Ellen G. White Writings

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Peter’s Counsel to Parents, Page 17

Christ. Joseph is an example of how the youth may stand unspotted, amid the evil of the world, and add to their faith, virtue. Though a captive in a strange land, far from the restraints of home, he kept the fear of God before him, and when he was sorely tempted to indulge in evil, he exclaimed, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” The grace of God enabled him to resist the tempter. He was cast into prison, because of his steadfastness of purpose to keep the commandments of God. But prison walls could not shut out the light of Heaven's favor, nor hinder his advancement in the divine life; for “the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy.” And the Lord will be with every soul who adds the precious grace of virtue, and who fears to transgress the law of Heaven.

Belief and patience

Joseph did not complain at his lot, nor question why the Lord permitted him to suffer for righteousness’ sake. He did not allow any cloud of despondency to settle upon his heart. He believed in God, and patiently waited for his salvation. He determined that this affliction should serve as an occasion to glorify God and benefit his associates. He did not cease his efforts toward perfection of character. He forgot his sorrow in seeking to lighten the sorrows of others, and the prisoners saw that the Lord was with Joseph. When he had borne the proving of the furnace, the Lord brought him out of the gloomy cell, and exalted him to a position next to the king of Egypt. Those who honor God will be honored by Him.

Had Joseph wavered and fallen under the first temptation, his strength would have been insufficient for the second test. It is important that we do not take a wrong step in any direction; for it is very unprofitable to us. Whatever it may cost you, add to your faith, virtue. The greatest earthly loss will prove eternal gain if this is accomplished. If we use our powers unwisely, for the gratification of sinful desires, we cannot attain to the exaltation of character to which God would have us attain. We rob God of the service we should render, and fail to accomplish the good that we owe to our fellow men. If we give ourselves to Christ, He will become our helper. Poor and sinful and dependent, He will wash us in His own blood, put His Spirit within us, and make us to reflect His image.

Round three: Knowledge—Benefits from associating with Christ

Every moment of our lives is intensely real, and charged with solemn responsibilities. Ignorance will be no excuse for lack of

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