Ellen G. White Writings

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Bible Echo and Signs of the Times

April 1, 1889

Praise the Lord

Mrs. E. G. White

Those who love God and his truth should be the happiest people in the world. There is a glorious hope set before them; for “he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” in the kingdom of God. And here, as in the eternal world, the work of righteousness is peace; and holiness is happiness, because holiness is a part of heaven. Nor is this all. All around us we see reasons for praising God, evidences of his love for us in his created works. How strange it is that so many look with indifference on these tokens of his regard for their happiness.

It is evident that the Author of nature is the Author of the Bible. God is a lover of the beautiful, and he has given unmistakable evidences of his love for man, in the beauties of the material world. He has garnished the heavens with matchless and wonderful splendor. He has clothed the earth with a carpet of velvet green, and given to the flowers their beautiful and varied tints. And what are we doing with the gifts that God has so richly bestowed upon us? Do we overlook the most precious things in nature, or do we closely investigate these treasures in various ways, that we may take in all the depth of his love in providing them for our comfort and delight? Do the glories of earth, and sea, and sky, kindle in our hearts grateful, happy thoughts of God? Do we read in the lofty trees, in the waving grass, in the flowers of the field, the lesson that is taught there,—that God loves us?

I listen to the happy songsters caroling forth their hymns of praise to God above, and joy kindles in my own heart. I look upon the lofty trees, and contemplate the loving Heavenly Father who has planted them for us, and my heart is drawn out in praise and thanksgiving. We see God in his created works; nature teaches us of his character and majesty.

The glorious things of nature seem to have been designed for the purpose of illustrating Bible truth, and in contemplating them the mind should be instinctively drawn to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Said Jesus, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” And shall we be inconsiderate of the flowers of God? Shall we regard with indifference these tokens of his wonderful love toward fallen man? In contemplating the works of his hand, we are to look beyond to the royal gifts that await the faithful and obedient child of heaven. The apostle declares, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Oh, what value we may see every day in the unspeakable gifts of God! Shall we not rid the heart of the base thing that has taken possession of it which makes us incapable of appreciating the matchless love of our Heavenly Father? Shall we not now tune our hearts to praise God from whom all blessings flow? Let us stop every breath of complaint, and shape our words into songs of joy and thankfulness for his beautiful gifts in the world of nature, and for the priceless gift of his dear Son to save a perishing world. If we would be among those who will praise God in the world to come, we must begin to praise him here, and now. We must tune our hearts to the music of heaven, which is praise to God and to the Lamb forever and ever.

Jesus says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” If Christians would open their hearts to the joy that Christ is willing to give them, they would represent the religion of the Bible much better than they now do. We are to be in the world, but we are not to be of it. We are to cultivate gratitude and love and praise in our hearts, that through his promises, richer than precious pearls, we may discern the purposes of God toward us. As the flowers gather for themselves the hidden properties of earth and air, and develop into things of beauty to delight our senses, so Christians are privileged to gather from the garden of God's promises, faith and hope, peace, joy, and support. They are to give out again to others a life fragrant with good works.

In the promises, God withdraws the veil from heaven, and bids us look into the glory prepared for those who love him. Why do we so constantly take our gaze away from these things of unsurpassed loveliness in the inheritance of the saints in light, and fix our eyes upon the things that are dark and forbidding? Why do we gather the clouds of unbelief about our souls, and enshroud ourselves in an atmosphere that is only discouraging, and will be death to our spirituality? God would have us learn lessons from the water-lily that opens its pure white blossoms upon the bosom of the lake. The flower reposes in spotless loveliness while all around it, in the water, may be unseemly and obnoxious things. The lily strikes its roots deeper and still deeper into the rich soil far beneath the surface of the lake, and, refusing everything that would taint and pollute its purity, draws to itself only those properties that will aid its development into a spotless and beautiful flower.

Shall we not learn a lesson from this? Although we are in a world teeming with moral corruption, we have no need to gather to our souls the disgusting pollutions of earth. We may refuse the evil. We may choose the good. We may gather to our souls the precious, the pure, the heavenly; we may put into our character-building solid timber, that will make a fit temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, we may gather to our souls evil suggestions, and doubts, and impurities. We may communicate with the prince of darkness, and refuse the Prince of light. We may put unworthy, unsound timbers into our character-building; and our thoughts, our words, our influence, will lead others into darkness. Our words and works will not be a savor of life unto life, but of death unto death. While we claim to be Christians, if we do not gather with Christ we shall be agents of Satan, to beguile souls away into the paths of destruction. God forbid that this should be the case. Let your life, dear reader, be a continual testimony that you belong to Christ. Represent your Lord in kindness, in forbearance, in long-suffering, in patience, in thinking no evil, in cheerfulness, in fulness of joy.

In the work of overcoming sinful habits, special grace will be given to all that sincerely desire it. We may come to the divine Helper, who is able to succor those who are in the midst of temptation and evil. The loving-kindness of God is not all reserved for the future, eternal reward, but it is abundant for the present needs of his people. All the changes of life, all the hard places in the way to heaven, will be blessed by the grace that is sufficient for every trial. We have assuring promises of protection and help. The everlasting arms will be beneath us to encourage, sustain, and uphold. Poverty or wealth, sickness or health, simplicity or wisdom,—all are provided for in the promises of his grace. There is light for the intellect, love for the heart, and vigor for every faculty. If we will not lay hold on the blessings God has provided for us, if we will only grasp hold of the thorns and the thistles, to wound and bruise ourselves, we have no right to complain of God's dealing with us.

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Praise God, brethren and sisters. Praise him with heart, and soul, and voice, and thus you will be learning to sing the songs of heaven.

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