Author Topic: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?  (Read 7844 times)

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JimB

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Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« on: December 05, 2011, 02:59:09 PM »
I'm normally not one for long posts but I couldn't help myself this time. This is for those who are tempted or are currently being tempted to be discouraged. I pray that you will find hope in this message!  :)


The Substance of Things Hoped For

[Morning talk at South Lancaster, Mass., January 18, 1889.]

The word of the Lord declares that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” We desire that everyone should be in a position where he can believe the word of God. How should I feel if my children should be constantly complaining to me, just as though I did not mean well, when my whole life’s efforts have been to forward their interests and to give them comfort? Suppose they should doubt my love; my heart would break. I couldn’t endure it. How would any of you feel to be thus treated by your children? How can our heavenly Father regard us when we doubt his love, that has led him to give his only begotten Son that we might have life? The apostle writes, “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?” And yet we stand back, distrustful and suspicious, saying, “Well, he doesn’t mean this for me. Perhaps he loves others, but he does not love me.” {ST March 18, 1889, par. 1}

Why is it so difficult for you to believe in God?—It is because you have been educating your soul in doubt and unbelief all your life long. It makes my heart ache to hear your mournful testimonies, stating that your whole life has been a failure. Have there not been some bright spots in your experience? Have you not had some precious seasons when your heart throbbed in response to the Spirit of God? Dear brethren, for Christ’s sake cherish every ray of light, every token of mercy and good, every blessing that God has bestowed upon you. Although you see that you have not given glory to God, that you have not been grateful, let that not be a reason why you should be ungrateful still, and sink down into despondency and discouragement. Have you not praised God in the past when the warm rays of his love fell upon your heart? Have you not sought to do his will as an obedient child? When you look back into the chapters of your experience, do you not find some pleasant pages? Is memory’s hall filled only with pictures of neglect and sorrow? Are there only dark, forbidding, and unhappy representations there? Are there not some pleasant pictures, where you can see the providence of God? Confess your ingratitude of the past; but retain every pleasing memory, and every token of God’s love that he has given to bind your heart to his great heart of infinite love. Oh, praise him! Let us educate ourselves to speak the language of faith. If Satan has cast his dark shadow across your path, look up in faith, and God will let his light shine upon you and dispel the darkness. Satan would like to have you cherish that shadow. He would like to have you view God through a cloud of his own making; but we are to be in a position of faith and confidence in God, where we can cherish every bright beam of light; having seen a token of God’s love, we are to say, “Here is an evidence that God is blessing me. I cherish this as a manifestation of his favor. I will gather up the precious jewels of his truth.” If you do this, you will be full of light. If you have been in the shadow, confess your unbelief, and then claim the promises of God by living faith, and come into the light of your Saviour. {ST March 18, 1889, par. 2}

You are not to trust simply in pleasant emotions. Suppose that after you have been filled with joy, you should rise in the morning under a cloud, with the same train of shadowy thoughts as have troubled you in the past. Would that be an evidence that God had left you during the night? Not at all. It would simply be an evidence that your mind has so long been trained in the line of unbelief, that it is from force of habit running in the doubting channel. Dwell on the faith side of the question. Educate your thoughts in the line of God’s mercy. Educate your tongue to speak of his goodness. Train the whole mind and soul to act in faith. It is praising Satan when you talk so continuously of your doubts and darkness. You are glorifying the prince of darkness when you give up your thoughts and words to follow in the shadow he casts on your pathway. Let your first morning thought be, “How good is the Lord! He is full of goodness and tender mercy.” Praise him. Say, “Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.” When the darkness of the enemy begins to sweep over you, say, “I do love the Lord. I know that I love him, and I know that the Lord loves me, even me.” {ST March 18, 1889, par. 3}

A good way to disperse darkness is to talk faith and courage. We are admonished in the word of God to fight the good fight of faith. Suppose that you take your stand under the banner of faith. If you have repented of your sins, and have confessed them to God, you need no longer go on in doubt and despondency. God does not want you to stand under a cloud. He wants you to come into the light, and to have confidence in him, knowing that you have committed your soul unto his keeping, as unto a faithful Creator. {ST March 18, 1889, par. 4}

Satan will come to you after you have trusted in God, and will try to steal away the victory that faith has gained. He will present your sins to you; but can you not tell him it is written, “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin”? Can you not tell him that God has promised to remove your transgressions away from you as far as the east is from the west, and that they are to be remembered no more? {ST March 18, 1889, par. 5}

I see the necessity every day and every hour of exercising living faith. What is faith? It is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” There is a wonderful power in faith. It brings eternal things to view, and lays hold of the arm of infinite power. If you have been educating your soul to gather up the dark chapters in your experience, turn over a new leaf and have a new, bright, cheerful experience; put your will wholly on the Lord’s side. We must exercise living faith if we would war successfully against the temptations of the enemy. {ST March 18, 1889, par. 6}

There are on the walls of this house two mottoes, “Praise the Lord,” and, “Thy word is truth.” These are good and pleasant words. Suppose that you hang your memory’s hall all full of the remembrances of God’s goodness, grace, and truth, and let not one dark thought or shadow have a place in that hall. We are not to be so selfish as to simply desire a flight of happy emotions. We are to fix our faith on the promises of God, which are sure and steadfast, and shall endure forever and ever. The joyful feeling will come when we fully trust in God’s promises. Jesus has said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” This invitation is certainly for those who are burdened with unbelief; and his assurance is, “Ye shall find rest unto your souls.” It is not, “May be you shall find rest.” Oh, no; it is positive and certain: “Ye shall find rest.” Why do we misinterpret our heavenly Father when he says “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.” Take his yoke upon you, and he will bear the heaviest part himself. Is he not good company? do you object to association with him? He says, “I am at thy right hand to help you,” “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” {ST March 18, 1889, par. 7}

Why not make up your mind that you will stand in your God-given manhood and womanhood, and, through Christ, be overcomers? Why not say, “God has promised the power, and I will win back the moral image of my Creator and Redeemer”? Do not allow the mind to hold communion with the enemy. Do not talk of his power to discourage you. Talk of Christ, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him. We have a whole Saviour, and let us have a whole faith in him who has died for the sins of men, and for my sins. When we take this position, we shall find rest and peace in our Saviour. Come with your burdens, and lay them down at the foot of the cross, put off the yoke of self and sin, and wear the yoke of Him who is meek and lowly of heart. Let every soul come to the fountain, and drink of the waters of life, that will be in him like a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. {ST March 18, 1889, par. 8}

When I talk of the subject of faith, my faith grows. I feel as though I could run through the troops of darkness, and rise above all barriers. It seems as though nothing could hinder me. By living faith, I grasp the hand of Jesus, and I am all light in the Lord. I do not look at self, I look to Jesus, my high priest, who presents my case to the Father, offering up the merits of his life and sacrifice. Faith will keep the mind above the low level of earth, and direct the soul to Heaven in contemplation of the spiritual and eternal. Let us lift up Jesus, the Saviour of men. Talk of his love, tell of his power, and the angels of God will be attracted to you. Will you have faith in God, who “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”? {ST March 18, 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 #1 on: January 22, 2012, 08:47:42 AM »
It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings are encouraged and strengthened as we give them utterance. While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words. If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have,--the great mercy and love of God,--we should have more faith and greater joy. MH 253

Now, brethren, you have educated yourselves so much in doubts and questionings that you have to educate your souls in the line of faith. You have to talk faith, you have to live faith, you have to act faith, that you may have an increase of faith. Exercising that living faith, you will grow to strong men and women in Christ Jesus. God grant that this meeting that we are holding may be a meeting where the Sun of Righteousness may rise upon you and shine in your hearts with its clearest rays, making you all lights in the world.  {FW 78.2} 

Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest. If you talk of heaven and the eternal reward, you will become lighter and lighter in the Lord, and your faith will grow, because it is exercised. Fasten your eyes upon Jesus, dear friends, and by beholding you will become assimilated to his image. Do not allow your thoughts to dwell continually upon things of the earth, but place them upon things that are heavenly, and then, wherever you are, you will be a light to the world.  {HS 142.2}

The more you talk faith, the more faith you will have. The more you dwell upon discouragement, talking to others about your trials, and enlarging upon them, to enlist the sympathy which you crave, the more discouragements and trials you will have. Why mourn over that which we cannot avoid? God is inviting us to close the windows of the soul earthward and open them heavenward that He may flood our hearts with the glory which is shining across the threshold of heaven.--MS 102, 1901.  {2MCP 579.1} 
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 #2 on: January 22, 2012, 09:21:12 AM »
Amen!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Dorine

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 10:47:57 AM »
Thank you Jim. I needed this reminder especially right now.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 11:31:11 AM »
I'm glad you've benefited from these references but don't thank me. I'm just sharing some things that have given me some encouragement.
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 #5 on: January 22, 2012, 08:47:10 PM »
An important principle that we need to understand and remember.  Our minds are plastic and are being formed by not only what we read and hear, but by what we speak. That ought to slow us down a bit. 
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 #6 on: February 12, 2012, 09:18:35 AM »
If you sit in heavenly places with Christ, you cannot refrain from praising God. Begin to educate your tongues to praise him, and train your hearts to make melody to God; and when the evil one begins to settle his gloom about you, sing praise to God. When things go crossways at your homes, strike up a song about the matchless charms of the Son of God, and I tell you, when you touch this strain, Satan will leave you. You can drive out the enemy with his gloom; his dark shadow will be swept from your pathway by praising God, and you can see, O, so much clearer, the love and compassion of your Heavenly Father. It is Satan's studied effort to eclipse the light of the Sun of Righteousness so that you cannot see it. Your mind should be uplifted to God; you should have praise meetings in your family and in the church. Do not tell a dismal story at any time or in any place. Let the whole world look upon you, and say, "These are people who love God; for we can see his image reflected in them."  {RH, August 5, 1890 par. 9} 
     Now, brethren and sisters, may the grace of God and his blessing come into your hearts. God does not want you to gather to your souls every little trial and difficulty, and talk to them until you become discouraged, and changed into a cloud of gloom and discouragement. Uplift your soul into the pure, heavenly atmosphere; get out of the moral miasma of this low earthliness; let the soul open to the love of God.  {RH, August 5, 1890 par. 10} 
     Be of good courage, brethren and sisters; Jesus lives! he is your Saviour; he wants to save every one of you; he wants to place a crown of glory upon every brow. Let us act before the world as God's peculiar people, showing forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.  {RH, August 5, 1890 par. 11} 
     O what a time of rejoicing there will be in heaven when we get out of the perplexities of this life! With gladness we shall cast our crowns at the Saviour's feet. We shall touch the golden harps, and fill all heaven with the richest harmony. Let us touch the harps here, and let our lips glorify God.  {RH, August 5, 1890 par. 12}
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Dorine

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 09:26:05 AM »
Oh that is beautiful Jim. Thank you for posting that encouraging quote. I'm going to print it off and keep it in plain view to read often.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Vicki

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 12:58:14 PM »
Beautiful indeed!

I don't know that I was tempted to be discouraged this past week, but I was in need of knowing how to deal with a problem. I read Desire of Ages and came across a wonderful promise.

"Who is among you that feareth the Lord . . . that walketh in darkenss, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." Isaiah 50:10

Pray. Trust. Stay. God gave me a piece of the puzzle that night and lead me to an answer the next day. Anyone tempted to discouragement or lacking direction - "trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon God!"

Dorine

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 02:26:50 PM »
Amen Vicki.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Vicki

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 09:32:17 PM »
Yes, guidance from God is wonderful, but nothing compared to what He does with our heart. That brings deep, earnest thankfulness & rejoicing.

I came back on here to encourage those who might be hoping for a quick answer. This week I received one, it was a blessing I am most thankful for. Years ago I had to wait for years for an answer. Still, our response should be the same. Pray. Trust. Stay. In God's timing it will happen. And while waiting, "strike up a song about the matchless charms of the Son of God!"

Glen

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 07:46:33 AM »
The church that would prove successful in the Master's service must be an aggressive one. Its members must not allow their interest in the work to lag. Heavenly intelligencies are ready to co-operate with the human agent to press forward the work. At whatever cost press the battle to the gates of the enemy; yea, storm the very citadel. Do not allow yourselves to fail nor be discouraged. Christ's authority is supreme. His power is invincible. Through the Holy Spirit the Lord works with the human agent. "He hath appointed us to preach good tidings unto the meek[; He hath sent us to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives; and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God: to comfort all that mourn, to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion; to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified." The Sun of Righteousness has arisen. Christ is waiting to clothe His people with the garments of salvation. And "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth; and the isles shall wait for His law." His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, the kings to the brightness of thy rising." Bible Training School 06-01-11.01

I long to so identify with Christ that I might enter into close service with Him in His work to save souls; with Him to see of the travail of his soul, and ...be satisfied Isaiah 53:11 I have so frequently, in the past, found myself at odds with leaders in the church. I've repeated their assertions while questioning their falsehoods, arguing Scripture in my attempts to help them see and hear the truth.

I think I may have found a secret that will help me more successfully share the wonderful Truths I'm discovering about Salvation in Christ. I remember reading, somewhere, that Christians during the time of persecution in the Dark Ages would mix with the unbelievers as Peddlers, and share discerningly only with those they met who were sincerely interested to hear of God. I notice in the above quote that ...the Holy Spirit...hath appointed us to preach good tidings unto the meek.

So; while I will be more careful not to seem judgemental or critical, as that is not my motive or intent, I will humbly, prayerfully seek out those who seem likewise humble, prayerful, and meek. Surely with them I might find true fellowship. (Hebrews 10: 23-25; Malachi 3:16)
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

JimB

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Re: Are You Tempted to be Discouraged?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 03:11:29 PM »
Years ago I had to wait for years for an answer. Still, our response should be the same. Pray. Trust. Stay. In God's timing it will happen.

This reminds me of a church member a few years ago who had been praying for years for her son to accept Christ. He did and was baptized and not long afterwards he died. What heart ache... but also what joy!
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 #13 on: March 07, 2012, 03:00:34 PM »
Others He met who were fighting a hand-to-hand battle with the adversary of souls. These He encouraged to persevere, assuring them that they would win; for angels of God were on their side, and would give them the victory. Those whom He thus helped were convinced that here was One in whom they could trust with perfect confidence. He would not betray the secrets they poured into His sympathizing ear.  {DA 91.1}
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 #14 on: March 08, 2012, 02:44:31 PM »
Amen!!  Remembering what the Lord has done for us will prove a support in every danger. "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?" And "if God be for us, who can be against us?" However craftily the plots of Satan and his agents may be laid, God can detect them, and bring to naught all their counsels. Those who, standing in the forefront of the conflict, are impelled by the Holy Spirit to do a special work will frequently feel a reaction when the pressure is removed. Despondency may shake the most heroic faith, and weaken the most steadfast will. But God understands, and He still pities and loves. He reads the motives and the purposes of the heart. To wait patiently, to trust when everything looks dark, is the lesson that the leaders in God's work need to learn. Heaven will not fail them in their day of adversity. Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible,  than the soul that feels its nothingness, and relies wholly on God.
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 #15 on: March 21, 2012, 06:26:01 PM »
Isa 49:24  Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
Isa 49:25  But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
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 #16 on: April 04, 2012, 03:11:06 PM »
If Thou Canst Believe, All Things are Possible[

"If Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us." How many a sin-burdened soul has echoed that prayer. And to all, the pitying Saviour's answer is, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." It is faith that connects us with heaven, and brings us strength for coping with the powers of darkness. In Christ, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation, however strong. But many feel that they lack faith, and therefore they remain away from Christ. Let these souls, in their helpless unworthiness, cast themselves upon the mercy of their compassionate Saviour. Look not to self, but to Christ. He who healed the sick and cast out demons when He walked among men is the same mighty Redeemer today. Faith comes by the word of God. Then grasp His promise, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief." You can never perish while you do this--never.  {DA 429.1}
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 #17 on: April 05, 2012, 05:42:29 AM »
That is beautiful, Jim. Thank you!
  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 #18 on: April 05, 2012, 07:43:37 AM »
Amen!  For much of my life as a Christian, I have prayed this prayer daily when I bring my devotions: "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief."  There is no greater sin than "unbelief".  It caused Moses to strike the Rock, and it always at the bottom of our sins. The devils believe and tremble because they are filled with "unbelief". It is true that you can never perish while you do this--never.  When in sincerity we go to Jesus for help, He never refuses.

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 #19 on: April 14, 2012, 03:08:32 PM »
Today's Sabbath service was a very good one. The speaker talked about how unbelief is the worst of all sins and challenged us not to be a muck-raker (see to Pilgrim's Progress Part II) but to look up in belief and to dwell on those things that are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely. Look up and see all the evidences of God and that He is close. This got me to thinking of Christ's love for us. Sometimes circumstances here on earth can have a dimming affect on our perception of God's love for us and we wonder if God even notices what we are going through. I'm not sure that is where David was mentally when he asked the question/s below but sometimes we've asked the same question for different reasons.

David's Question...

Psa 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psa 144:3  LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!

Christ's Declaration of the Father's Love for Us

Mat 10:29  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Mat 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mat 10:31  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Luk 12:27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Luk 12:28  If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Paul Gives Evidence of the Depth of Christ's Love for Us

Rom 5:6  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

John Tells What Our Response is When We Believe

1Jn 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jn 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}