Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

October 22, 1896

The Source of Strength

Mrs. E. G. White

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

There is work for every one to do if he will co-operate with God. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; 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.” Holy intelligences are waiting to work through us. If we will consecrate heart and mind to the service of God, doing the work he has for us to do, and walking in the footsteps of Jesus, our hearts will become sacred harps, every chord of which will send forth praise and thanksgiving to the Lamb sent by God to take away the sins of the world.

The life of Christ and his labors of love shame and condemn the unbelief shown by many. He has promised: “Ask, and it shall be given you,” “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things unto them that ask him?” Those who do not know Jesus as their personal Saviour, do not avail themselves of the promised blessings; but to all who believe, he is as the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God. His branches reach to this world, that the blessings which he has purchased for us may be brought within our reach. Why, then, do we spend our precious time bemoaning our weakness, when Christ has made every provision for us to be strong? He has given us a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which will present to us the precious fruit from the Tree of Life. From this tree we may pluck and eat, and we may then guide others to it, that they also may eat. Why should we mourn our inefficiency, when the heavenly angels are waiting to co-operate with us, to make us living agencies, blessing the world with the messages God will give us to bear.

If you have neglected to place your hand in the hand of Christ, you are in constant danger of being deceived. Many are spiritually weak because instead of cultivating faith, they look at the discouraging features of their work. In the time of trial they turn to humanity for aid, but in doing this, they lean upon a broken reed; for in humanity they will often be sorely disappointed. The distrust and suspicion thus awakened bear their own fruit.

Christ would have our thoughts center upon him. After he has given us many tokens of his willingness to help in any emergency, he is grieved if we withdraw our eyes from his sufficiency to look at our own weakness or the weaknesses of others. Look away from self to Jesus Christ, the Life of every blessing, every grace, the Life of all that is precious and valuable to the children of God. We have no cause to bemoan our own inefficiency, because Christ has shown himself to be an ever present help in time of need.

The Lord Jesus is our strength and happiness, the great storehouse from which, on every occasion, men may draw strength. As we study him, talk of him, become more and more able to behold him,—as we avail ourselves of his grace, and receive the blessings he proffers us, we have something with which to help others. Filled with gratitude, we communicate to others the blessings that have been freely given us. Thus receiving and imparting, we grow in grace; and a rich current of praise and gratitude constantly flows from our lips; the sweet spirit of Jesus kindles thanksgiving in our hearts, and our souls are uplifted with a sense of security. The unfailing, inexhaustible righteousness of Christ becomes our righteousness by faith.

When temptations assail you, as they surely will, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light, rest in Christ's love and under his protecting shade; for in his shadow we may find rest and peace. When sin struggles for the mastery in the human heart, when guilt oppresses the soul and burdens the conscience, when unbelief clouds the mind, remember that Christ's grace is sufficient to subdue sin and expel the darkness. Jesus, the sin-pardoning Saviour, is our Advocate in the courts of heaven, and he calls upon us to “arise and shine,” because his glory has risen upon us.

One reason of the spiritual feebleness of today is the low estimate that believers in Christ are constantly inclined to form of themselves. Christ paid an infinite price for us, and he desires his chosen heritage to value themselves according to the price he placed upon them. Do not disappoint Jesus by placing a low estimate upon yourselves. Embrace the opportunities and privileges which will increase your value with God; for by accepting the treasures of his grace you will become precious and lovely in his sight. Practical godliness will run through your lives like threads of gold, and as God beholds your consecration to him, he will say, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” All heaven rejoices over the weak, faulty human soul that gives itself to Jesus, and in his strength lives a life of purity.

Our path to the Paradise of God will be often intercepted by the tempter, who is intent on weakening our faith by hiding the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Our Saviour has warned us that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God. “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” For every service we render, every self-denial, every sacrifice we make, the Lord has guaranteed to requite us, not because it is a debt he owes, but because his heart is full of infinite love, full of mercy and tenderness. In this life he will repay us a hundredfold, and in the world to come he will give us everlasting life.

Every moment is exceedingly precious. Those who overcome much, love Jesus the most, and in that day, when every one is rewarded according to his works, they will be put next to Christ, within the inner circle; honored, yes, greatly honored. “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Know that he loves you, and will be your constant efficiency. “Arise and shine; for thy light is come.” “Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.”

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