Steps to Christ
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 13: Rejoicing in the Lord
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All this is harming your own soul; for every word
of doubt you utter is inviting Satan's temptations; it
is strengthening in you the tendency to doubt, and it
is grieving from you the ministering angels. When
Satan tempts you, breathe not a word of doubt or
darkness. If you choose to open the door to his
suggestions, your mind will be filled with distrust and
rebellious questioning. If you talk out your feelings,
every doubt you express not only reacts upon yourself,
but it is a seed that will germinate and bear fruit in
the life of others, and it may be impossible to
counteract the influence of your words. You yourself may
be able to recover from the season of temptation and
from the snare of Satan, but others who have been
swayed by your influence may not be able to escape
from the unbelief you have suggested. How important
that we speak only those things that will give
spiritual strength and life!
Angels are listening to hear what kind of report
you are bearing to the world about your heavenly
Master. Let your conversation be of Him who liveth
to make intercession for you before the Father. When
you take the hand of a friend, let praise to God be on
your lips and in your heart. This will attract his
thoughts to Jesus.
All have trials; griefs hard to bear, temptations
hard to resist. Do not tell your troubles to your
fellow mortals, but carry everything to God in prayer.
Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt or
discouragement. You can do much to brighten the [p. 120] life of others and strengthen their efforts, by words
of hope and holy cheer.
There is many a brave soul sorely pressed by
temptation, almost ready to faint in the conflict with
self and with the powers of evil. Do not discourage
such a one in his hard struggle. Cheer him with
brave, hopeful words that shall urge him on his way.
Thus the light of Christ may shine from you. "None
of us liveth to himself." Romans 14:7. By our
unconscious influence others may be encouraged and
strengthened, or they may be discouraged, and
repelled from Christ and the truth.
There are many who have an erroneous idea of
the life and character of Christ. They think that He
was devoid of warmth and sunniness, that He was
stern, severe, and joyless. In many cases the whole
religious experience is colored by these gloomy views.
It is often said that Jesus wept, but that He was
never known to smile. Our Saviour was indeed a
Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief, for He
opened His heart to all the woes of men. But though
His life was self-denying and shadowed with pain
and care, His spirit was not crushed. His countenance
did not wear an expression of grief and repining,
but ever one of peaceful serenity. His heart was
a wellspring of life, and wherever He went He carried
rest and peace, joy and gladness.
Our Saviour was deeply serious and intensely in
earnest, but never gloomy or morose. The life of
those who imitate Him will be full of earnest
purpose; they will have a deep sense of personal
responsibility. Levity will be repressed; there will be no [p. 121] boisterous merriment, no rude jesting; but the religion
of Jesus gives peace like a river. It does not
quench the light of joy; it does not restrain
cheerfulness nor cloud the sunny, smiling face. Christ
came not to be ministered unto but to minister; and
when His love reigns in the heart, we shall follow
If we keep uppermost in our minds the unkind
and unjust acts of others we shall find it impossible
to love them as Christ has loved us; but if our thoughts
dwell upon the wondrous love and pity of Christ for
us, the same spirit will flow out to others. We should
love and respect one another, notwithstanding the
faults and imperfections that we cannot help seeing.
Humility and self-distrust should be cultivated, and a
patient tenderness with the faults of others. This will
kill out all narrowing selfishness and make us large-hearted and
The psalmist says, "Trust in the Lord, and do
good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou
shalt be fed." Psalm 37:3. "Trust in the Lord." Each
day has its burdens, its cares and perplexities; and
when we meet how ready we are to talk of our difficulties
and trials. So many borrowed troubles intrude,
so many fears are indulged, such a weight of anxiety
is expressed, that one might suppose we had no pitying,
loving Saviour ready to hear all our requests and
to be to us a present help in every time of need.
Some are always fearing, and borrowing trouble.
Every day they are surrounded with the tokens of
God's love; every day they are enjoying the bounties
of His providence; but they overlook these present [p. 122] blessings. Their minds are continually dwelling upon
something disagreeable which they fear may come;
or some difficulty may really exist which, though
small, blinds their eyes to the many things that
demand gratitude. The difficulties they encounter,
instead of driving them to God, the only source of
their help, separate them from Him because they
awaken unrest and repining.
Do we well to be thus unbelieving? Why should
we be ungrateful and distrustful? Jesus is our friend;
all heaven is interested in our welfare. We should
not allow the perplexities and worries of everyday
life to fret the mind and cloud the brow. If we do
we shall always have something to vex and annoy.
We should not indulge a solicitude that only frets
and wears us, but does not help us to bear trials.
You may be perplexed in business; your prospects
may grow darker and darker, and you may be threatened
with loss; but do not become discouraged; cast
your care upon God, and remain calm and cheerful.
Pray for wisdom to manage your affairs with discretion,
and thus prevent loss and disaster. Do all you
can on your part to bring about favorable results.
Jesus has promised His aid, but not apart from our
effort. When, relying upon our Helper, you have
done all you can, accept the result cheerfully.
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