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Counsels on Stewardship

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    A Reason for Adversity

    Some of you have been stumbling over your pledges. The Spirit of the Lord came into the ----- meeting in answer to prayer, and while your hearts were softened under its influence, you pledged. While the streams of salvation were pouring upon your hearts, you felt that you must follow the example of Him who went about doing good, and who cheerfully gave His life to ransom man from sin and degradation. Under the heavenly, inspiring influence, you saw that selfishness and worldliness were not consistent with Christian character, and that you could not live for yourselves and be Christlike. But when the influence of His abundant love and mercy was not felt in so marked a manner in your hearts, you withdrew your offerings, and God withdrew His blessing from you.CS 310.3

    Adversity came upon some. There was a failure in their crops, so that they could not redeem their pledges; and some were even brought into straitened circumstances. Then, of course, they could not be expected to pay. But had they not murmured and withdrawn their hearts from their pledges, God would have worked for them, and would have opened ways whereby everyone could have paid what he had promised. They did not wait in faith, trusting God to open the way so that they could redeem their pledges.CS 311.1

    Some had means at their command; and had they possessed the same willing mind as when they pledged, and had they heartily rendered to God in tithes and offerings that which He had lent them for this purpose, they would have been greatly blessed. But Satan came in with his temptations, and led some to question the motives and the spirit which actuated the servant of God in presenting the call for means. Some felt that they had been deceived and defrauded. In spirit they repudiated their vows, and whatever they did afterward was with reluctance, and therefore they received no blessing.—Testimonies for the Church 5:281, 282.CS 311.2

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