of Heaven. Such obstacles are permitted by the Lord as a test of faith. When we are hedged about on every side, this is the time above all others to trust in God and in the power of His Spirit. The exercise of a living faith means an increase of spiritual strength and the development of an unfaltering trust. It is thus that the soul becomes a conquering power. Before the demand of faith, the obstacles placed by Satan across the pathway of the Christian will disappear; for the powers of heaven will come to his aid. “Nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

The way of the world is to begin with pomp and boasting. God's way is to make the day of small things the beginning of the glorious triumph of truth and righteousness. Sometimes He trains His workers by bringing to them disappointment and apparent failure. It is His purpose that they shall learn to master difficulties.

Often men are tempted to falter before the perplexities and obstacles that confront them. But if they will hold the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end, God will make the way clear.... Before the intrepid spirit and unwavering faith of a Zerubbabel, great mountains of difficulty will become a plain; and he whose hands have laid the foundation, even “his hands shall also finish it.”15Prophets and Kings, 594, 595.

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