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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 130, 1903

    Christ Stilling the Tempest


    November 3, 1903 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 321. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Jesus was beside the Sea of Galilee. The view was not one of the surpassing grandeur, yet to Him it was one of peculiar interest. It was in the region round about the Sea of Galilee that He had wrought many of His miracles. And it was beneath the sheltering trees of the mountain side, but a little distance from the Sea of Galilee that, not long before, the twelve disciples had been called to the apostolate and ordained to be fishers of men.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 1

    All day Jesus had been teaching and healing, telling the people that the way to be most happy is to seek to be a blessing to others, and that when men and women give themselves wholly to this work, the earth will be filled with the glory of God.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 2

    For days Jesus had labored with scarcely any rest. Day after day He had ministered to the crowds that pressed upon Him. His mother and His brothers had sent word by the disciples, desiring to see Him. They feared that He was wearing Himself out by His incessant labors. His brothers were unable to account for His attitude toward the Pharisees, and there were some who feared that His reason was becoming unsettled. But to the message sent, Jesus had answered, “Who is My mother, and who are My brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.” [Matthew 12:48-50.]18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 3

    The malicious criticism and misrepresentations with which the Pharisees constantly pursued Christ made His labors much more severe and harassing; and now the close of the day found Him so utterly wearied that He determined to seek retirement in some solitary place across the lake.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 4

    “When even was come, He saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.” [Mark 4:35.] There was still a multitude of people on the shore, and Christ looked upon them with the deepest compassion. But His physical strength had been heavily taxed, and He was unable longer to bear the strain. There is a limit to human endurance, and this is why Christ left the people at this time. He was about to faint with weariness. He must have rest in order to be prepared for future work.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 5

    As soon as the multitude had been dismissed, the disciples took Him even “as He was” into the boat and hastily set off. [Verse 36.] The eastern shore of Gennesaret was not uninhabited, for there were towns here and there beside the lake; yet it was a desolate region when compared with the western side. It contained a population more heathen then Jewish and had little communication with Galilee. Thus it offered Jesus the seclusion He sought, and He now bade His disciples go thither.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 6

    Overcome with weariness, Christ lay down in the stern of the boat and soon fell asleep. Not long before, to one who, impressed by His words and His wonderful works of healing, had asked the privilege of following Him, He had said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” [Matthew 8:20.]18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 7

    Behold the weary, exhausted medical missionary Worker, who for us suffered so much physical discomfort and pain, who was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. He is lying asleep, not on a comfortable bed, His head resting on a soft pillow, but in the bottom of the boat, with a coil of rope under His head.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 8

    Happy are they who can lie down to rest, wearied with unselfish effort to bless and benefit suffering humanity. The weary, trusting toiler, after courageously doing his best, can go to his rest at peace with God, saying, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.” [Psalm 4:8.]18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 9

    “And so He giveth His beloved sleep.” [Psalm 127:2.] Look at the face of the Saviour, so careworn, yet so peaceful. There is upon it no trace of sin, save the weariness that the sins of others have caused. Love, mercy, purity, goodness are there revealed. Heavenly nobility is there. Soon that dear face was to be marred by the cruelty of those for whom the Son of God came to give His life. Soon the Saviour was to hang on the cross, revealing to the world, to angels, and to men the unspeakable love of God.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 10

    One of the greatest blessings that will ever come to human beings is spoken of in the words, “They shall see His face”—the face that angels adore. [Revelation 22:4.] But who will see it? Will it be those who did not choose to see it in this world, those who turned away from beholding it, choosing rather to look upon evil and unite with sinners? No, no! In that day such ones will not want to see His glorified face. They will turn from it with pain, because on this earth they despised His counsel and would none of His reproof. As the shadows of night settle down upon the lake, the disciples realize that a change has taken place in the weather. The wind sweeps wildly down the mountain gorges and along the eastern shore. The disciples have spent their lives upon the lake, and they see that a fierce storm is upon them. Their fears are aroused. They say little, but work quickly to make everything secure.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 11

    With a roar the tempest smites the lake, and the waves rush upon one another as if in conflict. The sea wrestles as if in fearful rage.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 12

    Still Christ sleeps on—the deep sleep of exhaustion. His human nature has been drawn on to its utmost capacity in His effort to impart the virtues of His divine nature to the sick and sorrowing. The tempest roars, the thunder crashes, the lightnings flash, the rain beats on His face, yet He sleeps on. His clothing is drenched. The angels look upon the scene with amazement.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 13

    This is part of Christ’s appointed lot. The King of glory humbled Himself to the low estate of the fallen race, that He might bring peace and rest to the weary and tempest-tossed and guide the wanderers in the wilderness of sin to the haven of eternal rest.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 14

    The disciples have guided their craft safely through many a storm, but now their strength and skill avail nothing. Their boat has become unmanageable. They find that they must let it drive before the gale. They keep a firm hold of the helm and let the boat drive straight before the wind and the sea. The fury of the tempest increases, and they begin to despair of saving themselves. The deck is being flooded, and the waves come in faster and faster. One wave after another is hurled over the ship. Mark says, “The waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.” [Mark 4:37.]18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 15

    Just as all hope is leaving them, there comes to them the thought that Jesus is on board. One of them, touching Him, says in accents of despair, “Master, save, or we perish.” [Matthew 8:25; Luke 8:24.] That cry reaches Christ’s heart. The thunder of the elements could not wake Him, but one alarmed touch from His disciples, one agonized cry, and He was instantly upon His feet.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 16

    He rose, and rebuke the wind, and as one having authority over the boisterous elements, said to the sea, “Peace, be still.” [Mark 4:39.] He had slept as an exhausted man. He awoke as a commander, as one to be obeyed. He showed no signs of alarm, but spoke as one equal with the Father, and the winds and the waves obeyed His voice. He was master of the situation. As He spoke the words, “Peace, be still,” the sea became perfectly calm. Nature recognized the voice of her Lord and Master and obeyed.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 17

    Thus Christ sought to increase the faith of the disciples and to give an evidence that through all time would testify to the divine character of His mission as the Sent of God.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 18

    For us, as well as for the disciples, this miracle was wrought. How often the disciples’ experience is ours. When the tempests of temptation gather, and the fierce lightnings flash, and the waves sweep over us, we battle with the storm alone, forgetting that there is One who can help us. We trust in our own strength till hope is lost, and we are ready to perish. Then we remember Jesus, and if we call upon Him to save us, we shall not cry in vain. Though He sorrowfully reproves our unbelief and self-confidence, He never fails to give us the help we need. Whether on the land or on the sea, if we have the Saviour in our hearts, there is no need of fear. Living faith in the Redeemer will smooth the sea of life and will deliver us from danger in the way that He knows to be best.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 19

    Our Leader

    The Saviour gave Himself to a life of self-denial and self-sacrifice. He laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown and stepped down from His position as commander in the heavenly courts, to take humanity upon Himself and stand at the head of the human race. He came to be tempted as man is tempted, to pass through the vicissitudes through which human beings are called to pass, and to live a life of sinlessness, showing to all the “better part” [Luke 10:42] that they may obtain by living for God, through the grace received from heaven. For our sakes He became poor, that we might come into possession of eternal riches. He took our nature upon Him, that we might be partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. He subjected Himself to poverty and temptation, that human beings, seeing His example, listening to His teaching, obeying His lessons, might obtain everlasting life—even an eternal weight of glory.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 20

    O Jesus, what humiliation, what suffering, what trial Thou didst endure to procure for us happiness in this world and in the world to come! Thou wast wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Thee, and by Thy stripes we are healed.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 21

    It is a marvel to the angels that human beings should choose to be incapable of realizing how greatly Christ humiliated Himself in their behalf. They marvel that men and women do not rejoice to acknowledge Christ as their Saviour, to accept Him as their Leader, and to follow His example of self-denial.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 22

    Why are men and women so easily led to follow a course that grieves the Lord Jesus? Why do they choose to stand under the banner of the one who rebelled in the heavenly courts? Why do they not choose to take their position on the side of Christ—the side of Omnipotence?18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 23

    To the angels, the course followed by human beings seems strangely inconsistent. They see how plainly degradation is revealed on the side of unbelief and indulgence of appetite. They see how untiringly Satan is working to destroy the image of God in man. They wonder why beings dependent on their Creator for every breath they draw act so unreasonably and inconsistently; why they choose the side of the one who crucified Christ and who has filled the world with strife and envy and jealousy.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 24

    Can we, as reasoning beings, regard as wise the choice that leads us to stand under the black banner of rebellion, rather than under the banner of Prince Emmanuel?18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 25

    May God help all who read these words to see their import and to begin to inquire, “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” [Mark 10:17.] We should not need one moment to decide to step from under the banner of rebellion to the banner of loyalty.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 26

    Christ is the Lord our righteousness. Let us take our stand on His side now, just now. Let none be ashamed to acknowledge Christ as their Saviour, their counselor, their guide, and their exceeding great reward. Is this sacrificing anything? Is it an honor to be numbered among Satan’s army? Those who make this choice gain nothing. Only death, eternal death, awaits them.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 27

    Let those who are tempted to choose the world, to strive to gain the recognition of the world, remember that unless they choose Christ here, they will not have the recognition of heaven. Tempted ones, whom have you chosen as your leader? The one who, though greatly honored in heaven, became a rebel, and who, with all his sympathizers, was cast out? Will you dishonor your Creator and Redeemer by choosing the great apostate as your leader? Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came to this world to redeem the fallen race. He has given us evidence of His great power. He will enable those who receive Him to build up characters free from the tendencies that Satan reveals. You can resist Satan and all his temptations. The battle will be won, the victory gained, by him who chooses Christ as his leader, determined to do right because it is right.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 28

    Commit the keeping of your souls to God. Our divine Lord is equal to any emergency. With Him, nothing is impossible. He has shown His great love for us by living a life of self-denial and humiliation and dying a death of agony, to save us from eternal ruin.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 29

    Come to Christ just as you are, weak, helpless, and ready to die. Cast yourselves wholly on His mercy. There is no difficulty within or without that cannot be conquered in His strength. Some have stormy tempers. But He who calmed the stormy sea of Galilee can say to your heart, “Peace, be still.” [Mark 4:39.] There is no nature that Christ cannot subdue, no temper so stormy that He cannot quell it, if the heart is surrendered to His keeping.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 30

    No one need despond who commits his soul to Jesus. We have an all-powerful Saviour. Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, you can say, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” [Psalm 46:1-3.]18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 31

    Do not think that the Christian life is a life free from temptation. Temptations will come to every Christian. Both the Christian and the one who does not accept Christ as his leader will have trials. The difference is that the latter is serving a tyrant, doing his mean drudgery, while the Christian is serving One who died to give him eternal life. He must not look upon trial as something strange, but as the means by which he is to be purified and strengthened.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 32

    “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations,” James declares; “knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” [James 1:2, 3.]18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 33

    In the future life we shall understand things that here greatly perplex us. We shall realize how strong an opponent we had and how angels of God were commissioned to guard us as we followed the counsel of the Word of God.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 34

    Christ tells us that our sea will not always be smooth. We shall have tribulation. This is a part of our education, necessary to the formation of a strong, symmetrical character. There is nobility of character for us to gain. Every day we are to acquire a deeper knowledge of Christ.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 35

    Christ desires to give all who receive Him power to become the sons of God. He is a very present help in every time of trouble. Let us be ashamed of our wavering faith. Those who are weak in moral power have only themselves to blame that they do not resist the enemy. We have no excuse for failing to do our best. The Bible has been placed in our hands as a guide. It is a light shining in a dark place. All who choose can walk in the light. All who choose can come to Christ and find the help they need.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 36

    Looking at the Mistakes of Others

    There are those who say, I might have been a Christian could I have seen in the lives of professing Christians anything better than I saw in the lives of those making no profession. They endeavor to excuse their own defects by pointing to the defects of others. To such ones I would say, Did you try to show these professing Christians that they were doing the Saviour great harm by their unchristlike lives? When you saw them doing that which you knew to be wrong, why did you not say, in the strength of your God-given manhood or womanhood, “I will not bear the name of Christian, and practice deception. I have the Bible, the Word of the living God. I will be an honest Christian. I will not misrepresent the One who gave His life for me. I have the sure word of promise, As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” [See John 1:12.]18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 37

    Because others are making mistakes in the Christian life, do not think that you are justified in sinning. Do not think that God will excuse you for being a hypocrite because others practice hypocrisy. What some one else does will not answer your case. It is your privilege to place yourself where you may reach the highest point of Christian excellence. As you strive for the crown of eternal life, praying that you may be made strong in the strength of Him who is invincible, you can help those who seem to have no power to escape from the snare into which they have fallen.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 38

    “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] If you have become weak in spiritual power by following a course of your own choosing and looking at the mistakes of others, resolve that you will now make a decided change. You do Christ a great dishonor by looking at the sins that you suppose others are committing, while you yourself are not following in His footsteps. God is pitiful and full of tender mercy. Rise in the strength of Christ to your God-given manhood. You gain nothing when you attempt to excuse your defects by pointing to the defects of others. Since you can see the faults of some one else so plainly, does it lessen your guilt for you to copy these faults? Why should you blind your eyes and weaken your mental, moral, and spiritual powers because some one else is doing wrong?18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 39


    The doctrine of indifference needs to be torn into shreds. It strengthens the hands of the wrongdoer, puts arguments into the mouths of unbelievers, injures souls, perplexes the anxious, and gives a plea to the caviler. The full truth of God is now to be unfolded. Truth, present truth, is needed now.18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 40

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