Author Topic: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?  (Read 7536 times)

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JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #100 on: September 26, 2014, 05:13:47 PM »
Will you review your past life, will you see where your defects and mistakes have been, and when you see that they are many, will you remember that Jesus lives to make intercession for you, and not sink down in discouragement? Jesus pleads his blood before the Father, and says, "I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions as a thick cloud." Let this be the language of your heart: "Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." Do not even for a moment distrust your Saviour's power to save you. Fall in your helplessness at the foot of the cross; today believe the promise of God. Jesus loves us with a love that is infinite. Oh, what love, what matchless love, he has shown for the children of men! Jesus does not desire you to wait to make yourself better; he desires you to take him today as your Saviour. This very day say: "He is mine, and I am his. I will give my soul into his keeping, and he will keep that which I have committed to his trust against that day. Through faith he will give me victory over the temptations of the enemy. I shall see of his salvation. I shall triumph in God." Do you not think that such language as this will drive back the enemy from the tempted soul? Satan tries to interpose himself between us and Christ, but we must drive him back by talking faith, and by exalting the power of Jesus to save us. Shall we not take steps in advance without delay? Shall we not show that we are not afraid to trust our Saviour in the darkness as well as in the light? I have been tested on this point. One loved one after another has been torn from me by death, and it has seemed as though it would crush me; but in these hours Jesus has seemed to say to me: "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."  {ST, March 17, 1890 par. 4}
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #101 on: October 21, 2014, 09:11:56 AM »
Amen, Jim. Faith, like a photograph is developed in the dark.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #102 on: October 29, 2014, 06:48:05 PM »
The words of Christ pointing to His death had brought sadness and doubt. And the selection of the three disciples to accompany Jesus to the mountain had excited the jealousy of the nine. Instead of strengthening their faith by prayer and meditation on the words of Christ, they had been dwelling on their discouragements and personal grievances. In this state of darkness they had undertaken the conflict with Satan.  {DA 431.1} 
     In order to succeed in such a conflict they must come to the work in a different spirit. Their faith must be strengthened by fervent prayer and fasting, and humiliation of heart. They must be emptied of self, and be filled with the Spirit and power of God. Earnest, persevering supplication to God in faith--faith that leads to entire dependence upon God, and unreserved consecration to His work--can alone avail to bring men the Holy Spirit's aid in the battle against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits in high places.  {DA 431.2} 
     "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed," said Jesus, "ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove." Though the grain of mustard seed is so small, it contains that same mysterious life principle which produces growth in the loftiest tree. When the mustard seed is cast into the ground, the tiny germ lays hold of every element that God has provided for its nutriment, and it speedily develops a sturdy growth. If you have faith like this, you will lay hold upon God's word, and upon all the helpful agencies He has appointed. Thus your faith will strengthen, and will bring to your aid the power of heaven. The obstacles that are piled by Satan across your path, though apparently as insurmountable as the eternal hills, shall disappear before the demand of faith. "Nothing shall be impossible unto you."  {DA 431.3} 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Mimi

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #103 on: October 30, 2014, 06:37:01 AM »
The words of Christ pointing to His death had brought sadness and doubt. And the selection of the three disciples to accompany Jesus to the mountain had excited the jealousy of the nine. Instead of strengthening their faith by prayer and meditation on the words of Christ, they had been dwelling on their discouragements and personal grievances. In this state of darkness they had undertaken the conflict with Satan.  {DA 431.1}

This paragraph appeared as magnified to me this morning.

Jesus chose three to go with Him to the mountain.

The nine left behind became jealous. "In this state of darkness" they undertook a battle with Satan. Their unbelief, that shut them out from deeper sympathy with Christ, and the carelessness with which they regarded the sacred work committed to them, had caused their failure in the conflict with the powers of darkness.

When our thoughts turn back to ourselves, the varied circumstances we consider all important, power to do His bidding is utterly lost. Failure to remain connected to the Vine results in defeat in ministry to others.

I may want to be called to go to the mountain with Jesus, but if He didn't call me to go with Him on that specific mission, jealousy of another who is called is not my business. There is still a work to do "in the plain."

Consider the application to our stations in life. Do we handle the little things committed to us with carelessness because we are not called to more lofty positions? It is a thing to ponder.

I'll get personal and say this at the outset. The Lord is refining me with a vengeance. He knows my character and although there is much about myself that I do know, He knows me to the core. At present He has me glued to the position of chief maid and bottle washer to a brood of needy individuals who seemed to appear out of nowhere. Only He could have placed them in my path. It is not glamorous work and it is so very tiring, but ... That is my work "in the plain." And although it seems mundane and oh so lackluster, if that work were to be left undone at the most basic level, how could I effectively help these people who so depend on me? I am the only Christian in the house and they closely watch me. When challenges arise, and do they ever, I cannot afford to be left to discouragement, jealousy or careless handling of His job description - the power He affords in sustaining me would be lost and all of this would be for naught, causing reproach upon Him. It is His work. And of this, sometimes the reminders to myself of that fact are frequently required and I must fall on my knees because I am not prone to gracefulness. Only in heaven will we know the true importance of faithfulness in little things like tending to the basic needs necessary to sustain daily living. May God help us as we faithfully work where He places us. It it character refining and that is what we want. It is what we need.   

     
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #104 on: October 30, 2014, 10:44:54 AM »
We are all in the refiners fire hopefully and in the process learning some things about ourselves (both good and bad) but most of all learning about our kind Savior who is willing to save to the uttermost. I just pray that the Lord will guide me in His ways.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Mimi

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #105 on: October 30, 2014, 10:45:33 AM »
Amen.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #106 on: November 06, 2014, 06:36:46 PM »
Mat 5:3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.....
Mat 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Has Satan wounded you and is now whispering dreadful and discouraging thoughts into your ear. Don't despair but rather look and live!!!!

----------------------------------------------------------------------

April 9, 1894 Look not to Self but to Christ.
-
By Mrs. E. G. White.
-

     It is in looking upon our sinful condition, and talking and mourning over our wretchedness, that distress becomes more keen, and pain accumulates. Let the sinner arise in the strength of Jesus, for he has no strength of his own, and let him assert his liberty. Let him believe that the Lord has spoken truth, and trust in him, whatever may be the feelings of the heart. Let the sinner say, I will look away from my own misery, from the wound of the serpent, to the uplifted Saviour, who has said, "Him that cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out." Look upon Jesus. Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 1} 
     Let no one make his feelings his idol, and bow his soul down to worship and serve his sensations. "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." It is your privilege to believe that Christ has borne your sins; for God hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. You are under the shelter of the sure refuge, under the cover of the atoning blood of the acceptable sacrifice.  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 2} 
     All legalism, all the sorrow and woe by which you may encompass yourself, will not give you one moment of relief. You cannot rightly estimate sin. You must accept God's estimate, and it is heavy indeed. If you bore the guilt of your sin, it would crush you; but the sinless One has taken your place, and, though, undeserving, he has borne your guilt. By accepting the provision God has made, you may stand free before God in the merit and virtue of your Substitute. You will then have a proper estimate of sin, and the godly sorrow of true repentance will take the place of hopeless discouragement and grief, for you will turn from sin with grief and abhorrence.  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 3} 
     Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Do not think for an instant that any human being has a more loving heart, and a more tender compassion for you, than he who died on Calvary to save you. Do not turn from the divine to the human. The human messenger may bid you hope, on the ground that God's word bids you hope. Your Heavenly Father invites you to come to him as a little child to a loving parent, and say, Thou hast said: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 4} 
     Christ is the friend of sinners. When the scribes and the Pharisees accused him of eating with publicans and sinners, Jesus said, "I come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." If you feel yourself to be the greatest of sinners, then Christ is just what you need; for he is the greatest of Saviours. Lift up your head, and look away from yourself, away from the poisoned wound of the serpent, to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. What will all your groaning and the torturing of your soul avail? You may entertain thoughts that condemn you, but in them there is no salvation. Put away your thoughts, and receive the thoughts of God, through which your mind may be elevated, your soul purified and uplifted. The Lord says: "For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer." Why will you carry your burden of sin, when Christ has come to be your burden bearer? Roll your sins at the foot of the cross. Unload! unload! He takes away the sins of the world. "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 5} 
     You have been pronounced a sinner, and Christ has announced himself a Saviour. Accept the remedy God has provided for you in a sin-pardoning Saviour. How would you have felt had you been in the camp of Israel and seen the people groaning and shrieking in distress because of their swollen and painful wounds, when the brazen serpent was uplifted, and when by one look they might be healed? Would you not have exclaimed: "Why do they not look at the uplifted serpent? How strange it is that they do not perform the one simple act by which they might receive healing!" But is it not as inconsistent for you to refuse to look at the crucified Saviour?--Heed the invitation: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him: and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 6} 
     Why should the repenting sinner forsake his thoughts? It is because they are not in accordance with truth. He is tempted to believe that because of his sins God has given him up to the will of his enemy, and that there is no pardon for so great a sinner as he. But all these thoughts are dishonoring to God, because man is God's possession, both by creation and redemption. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him [as his personal Saviour, and accepts him as the only provision whereby he can be saved] should not perish, but have everlasting life." You are one of the whosoever may believe. But while you cherish unbelief, and permit feeling to govern you, your case will look hopeless to yourself. Forsake these unbelieving thoughts. God says: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 7} 


By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #107 on: November 06, 2014, 06:37:57 PM »
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Poor, doubting, discouraged soul, I would address you as one of that world for whom God gave his Son. He loves you, and will save you if you will but receive the gift of his only-begotten Son. Moses prayed that God would show him his glory, "and the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty." This is the character of the God in whom you are to put your trust. "God is love." Repeat this sentence whenever temptation presses upon you. Remember that he is just and merciful, true and gracious, and will by no means clear the guilty. God can be just, and yet be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. He will accept you just as you are; for there is no hope of your becoming better until you come to Jesus for pardon and sanctification. Mourning and weeping will not purify you. You may mourn your life away in unbelief, and in bitterness of soul, but the power to cleanse the vilest sinner is vested wholly in him who can save unto the uttermost.  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 8} 
     God does not ask you to feel that Jesus is your Saviour, but to believe that he died for you, and that his blood now cleanseth you from all sin. You have been bitten by the serpent, and as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness that the dying might look and live, so Christ was lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. Saving faith is simplicity itself. You must cry no more; you must cease to hang down your head as a bulrush. Look to the uplifted Saviour, and, however, grievous may have been your sins, believe he saves you. All the remedies and medicines of the world would have failed to cure one soul who had been bitten by the venomous serpent; but God had provided a remedy that cannot fail. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Be not among the number to whom the Saviour said, "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life." Oh, how he longed to save them; for while we were yet sinners (not waiting for us to make ourselves good), Christ died for us.  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 9} 
     Believe now that God loves you; for he hath declared it, and when Satan tries to fasten the burden of sin and horror upon you, take your Bible, and read, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." You cannot repulse the enemy by relating your fearful doubts, by telling him that you are horrified by the thought that you are lost. All this is music in his ears. He wants to make you as miserable as he is himself, but you can answer him by proclaiming the promise that you believe in the Son, and therefore shall not perish. As you turn your eyes away to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, the controversy with the enemy will be ended for that season. You can repulse him by declaring that "Christ was wounded for my transgressions. He was bruised for my iniquities. The chastisement of my peace was upon him, and with his stripes I am healed."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 10} 
     Take the word of Jesus Christ as more sure and valuable than any word that can come from the human agent. Thank God with your whole heart and soul and voice that you are barricaded with the rich promises of his infallible word, so that the wicked one shall not touch you. God will give you the Holy Spirit, even though it may seem to you that it is too good to be true. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"   {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 11} 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Mimi

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #108 on: December 22, 2014, 02:55:39 AM »


    Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Psalm 103:20.  {HP 101.1}

     Today, as in the past, all heaven is watching to see the church develop in the true science of salvation. The Lord Jesus is among men. His angels walk among us unrecognized and unacknowledged. We are saved from many snares and unseen dangers that through the machinations and hostility of our foe are placed in our path to destroy us. O that our eyes might be open to discern the watchful solicitude and tender care of the messengers of light! If those who politely acknowledge the favors which they receive from earthly friends would realize how much they owe to God, their hearts would respond in grateful thanks for precious favors that are now unnoticed.  {HP 101.2} 
     We do not recount God's mercies often enough. . . . By our failure to express gratitude we are dishonoring our Maker. His angels, thousands upon thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand, are commissioned to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They guard us against temporal evil and press back the powers of darkness, else we should be destroyed. Why do we not value God's watchcare? If Satan had his way and carried out his designs, destruction would be seen on every hand. Why do we not remember that we are mercifully shielded from peril? Have we not reason to be thankful every moment, thankful even when there are apparent difficulties in our pathway? Cannot we trust our heavenly Father?  {HP 101.3} 
     We shall never know what dangers, seen and unseen, we have been delivered from through the interposition of the angels until we shall see in the light of eternity the providences of God. Then we shall better understand what God has done for us all the days of our life. We shall know then that the whole heavenly family watched to see our course of action from day to day.  {HP 101.4} 
     Every believer who constantly realizes his dependence on God has his appointed angel, sent from heaven to minister to him. The ministry of these angels is especially essential now, for Satan is making his last desperate effort to secure the world.  {HP 101.5}
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #109 on: December 25, 2014, 02:04:24 PM »
"Every believer who constantly realizes his dependence on God has his appointed angel, sent from heaven to minister to him. The ministry of these angels is especially essential now, for Satan is making his last desperate effort to secure the world."

Amen!  He is running out of time and he knows it. Do we know of our dependence upon Christ? Or are we like Peter when walking on water thought he could do it without remaining focused on Jesus? Peter did not know His need even after 3 1/2 years of being taught by God in person! Here we are 2,000 years later thinking we are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, as a people. Are we in this Laodicean condition? Are we blind to our condition and our continual need of Jesus? Many are. :(  No reason to stay that way. Jesus stands at the door of all who are Laodicean knocking, seeking entrance into the heart. Are you tempted to be discouraged because you have not done that which Jesus asks of you? Don't be. Here He speaks to you and me when we are not abiding in Jesus.

"Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Ezekiel 36:25-27.


And Jesus has power to cleanse all from even the most degrading sins. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18.

Before these promises can be ours, we must learn of Him who gave all for us. We must drink His blood and eat His flesh. If we want to trust Him, we must first know Him. Do you know Jesus as a personal Savior from sin? If not, your faith will grow as you study His Words and His life. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word.  "It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross." DA 83.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #110 on: February 01, 2015, 05:11:06 PM »
An interesting address to an audience of pastors. Much different that I would have imagined since these are men who should know better but yet she demonstrates a very compassionate heart in addressing them. This isn't the whole thing but you can find the rest yourself.

May 27, 1884 God's Willingness to Save.

[REMARKS ADDRESSED TO THE MINISTERS ASSEMBLED IN
GENERAL CONFERENCE AT BATTLE CREEK, MICH.,
IN THEIR MORNING MEETING HELD NOV. 14, 1883.]
-
By Mrs. E. G. White.




God will hear the prayer of the contrite heart; he says he will, and what better assurance can you desire than the word of God? Your weakness and sinfulness are all known to him. While you cannot rejoice over this, you may rejoice that Jesus is your righteousness. Your very weakness may make manifest his grace and power; for your conscious weakness drives you to Him who is willing and mighty to help when you lay hold upon him by prevailing prayer. Will you trust your case in the hands of the dear Saviour, not tomorrow nor next week, but just now? Do not give way to a feeling of reckless unconcern as to your standing before God; but while your conscience is sensitive to sin, and you have the fear of God in your heart, it is your privilege to believe that you are "accepted in the Beloved." Are you sinful? it is for that very reason that you need a Saviour. He can cleanse you from all sin; he invites you to come to him with your burdens and trials, and if you come, he promises you rest.  {RH, May 27, 1884 par. 3}
     But you must believe in Jesus, and act out your faith. At this meeting you may present yourselves before God in all your helplessness and great need; you may give yourself to him without reserve, but obtain no relief because you do not take as well as give. You surrender to Jesus, but do not believe that he receives you. Come to our dear Saviour as a child would come to a parent. Do not talk of your feelings nor preach the Lord a sermon; do not allow your thoughts even to wander; but come right to the point, asking for what you need in the simplicity of faith, and pleading the promises in the word of God. I feel sad that we know so little about faith. Let us put away our wicked unbelief, and this morning venture upon the promises of God, and prove his word. Could our eyes be opened, we should see Jesus and heavenly angels in the room, only too willing to bless us. Our prayers are too cold and lifeless; they lack fervor and earnestness. Let us urge our petitions as did Jacob; and we shall find that importunate prayer will bring us precious victories.  {RH, May 27, 1884 par. 4} 
     Do not choose darkness. Come out of the cold, dark caverns of unbelief into the upper chamber, where you may bask in the sunshine of God's love, and enjoy peace and rest in the presence of Jesus. Said Jesus, "I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." When you constantly complain of darkness, you represent to the world that you are not following Jesus, or else that he has deceived you. But, dear brethren, have you not been in the habit of talking darkness and unbelief? Have you not by so doing greatly shadowed the path of others, and led them to think that there could be nothing attractive in the truth, nothing satisfying in the religion and service of Christ? Your words, your life, and your character have represented your religion; and how many souls have you discouraged, and balanced in the wrong direction?  {RH, May 27, 1884 par. 5} 
     Some are ever looking to themselves instead of to Jesus; but, brethren, you want to be clothed in Christ's righteousness. If you are trusting in your own righteousness, you are weak indeed; for you are exposed to the darts of Satan, and after the privileges you are now enjoying, you will have severe conflicts to meet. You are too cold. The work is hindered by your want of that love which burned in the heart of Jesus. You have too little faith. You expect little, and as the result you receive little; and you are satisfied with very small success. You are liable to self-deception, and to rest satisfied with a form of godliness. This will never do. You must have living faith in your hearts; the truth must be preached with power from above. You can reach the people only when Jesus works through your efforts. The Fountain is open; we may be refreshed, and in our turn refresh others. If your own souls were vitalized by the solemn, pointed truths you preach, cold-heartedness, listlessness, and indolence would disappear, and others would feel the influence of your zeal and earnestness.  {RH, May 27, 1884 par. 6} 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #111 on: February 06, 2015, 05:41:41 AM »
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." We can overcome, fully, entirely. Jesus died to make a way of escape for us, that by prevailing prayer by his grace, we might overcome every temptation, every subtle snare of the adversary, and at last sit down with him in his kingdom.  {ST, November 18, 1886 par. 16} 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #112 on: March 02, 2015, 05:14:08 AM »
January 3, 1895
Doubt Not God’s Pardoning Love

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” As our heavenly Father is perfect in his sphere, so also those for whom Christ died are to be perfect in their sphere. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We are to believe in salvation through Christ, and make manifest that faith in our life, not by our own strength, but by trusting in the strength and efficiency of Christ. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”{ST January 3, 1895, par. 1}

The Lord wills not the death of any sinner, but that all should come to repentance. His mercies are without number, and he will not leave those for whom he has given the ransom of his life to become the sport of Satan’s temptations. All heaven is given to those who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. No soul can more dishonor God than by professing to believe in Christ, and yet go in mourning and sorrow to present to the world the aspect of orphans. “The Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”{ST January 3, 1895, par. 2}

The Lord does not leave his wounded and bruised sheep to the power of Satan to be torn to pieces. He is ever strengthening his own in their weakness. He delivers those who are tried and tempted from the power of Satan. The Lord never forsakes the soul that puts his trust in him. Those who claim to be the sons and daughters of God must trust always in Jesus. To do otherwise is to disown the fact that he loves us. When we go mourning and full of depression, covering ourselves with the garments of heaviness, we represent Christ to the world as a hard, tyrannical Master. But this is untrue. This is misrepresenting the One who gave his own life for us, that he might make it possible for us to believe in him, and trust in his interest and love for sinful man. “He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.” Speaking of his watchful care over us he says, “I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.”{ST January 3, 1895, par. 3}

What great injustice is done to the Saviour, who gave his life for us, when those who profess to believe in him walk in the shadow of darkness. Jesus has said, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” If you have been walking in darkness, you have been following another leader than Jesus, and it is time for you to turn about and follow Jesus, the Truth, the Life, the Way, and the Light of the world. Is the Lord pleased to have you tossed about as the restless waves of the sea?—No, no. I tell you he wants you to be strengthened, stablished, rooted and grounded in the truth, and built up in the most holy faith. You are not your own; you are bought with a price which cannot be estimated. You belong to God, the mighty God, bought with the price that was paid for you on Calvary’s cross. Then when you keep yourself in a state of fluctuating fear and doubt, you grieve the heart of Christ, who has given you unmistakable evidence of his love, and of his desire to have you with him in his kingdom. He says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”{ST January 3, 1895, par. 4}

Do not lose sight of Jesus, and separate from his companionship, and keep company with the prince of darkness, entertaining his suggestions, and heeding his directions, and acting out his plans. Cling to him who has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” That you should take up with Satan, the apostate and traitor, and do after his works, after you have a knowledge of Jesus Christ, is a mystery to the universe of heaven.{ST January 3, 1895, par. 5}

Let no Christian seek to excuse himself in sin on the ground that others who have claimed to follow Jesus have committed the same errors. Your sin is none the less heinous because others have been guilty, and your manifest duty is to confess your sin to Jesus Christ, your Intercessor. Take the weight of your woe to no human being. You have one Mediator, Jesus Christ, the righteous. In contrition of soul go to him and tell all your sins. The promise is sure, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” John says: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” “That ye sin not”—here is where you bring yourself into condemnation when you continue to sin. But in the strength of Christ cease to sin. Every provision has been made that grace should abide with you, and that sin may appear to you the hateful thing it is. But if any man sin, he is not to give himself up to despair, and talk like a man who is lost to Christ. “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only; but also for the sins of the whole world.”{ST January 3, 1895, par. 6}

The temptations of the enemy will come, but shall we give him the advantage to break down all the barriers, by yielding one iota from the strictest principles of integrity? If we yield in the least, he will follow one temptation with another, until we shall go directly contrary to the plainest statements of the word of God, and follow the mind and will of Satan. Satan and his confederacy of evil angels is ever on the alert to see by what means they may ensnare and ruin souls who have enlisted under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. You did run well for a season, you did taste and see that the Lord is good, but when you fell into sin you walked in darkness. When you yielded to temptation, you must have ceased to look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith. But, having confessed your sins, believe that the word of God cannot fail, but that he is faithful that hath promised. It is just as much your duty to believe that God will fulfill his word, and forgive your sins, as it is your duty to confess your sins. You must exercise faith in God as in one who will do exactly as he has promised to do in his word, and pardon all your transgressions.{ST January 3, 1895, par. 7}

How may we know that the Lord is indeed our sin-pardoning Redeemer, and prove what is the blessedness, the grace, the love there is in him for us? O, we must believe his word implicitly, with contrite and submissive spirit. There is no need to go mourning and ever repenting, and under a cloud of continual condemnation. Believe the word of God, keep looking unto Jesus, dwelling upon his virtues and mercies, and there will be created in the heart an utter abhorrence of that which is evil. You will be among those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. But the more closely we discern Jesus, the more clearly we shall see our own defects of character. As we see our failings, let us confess them to Jesus, and, with true contrition of soul, co-operate with the divine power of the Holy Spirit to overcome all evil. If we confess our sins, we must believe that they are pardoned, because the promise is positive: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Let us no more dishonor God by doubting his pardoning love.{ST January 3, 1895, par. 8}
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Mimi

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #113 on: March 02, 2015, 05:41:30 AM »
Those are beautiful words of encouragement, Jim. Thank you for the post. This, I especially cherish because once I loved those things I now hate:

Believe the word of God, keep looking unto Jesus, dwelling upon his virtues and mercies, and there will be created in the heart an utter abhorrence of that which is evil.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #114 on: April 24, 2015, 04:17:29 PM »
Comfort and Assurance for the Afflicted


     My Dear Sister Lizzie Innes: I hear that you are being much afflicted, and I am in deep sympathy with you. Since my acquaintance with you I have felt a tender, loving sympathy toward you. My dear sister, while you are suffering, while infirmities are pressing upon your soul, do not doubt the love of your heavenly Father. Satan will try to cloud your mind with the thought that Jesus does not love you. He will try to make you believe that you are unworthy of being acknowledged before the Father as His child, but do not believe his suggestions for a single moment. I know that the Lord loves you and that there will be souls in the kingdom of God that will be saved as the result of your unselfish labor, your steadfast adherence to the faith.  {10MR 174.1} 

     When Satan comes in with his suggestions, look unto Jesus and say, "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ who died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34). Only think of this, my sister. Christ is the one who has died for you, who has purchased you with His own precious blood. Will He permit those whom He values so highly to walk alone? Nay, He will not. The apostle continues, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation?" (Romans 8:35). Nay. Jesus bore all this in my behalf when He accepted humanity, and He bore it in order that I might not perish, but have everlasting life. Will He who has done all this for you be indifferent to you when it is difficult for you to engage in the warfare and to fight the good fight of faith? You are weak, and the trembling hand of faith can scarcely grasp the promises, but cannot you now say, "Lord, I am now too weak to use the weapons of warfare, but I can repose in Thee as my only hope. In Thee, and in Thee alone, my Redeemer, is my only hope of eternal life. Thou art my refuge."  {10MR 174.2} 

     The message from God to me for you is "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). If you have nothing else to plead before God but this one promise from your Lord and Saviour, you have the assurance that you will never, never be turned away. It may seem to you that you are hanging upon a single promise, but appropriate that one promise, and it will open to you the whole treasure house of the riches of the grace of Christ. Cling to that promise and you are safe. "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." Present this assurance to Jesus, and you are as safe as though inside the city of God.  {10MR 175.1} 

     You are not to examine your feelings and put any dependence upon your emotions, for they may be as varied as the wind, but take to your heart this one promise and you will find it a passport to all the rich treasures of heaven. You are precious to the heart of Christ and He speaks, saying unto you, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). There is no perhaps or maybe about this promise. The "I will" of Christ is an assurance that cannot be made any stronger. He speaks further, saying, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:29, 30).  {10MR 175.2}

     Now, my sister, Jesus wants you to believe in Him as your personal Saviour, as One who can save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. Your request made known unto God in the name of Jesus is ever acceptable to your heavenly Father. You have a right to appropriate the promises which you present to God in the name of Jesus, for the Father has committed to His Son the bounties of His grace to be dispensed to those who come unto Him asking in faith. The Lord Jesus is the One who gives to him that overcometh to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. He who took humanity upon Himself knows just how to sympathize with the sufferings of humanity. He had the same nature as the sinner although He knew no sin, in order that He might be able to condemn sin in the flesh and might be able to sympathize with those who were in the difficulties, dangers, and temptations that beset His own path while He walked with men. They are to obtain help as He Himself obtained it, through a vital connection with God.  {10MR 176.1} 

     Look to Jesus, your substitute and surety and righteousness. He became sin for us who knew no sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. He gives the crown of life to those who are faithful unto death. He it is who gives to eat of the hidden manna. My dear sister, Jesus will not leave you. He loves you with an everlasting love, and as you trust in Him your faith will grow and increase. The more you trust your Redeemer the more you will love Him. He is your friend in life or in death. He is the crown of your rejoicing. He is worthy of your fullest faith. All the sorrows and afflictions we suffer here only constitutes our discipline for a higher life, for through the appropriated grace of Christ trials will be the means whereby we shall be purified and fitted for heaven. Wait only upon God. Lean upon Him in entire dependence, for His everlasting arms hold you up and sustain you. Will not He who says that not a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of your heavenly Father care for you who trust and love Him? Jesus knows every throb of pain, every throe of anguish and distress, and He will give you grace to endure your affliction in order that your faith fail not, whatever may be your suffering.  {10MR 176.2} 

     Dear Sister Innes, keep up good courage. Let not your heart be oppressed. You have been called upon to travel a thorny path, but Jesus is at your side to journey the rough road with you. He knows, He understands every woe, every sorrow of those who suffer. His heart beats in sympathy with the hearts of suffering humanity, and those who suffer most have most of His pity and sympathy. He is your best Friend. He is your Mediator. The completeness of His humanity, the perfection of His divinity, form for us a strong ground upon which we may be brought into reconciliation with God. It was when we were yet sinners that Christ died for us. We have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. His nail-pierced hands are outreached toward heaven and earth. With one hand He lays hold of sinners upon earth, and with the other He grasps the throne of the Infinite, and thus He makes reconciliation for us. Christ is today standing as our Advocate before the Father. He is the one Mediator between God and man. Bearing the marks of His crucifixion, He pleads the causes of our souls.  {10MR 177.1} 

     I would point this afflicted family to Jesus. John saw the company of the redeemed, and they were those who had come up through great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. [Revelation 7:9-17, quoted.]  {10MR 177.2}

     I would urge upon you, as a family, during the time when affliction is upon this beloved sister, that you all draw closer and closer in faith and confidence to Jesus. Talk cheerfully. Let not one jarring note be heard. Let no touch of sadness or gloom reveal itself on your countenances. Keep Jesus uplifted. Talk faith in Jesus and sing songs of faith. Offer up your supplications in faith. I point you to One who "suffered being tempted." "Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:17, 18). Let us praise God for this with heart and soul and voice.  {10MR 178.1}

     Be of good courage in order that you may sustain and strengthen poor suffering Lizzie. I would say to the mother of Lizzie, who is a partaker of her sufferings, Remember that Jesus is able to sustain you both, and to sustain all who are in any way participating in the care of the afflicted one. Let us read a few words in Hebrews 2:10: "For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren."  {10MR 178.2} 
     God bless you is and shall be our prayer. In love to all the family.
                              (Signed) Ellen G. White--Letter 35, 1894

By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #115 on: June 06, 2015, 09:51:48 AM »
April 16, 1889 Christ Should Be Our Counselor.

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By Mrs. E. G. White.
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     Text: "Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." Jeremiah 17:5.  {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 1} 

     There are many who claim that the Lord is their source of strength; and yet as soon as trials come upon them, instead of seeking the Lord in prayer, they go to some poor, fallible mortal like themselves, for sympathy and counsel. But what are they doing when they pursue this course? They are making flesh their arm; and as certainly at they do this, they will become weak. We should go to God with our perplexities. He is the great, unerring Counselor. When you make mortal man your helper, and pour all your troubles into human ears, you only deprive yourself of strength, for you will receive only such help as humanity can give.  {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 2} 

     Christ has said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Will you come? Will you comply with the conditions? If we would go to Christ, we could no longer remain in darkness. Those whose minds are bound about with despondency, who have no will-power to direct them in the right, who are not thoughtful and care-taking, would receive fresh light and vigor by communication with Christ. If you allow another to do your thinking for you, you will have crippled energies and contracted abilities. There are many whose intellects are dwarfed because they confine them to dwell upon commonplace subjects. You should wrestle with problems of thought that require the exercise of the best powers of your mind. God will sanctify your thought and ennoble your powers and talents, when you devote them to his service. You will find your talents increasing by exercise. You will double them by serving the Master as you should,--in putting them out to the exchangers. God desires you to be apt, skillful workers. The man who is able to put up a house in a workmanlike manner should be able to exercise his faculties in doing skillful work in the cause of God. The Lord requires us to use our talent to the very best of our ability. When we render him our best service, he will not fail to give us wisdom to do a still better service. We have dwarfed and weakened our capabilities by depending upon others to do our thinking. We have been leaning upon broken reeds, but God does not want us to depend upon others. We should depend wholly upon him. Why do you not go to your Heavenly Father, and make known your wants to him? Jesus has said, "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Is not this plain reasoning? Our heavenly Master has chosen words that may be understood by the mind of his simplest child. Why not take this precious promise to hang in the hall of memory? Why not impress upon our minds the things that will be a benefit for us to remember? Why not speak of these precious things in the garden of God's word, instead of talking of our doubts and trials?  {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 3} 

     Suppose you were in a garden where bloomed beautiful roses, and lilies, and pinks; but instead of gathering the beautiful flowers, you should seek for everything objectionable to take away to show to others as a sample of that garden. Would the objectionable things you had gathered properly represent the garden?--By no means. If Christians gather up gloom and sadness to their souls, and murmur and complain, are they representing God and the Christian life as it really is? Christ tells us that if we abide in him, he will abide in us. Are we doing as he has bidden us? Will we gather the roses and the lilies and the pinks, and present to the world the hopeful, bright side of religion?  {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 4} 

     We have purchased the field of truth because of the treasure that is hidden therein. The rich gems of truth do not lie on the surface. You must dig for them. Take your Bible, and compare passage with passage, and verse with verse, and you will find the precious jewels of truth. You should put the precious gems of light in a beautiful setting, and hang them in memory's hall. Shall we not arise and work diligently in the strength of Jesus for the treasure we have so long neglected? "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."  {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 5} 

     It is time that we understood the high claims that God has upon us. Many of us have had a dyspeptic religion. We have fed our souls on dark forebodings and unbelief, and the most indigestible food. An abundance of wholesome spiritual food has been provided in the word of God. Now let us turn over a new leaf in our experience. Let us confess and forsake our sins, and come to Christ for the bread of life. Do not stop to bemoan yourself, but roll your burden into the open sepulcher. Our blessed Lord is a very present help in every time of trouble. We are required to represent our Lord in life and in character. Satan has misrepresented our Lord, and we have unconsciously aided him in his work. The Lord revealed his true character to Moses. The servant of God was pleading with him in the mount, and he said, "I beseech thee, show me thy glory." And the Lord said, "I will make all my goodness pass before thee; and will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy." Then the Father proclaimed himself as a God who was merciful and gracious; who would pardon iniquity, transgression, and sin; who was abundant in goodness and truth. Will you not venture upon his promise, and claim him as your God? If you talk darkness, you will have plenty of darkness; if you talk light, you will have an abundance of light. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." This is the condition of the man who trusts in the Lord; but there is another condition into which we may come that is not of this order. The prophet describes the state of him who trusts in man in these words: "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited."  {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 6} 

     When we are not connected with God, we are like the heath of the desert, for the natural heart "is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" We should pray as did the psalmist, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways: and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness." These are words that should be hung in memory's hall.  {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 7} 

     We should place the precious promises of God where we may look upon them whenever Satan casts his darkness upon us. The enemy of God and man would be well pleased to have us dwell upon our darkness and discouragement, so that the religion of Christ would appear a grievous yoke. You should gather rays of light from Jesus every day. You do not know how many sad hearts you will meet; and will you talk only of your discouragements?--No; forget them, and talk of the mercies of God; and the magnifying glass of Satan will be thrust before your eyes in vain. But if you continue to look at the discouraging features of your experience, they will grow more and more forbidding, until you are completely overwhelmed with gloom. Talk courage, talk faith and hope, and you will be all light in the Lord. Keep thinking of the open door that Christ has set before you, that no man can shut. God will close the door to all evil, if you will give him a chance. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up for you a standard against him. I want to read you a little poem, entitled, "Count the Mercies," which I cut from a paper.


    "Count the mercies! count the mercies!
       Number all the gifts of love;
     Keep a daily, faithful record
       Of the comforts from above.
     Look at all the lovely green spots
       In life's weary desert way;
     Think how many cooling fountains
       Cheer our fainting hearts each day.
     Count the mercies! count the mercies!
       See them strewn along our way!


    "Count the mercies, though the trials
       Seem to number more each day,
     Count the trials, too, as mercies,
       Add them to the grand array.
     Trials are God's richest blessings,
       Sent to prompt our upward flight
     As the eaglet's nest--all broken,
       Makes them fly to loftier heights.
     Count the mercies! count the mercies!
       That bring heaven within our sight.


    "Let us number all our jewels,
       Let us estimate their worth;
     Let us thank the gracious Giver,
       Strewing blessings o'er the earth;
     Let our hearts o'erflow with gladness.
       Let us tell the wonders o'er,
     Till our multiplying treasures
       Seem a countless, boundless store;
     Then let praises, grateful praises,
       Be our language, evermore."  {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 8}

     Shall we count the mercies, brethren? Shall we receive the sunlight of heaven on our pathway? "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" We ought to attain to a richer experience. Take up your neglected work. Take your children with you before the throne of grace, and plead with God that his blessing may rest upon them, until you can present a well-ordered, well-disciplined family before your Heavenly Father, and before the world. Let us cease looking at the failings of others. Let us cease speaking of their evil traits of character. When the Lord told Peter what to do, he turned and asked, "Lord, what shall this man do?" The Lord answered, "What is that to thee? follow thou me." How many are like Peter today? They are interested in the affairs of others, but they neglect their own duty. It is our business to follow Christ and then we can counsel others. What we want is individual religion, personal piety. We want the Holy Spirit of Christ in our families. O that the truths which I have presented to you today may have a lasting influence upon your characters! O that the members of the church may come up to the help of the Lord,--to the help of the Lord against the mighty! If we have wronged one another, if we have wronged our God, we should confess our sins to God and to one another; and we have the promise that "if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." When we remove the rubbish from the door of the heart, the Lord will come in and make his abode with us, and we shall have daily a precious story to tell of the favor, love, and mercy of our Heavenly Father.  {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 9}
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #116 on: July 10, 2015, 07:45:54 PM »
    My mind goes to you, Martha, in Torre Pellice [Italy], and I believe that yourself and husband should attend the meeting of the conference. We want to see you, and we want to see you trusting fully in the precious Saviour. He loves you; He gave His life for you because He valued your soul. I had a dream not long since. I was going through a garden, and you were by my side. You kept saying, "Look at this unsightly shrub, this deformed tree, that poor stunted rosebush. This makes me feel bad, for they seem to represent my life and the relation I stand in before God."  I thought a stately form walked just before us, and he said, "Gather the roses and the lilies and the pinks, and leave the thistles and unsightly shrubs, and bruise not the soul that Christ has in His choice keeping."{DG 145.4}

     I awoke; I slept again and the same dream was repeated. And I awoke and slept and the third time it was repeated. Now I want you to consider this and put away your distrust, your worrying, your fears. Look away from yourself to Jesus; look away from your husband to Jesus. God has spoken to you words of encouragement; grasp them, act upon them, walk by faith, and not by sight. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  Hebrews 11:1.{DG 145.5}

     Jesus holds His hand beneath you. Jesus will not suffer the enemy to overcome you. Jesus will give you the victory. He has the virtue; He has the righteousness. You may look to yourself to find it and may well despair in doing this because it is not there. Jesus has it. It is yours by faith because you love God and keep His commandments.{DG 146.1}

     Do not listen to Satan's lies, but recount God's promises. Gather the roses and the lilies and the pinks. Talk of the promises of God. Talk faith. Trust in God, for He is your only hope. He is my only hope. I have tremendous battles with Satan's temptations to discouragements, but I will not yield an inch. I will not give Satan an advantage over my body or my mind.{DG 146.2}

     If you look to yourself, you will see only weakness. There is no Saviour there. You will find Jesus away from yourself. You must look and live; [look] to Him who became sin for us, that we might be cleansed from sin and receive of Christ's righteousness.{DG 146.3}

     Now, Martha, do not look to yourself but away to Jesus. Talk of His love, talk of His goodness, talk of His power, for He will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear. But in Christ is our righteousness. Jesus makes up our deficiencies because He sees we cannot do it ourselves. While praying for you I see a soft light encompassing a hand stretched out to save you. God's words are our credentials. We stand upon them. We love the truth. We love Jesus. Feelings are no evidence of God's displeasure.{DG 146.4}

     Your life is precious in the sight of God. He has a work for you to do. It is not unfolded to you now, but just walk on trustingly without a single word, because this would grieve the dear Jesus and show that you were afraid to trust Him. Lay your hand in His; He is reaching over the battlements of heaven [for it] to be laid confidingly in His. Oh, what love, what tender love has Jesus manifested in our behalf. The Bible promises are the pinks and the roses and the lilies in the garden of the Lord. {DG 146.5}

     Oh, how many walk a dark path, looking to the objectionable, unlovely things on either side of them, when a step higher are the flowers. They think they have no right to say they are children of God and lay hold on the promises set before them in the gospel, because they do not have the evidence of their acceptance with God. They go through painful struggles, afflicting their souls, as did Martin Luther to cast himself upon Christ's righteousness.{DG 147.1}

     There are many who think they can come to Jesus only in the way the child did who was possessed of the demon that threw him down and tore him as he was being led to the Saviour. You are not of the kind that should have any such conflicts and trials. Richard Baxter was distressed because he did not have such agonizing, humiliating views of himself as he thought he ought to have. But this was explained to his satisfaction at last and peace came to his heart.{DG 147.2}

     There is no requirement for you to take on a burden for yourself, for you are Christ's property. He has you in His hand. His everlasting arms are about you. Your life has not been a life of sinfulness in the common acceptance of the term. You have a conscientious fear to do wrong, a principle in your heart to choose the right, and now you want to turn your face away from the briers and thorns to the flowers.{DG 147.3}

     Let the eye be fixed on the Son of Righteousness. Do not make your dear, loving, heavenly Father a tyrant; but see His tenderness, His pity, His large, broad love, and His great compassion. His love exceeds that of a mother for her child. The mother may forget, yet will not I forget thee, saith the Lord. Oh, my dear, Jesus wants you to trust Him. May His blessing rest upon you in a rich measure is my earnest prayer.{DG 147.4}

     You were born with an inheritance of discouragement, and you need constantly to be encouraging a hopeful state of feelings. You received from both father and mother a peculiar conscientiousness and also inherited from your mother a disposition to demerit self rather than to exalt self. A word moves you while a heavy judgment only is sufficient to move another of a different temperament. Were you situated where you knew you were helping others, however hard the load, however taxing the labor, you would do everything with cheerfulness and distress yourself that you did nothing.{DG 147.5}
     
Samuel, who served God from his childhood, needed a very different discipline than one who had a set, stubborn, selfish will. Your childhood was not marked with grossness, although there were the errors of humanity in it. The whole matter has been laid open before me. I know you far better than you know yourself. God will help you to triumph over Satan if you will simply trust Jesus to fight these stern battles that you are wholly unable to fight in your finite strength.{DG 148.1}

     You love Jesus and He loves you. Now just patiently trust in Him, saying over and over, Lord, I am Thine. Cast yourself heartily on Christ. It is not joy that is the evidence that you are a Christian. Your evidence is in a Thus saith the Lord. By faith, I lay you, my dear sister, on the bosom of Jesus Christ.{DG 148.2}

     Read the following lines [from "Jesus Lover of My Soul"] and appropriate the sentiment as your own:

     "Other refuge have I none,
          Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
     Leave, O leave me not alone!
          Still support and comfort me;
     All my trust on Thee is stayed,
          All my help from Thee I bring;
     Cover my defenseless head
          With the shadow of Thy wing.
 
     Plenteous grace with Thee is found--
          Grace to pardon all my sin;
     Let the healing streams abound,
          Make and keep me pure within;
     Thou of life the Fountain art,
          Freely let me take of Thee;
     Spring Thou up within my heart,
          Rise to all eternity."  {DG 148.3} 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #117 on: July 12, 2015, 08:09:23 AM »
Amen, Jim, grace  is more than a word.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #118 on: July 23, 2015, 09:03:59 AM »
April 9, 1894 Look not to Self but to Christ.
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By Mrs. E. G. White.
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     It is in looking upon our sinful condition, and talking and mourning over our wretchedness, that distress becomes more keen, and pain accumulates. Let the sinner arise in the strength of Jesus, for he has no strength of his own, and let him assert his liberty. Let him believe that the Lord has spoken truth, and trust in him, whatever may be the feelings of the heart. Let the sinner say, I will look away from my own misery, from the wound of the serpent, to the uplifted Saviour, who has said, "Him that cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out." Look upon Jesus. Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 1} 

     Let no one make his feelings his idol, and bow his soul down to worship and serve his sensations. "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." It is your privilege to believe that Christ has borne your sins; for God hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. You are under the shelter of the sure refuge, under the cover of the atoning blood of the acceptable sacrifice.  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 2} 

     All legalism, all the sorrow and woe by which you may encompass yourself, will not give you one moment of relief. You cannot rightly estimate sin. You must accept God's estimate, and it is heavy indeed. If you bore the guilt of your sin, it would crush you; but the sinless One has taken your place, and, though, undeserving, he has borne your guilt. By accepting the provision God has made, you may stand free before God in the merit and virtue of your Substitute. You will then have a proper estimate of sin, and the godly sorrow of true repentance will take the place of hopeless discouragement and grief, for you will turn from sin with grief and abhorrence.  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 3} 

     Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Do not think for an instant that any human being has a more loving heart, and a more tender compassion for you, than he who died on Calvary to save you. Do not turn from the divine to the human. The human messenger may bid you hope, on the ground that God's word bids you hope. Your Heavenly Father invites you to come to him as a little child to a loving parent, and say, Thou hast said: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 4} 

     Christ is the friend of sinners. When the scribes and the Pharisees accused him of eating with publicans and sinners, Jesus said, "I come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." If you feel yourself to be the greatest of sinners, then Christ is just what you need; for he is the greatest of Saviours. Lift up your head, and look away from yourself, away from the poisoned wound of the serpent, to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. What will all your groaning and the torturing of your soul avail? You may entertain thoughts that condemn you, but in them there is no salvation. Put away your thoughts, and receive the thoughts of God, through which your mind may be elevated, your soul purified and uplifted. The Lord says: "For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer." Why will you carry your burden of sin, when Christ has come to be your burden bearer? Roll your sins at the foot of the cross. Unload! unload! He takes away the sins of the world. "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 5} 

     You have been pronounced a sinner, and Christ has announced himself a Saviour. Accept the remedy God has provided for you in a sin-pardoning Saviour. How would you have felt had you been in the camp of Israel and seen the people groaning and shrieking in distress because of their swollen and painful wounds, when the brazen serpent was uplifted, and when by one look they might be healed? Would you not have exclaimed: "Why do they not look at the uplifted serpent? How strange it is that they do not perform the one simple act by which they might receive healing!" But is it not as inconsistent for you to refuse to look at the crucified Saviour?--Heed the invitation: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him: and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 6} 

     Why should the repenting sinner forsake his thoughts? It is because they are not in accordance with truth. He is tempted to believe that because of his sins God has given him up to the will of his enemy, and that there is no pardon for so great a sinner as he. But all these thoughts are dishonoring to God, because man is God's possession, both by creation and redemption. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him [as his personal Saviour, and accepts him as the only provision whereby he can be saved] should not perish, but have everlasting life." You are one of the whosoever may believe. But while you cherish unbelief, and permit feeling to govern you, your case will look hopeless to yourself. Forsake these unbelieving thoughts. God says: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 7} 

     "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Poor, doubting, discouraged soul, I would address you as one of that world for whom God gave his Son. He loves you, and will save you if you will but receive the gift of his only-begotten Son. Moses prayed that God would show him his glory, "and the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty." This is the character of the God in whom you are to put your trust. "God is love." Repeat this sentence whenever temptation presses upon you. Remember that he is just and merciful, true and gracious, and will by no means clear the guilty. God can be just, and yet be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. He will accept you just as you are; for there is no hope of your becoming better until you come to Jesus for pardon and sanctification. Mourning and weeping will not purify you. You may mourn your life away in unbelief, and in bitterness of soul, but the power to cleanse the vilest sinner is vested wholly in him who can save unto the uttermost.  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 8} 

     God does not ask you to feel that Jesus is your Saviour, but to believe that he died for you, and that his blood now cleanseth you from all sin. You have been bitten by the serpent, and as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness that the dying might look and live, so Christ was lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. Saving faith is simplicity itself. You must cry no more; you must cease to hang down your head as a bulrush. Look to the uplifted Saviour, and, however, grievous may have been your sins, believe he saves you. All the remedies and medicines of the world would have failed to cure one soul who had been bitten by the venomous serpent; but God had provided a remedy that cannot fail. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Be not among the number to whom the Saviour said, "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life." Oh, how he longed to save them; for while we were yet sinners (not waiting for us to make ourselves good), Christ died for us.  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 9} 

     Believe now that God loves you; for he hath declared it, and when Satan tries to fasten the burden of sin and horror upon you, take your Bible, and read, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." You cannot repulse the enemy by relating your fearful doubts, by telling him that you are horrified by the thought that you are lost. All this is music in his ears. He wants to make you as miserable as he is himself, but you can answer him by proclaiming the promise that you believe in the Son, and therefore shall not perish. As you turn your eyes away to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, the controversy with the enemy will be ended for that season. You can repulse him by declaring that "Christ was wounded for my transgressions. He was bruised for my iniquities. The chastisement of my peace was upon him, and with his stripes I am healed."  {ST, April 9, 1894 par. 10} 

     Take the word of Jesus Christ as more sure and valuable than any word that can come from the human agent. Thank God with your whole heart and soul and voice that you are barricaded with the rich promises of his infallible word, so that the wicked one shall not touch you. God will give you the Holy Spirit, even though it may seem to you that it is too good to be true. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
{ST, April 9, 1894 par. 11}
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #119 on: August 15, 2015, 04:33:50 AM »
Bible history stays the fainting heart with the hope of God's mercy. We need not despair when we see that others have struggled through discouragements like our own, have fallen into temptations even as we have done, and yet have recovered their ground and been blessed of God. The words of inspiration comfort and cheer the erring soul. Although the patriarchs and apostles were subject to human frailties, yet through faith they obtained a good report, fought their battles in the strength of the Lord, and conquered gloriously. Thus may we trust in the virtue of the atoning sacrifice and be overcomers in the name of Jesus.  {CC 368.5} 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}