Ellen G. White Writings

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The Southern Watchman

August 14, 1902

Work for Beginners

In a recent communication from Sister White, under date of July 11, 1902, to one of our leading ministers, the following statements are made:

“We are nearing the close of this earth's history. There are men who will be taken from the plough, from the vineyard, from various other branches of work, and sent forth by the Lord to give the message to the world. Men will be called to work for the Master in all parts of the earth.

“The world is out of joint. As we look at the picture, the prospect seems discouraging. But Christ greets with hopeful assurance the very men and women who cause us discouragement. He sees qualifications in them not altogether unsuited to enable them to take a place in his vineyard. If they will continually be learners, through his providence he will make them men and women fitted to do a work that is not beyond their capabilities; for he will give them tongue and utterance through the impartation of his Holy Spirit.

“Many of the barren, unworked fields must be entered by beginners. The brightness of the Saviour's view of the world will inspire confidence in many souls, who, if they begin in humility and put their hearts into the work, will be found to be right men for the time and the place. Christ sees all the misery and despair of the world, the sight of which would bow down some of our ministers of large capabilities with a weight of discouragement so great that they would not know how to begin the work of leading men and women to the first round of the ladder. Their precise methods are of little value. They would stand above the lower rounds of the ladder, saying, ‘Come up where we are.’ But the poor souls do not know where to put their feet.

“Christ's heart is cheered by the sight of those who are poor in every sense of the term; cheered by his view of the ill-used ones who are meek, and of those bowed down with the sorrows of bereavement; cheered by the seemingly unsatisfied hungering after righteousness; by the inability of many to begin. He welcomes, as it were, the very condition of things that would discourage many ministers. He sees an opportunity to help those who are so much in need of help, by meeting them where they are.

“The Lord Jesus corrects our erring piety, giving the burden of this work for the poor and needy in the rough places to men and women of adaptability who have hearts that can feel for the ignorant and for those who are out of the way. The Lord teaches them how to meet these cases. These workers will be encouraged as they see doors opening for them to enter places where they can do medical missionary work. Having little self-confidence, they give God all the glory, taking none of it to themselves. The Saviour is present to help to make a beginning through those whose hands are rough and unskilled, but whose hearts are susceptible to pity and awakened to do something to relieve the woes so abundant. He works through those who can discern mercy in misery, gain in the loss of all things. When the Light of the world passeth by, privileges appear in all hardships, right order in confusion, the success and wisdom of God in that which has seemed to be failure in human experience.

“Christ pronounces his blessing upon those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. In Luke we read, ‘Blessed be ye poor.’ The poor have not a hundredth part of the delusive temptations of the rich. In Matthew we read, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ Poverty of spirit signifies wealth to be supplied by the riches of the grace of God.

“We must have workers. We must arouse the people. The common people are to take their place as workers. Sharing the sorrows of their fellow-men as the Saviour shared the sorrows of humanity, they will by faith see him working with them.”

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