Ellen G. White Writings

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Bible Echo and Signs of the Times

June 1, 1892

Humility and its Reward

Mrs. E. G. White

“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3.

Humility is before honor. The apostle exhorts the followers of Christ: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Fear lest you make a mistake, and bring dishonor upon the name of the Lord. Cry unto him, believing that he has power to save. This is the humility that we want; not a humility on stilts, parading itself before the eyes of men, that it may win praise for righteousness. We need a Physician and Restorer; and when we come unto Christ petitioning for his grace, the Comforter will breathe into our souls his words, “My peace give I unto you.”

We are to come to God as little children; and as we realize our poverty and weakness, we are not to tell it to men, who can give us no strength, but to God; for he will know just what to do for us. Speaking through the prophet, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; ... to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

How thankful we should be that we have a heavenly Intercessor. Jesus presents us to the Father robed in his righteousness. He pleads before God in our behalf. He says, “I have taken the sinner's place. Look not upon this wayward child, but look on me. Look not upon his filthy garments, but look on my righteousness.” When we are forgiven for our sins, when our filthy garments are taken away, then we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling; but we are not left to do the work alone; “for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” God works and man works; and as this co-operation is maintained, the richest blessings will come upon those who labor together with God. The Lord says: “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” Blessed are they that realize their poverty, their lost and undone condition, and mourn over their sins and errors. Although the Lord says the mourner shall be comforted, it is not that he shall exalt himself, as did the Pharisee. He who has mourned for his sins knows that there is no merit in himself. He beholds in Jesus “the chiefest among ten thousand,” “the one altogether lovely,” and he centres his affections upon Christ. If Jesus was the centre of attraction to you, the one on whom your affections were placed, would you hide this love in your heart, and never let it out?—No, you would tell of his love, you would catch his spirit, and imitate his example.

“Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” But the earth promised to the meek will be a better one than this. It will be purified from all sin and defilement, and will bear the image of the divine. Satan has placed his throne in the earth; but where the usurper has set up his rule, there will Jesus place his throne, and there shall be no more curse. The glory of the Lord is to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Jesus desires to give his children a home where there will be no more sin, no more sorrow, no more death, but all will be joy and gladness. He says: “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.”

The Lord desires to take every son and daughter of Adam and purify them from their iniquity. He would lift them up from their state of misery and degradation and wretchedness, and write upon them his divine superscription, and make them inheritors of his glorious rest. It is man's sin and unbelief that oppose the work that God would do for humanity. Jesus died for the whole world; but in stubborn unbelief, men refuse to be fashioned after the divine Pattern.

How blessed will be the lot of those who enter into that glorious abode where there will be no more sin, no more suffering! What a prospect is this for the imagination! what a theme for contemplation! The Bible is full of the richest treasures of truth, of glowing descriptions of that heavenly land. We should search the Scriptures, that we may better understand the plan of salvation, and learn of the righteousness of Christ, until we shall exclaim, in viewing the matchless charms of our Redeemer, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” There we shall see his infinite compassion. The imagination may reach out in contemplation of the wonders of redeeming love, and yet in its highest exercises we shall not be able to grasp the height, and depth, and length, and breadth of the love of God; for it passeth knowledge. In Christ was the fulness of the Godhead bodily. In him every treasure of heaven was given, and he has it in trust for us. O, then why do we not trust him? Why do we doubt his tender mercy and love? Do you think that he who died for you, cares not whether you are saved or not? Do you imagine that he cares not for the bereaved, the mourning ones? that he looks not with pity on the poor in spirit who are under the bondage of Satan? The tender, compassionate Jesus, who died for the sins of the world, will not turn away from the cry of the needy. He asks, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget; yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”

The Saviour designs to cleanse his children until no particle of selfishness shall remain. But temptation is on every side. In the world pride and vanity are displayed, to attract the mind to those things that the world admires, which can never satisfy the heart's hunger. O, then, let your cry continually be:

“Hangs my helpless soul on Thee.”

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