The Voice in Speech and Song


Chapter 31—Hope and Encouragement

A Healing Balm—There are souls who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They look upon their mistakes and errors until they are almost driven to desperation. Instead of ... reproving and condemning and taking away the last ray of hope that the Sun of Righteousness sheds into their hearts, let your words fall as healing balm upon the bruised soul. Be not like desolating hail that beats down and destroys the tender hope springing up in the hearts. Leave not the hungry, starving soul in his helplessness to perish because you fail to speak words of tenderness and encouragement.—Our High Calling, 295. VSS 155.1

Encouragement for the Angels—Words of cheer and encouragement spoken when the soul is sick and the pulse of courage is low—these are regarded by the Saviour as if spoken to Himself. As hearts are cheered, the heavenly angels look on in pleased recognition.—The Ministry of Healing, 159. VSS 155.2

Brave, Hopeful Words—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.—Steps to Christ, 120. VSS 155.3

No Doubt nor Discouragement—Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt or discouragement. You can do much to brighten the life of others and strengthen their efforts, by words of hope and holy cheer.—Steps to Christ, 119, 120. VSS 156.1

Nothing Cheap nor Common—Let us educate the tongue to speak right words—words that will encourage and strengthen our fellow men. Let us talk of goodness, and mercy, and the love of God. Put away all unbelieving words, and all that is cheap and common.—The Review and Herald, March 28, 1899. VSS 156.2

Inspiration Through a Holy Boldness—Let the tongue be inspired with a holy boldness to speak words of encouragement, words that will arouse and strengthen souls to break the bands of indolence and security that bind them in uncertainty.—Letter 151, 1903. VSS 156.3

Parrot-like Repetitions—You cannot reach hearts with a mere form of words, a parrot-like repetition of set phrases. What you say must be the expression of a personal experience. If you cheer hearts with words of courage and hope, it will be because the grace and love of God are to you a living reality. It is God's impress that these souls are to receive, not your own. But if the worker has not himself been refined, transformed, he cannot present the truth with a freshness, a force, a power, that awakens responsive feelings in those who hear the word of life.—The Review and Herald, April 12, 1892. VSS 156.4

Words of Cheer—The wails of a world's sorrow are heard all around us. Sin is pressing its shadow upon us, and our minds must be ready for every good word and work. We know that we have the presence of Jesus. The sweet influence of His Holy Spirit is teaching and guiding our thoughts, leading us to speak words that will cheer and brighten the pathway of others.—Testimonies for the Church 6:115. VSS 157.1

Pleasant, Agreeable Tones—We are to speak words that will comfort and encourage. Brethren and sisters, train yourselves to speak in pleasant, agreeable tones. It does no harm, but good, to speak kindly, but to speak discourteously and roughly drives the holy angels away in sadness.—The Review and Herald, June 15, 1905. VSS 157.2

As a Nail in a Sure Place—Great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth, unselfish purposes, yearnings for piety and holiness, will find expression in words that reveal the character of the heart treasure. VSS 157.3

Those with whom we associate day by day need our help, our guidance. They may be in such a condition of mind that a word spoken in season will be as a nail in a sure place.—Prophets and Kings, 348. VSS 158.1

Seeds of Doubt a Service of Satan—Let us guard against speaking words that discourage. Let us resolve never to engage in evilspeaking and backbiting. Let us refuse to serve Satan by implanting seeds of doubt. Let us guard against cherishing unbelief, or expressing it to others. Many, many times I have wished that there might be circulated a pledge containing a solemn promise to speak only those words that are pleasing to God. There is as great need for such a pledge as there is for one against the use of intoxicating liquor. Let us begin to discipline the tongue, remembering always that we can do this only by disciplining the mind, for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34.—Our High Calling, 291. VSS 158.2

Presentation of the Saviour—Oh, let no word be spoken to cause deeper pain! To the soul weary of a life of sin, but knowing not where to find relief, present the compassionate Saviour. Take him by the hand, lift him up, speak to him words of courage and hope. Help him to grasp the hand of the Saviour.—The Ministry of Healing, 168. VSS 158.3

The Heavenly Ladder—He who comes to Jesus is setting his feet upon a ladder that reaches from earth to heaven. Teach it by pen, by voice, that God is above the ladder; the bright rays of His glory are shining upon every round of the ladder. He is looking graciously upon all who are climbing painfully upward, that He may send them help, divine help, when the hand seems to be relaxing and the foot trembling. Yes, tell it, tell it in words that will melt the heart, that not one who shall perseveringly climb the ladder will fail of an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; those who believe in Christ shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of His hand. VSS 158.4

Tell the people in clear, hopeful language how they may escape the heritage of shame which is our deserved portion. But for Christ's sake do not present before them ideas that will discourage them, that will make the way to heaven seem very difficult.—Selected Messages 1:181, 182. VSS 159.1

Remedy for Depression—We cannot afford to be in any way a hindrance to others. Each has his own peculiar temptations and trials, and we are to stand in a position where we can help and strengthen the tempted. We are to encourage, and, if possible, lift up those that are weak in the faith. By speaking of the promises of God, we may sometimes remove depression from the minds of those who are in trial and difficulty.—Mind, Character, and Personality 2:435. VSS 159.2

Conversation About Heaven—When we can associate together to help one another heavenward, when the conversation is upon divine and heavenly things, then it amounts to something to talk; but when the conversation centers upon self and earthly and unimportant matters, silence is golden. The obedient ear will receive reproof with humility, patience, and teachableness. Then only do our communications with each other prove beneficial, and fulfill all that God would have them. When both sides of the divine instruction are fulfilled, the wise reprover does his duty, and the obedient ear hears to a purpose and is benefited.—Sons and Daughters of God, 166. VSS 159.3

Sour, Disagreeable Minds—It is Satan's work to talk of that which concerns himself, and he is delighted to have human beings talk of his power, of his working through the children of men. Through indulgence in such conversation the mind becomes gloomy and sour and disagreeable. We may become channels of communication for Satan, through which flow words that bring no sunshine to any heart. But let us decide that this shall not be. Let us decide not to be channels through which Satan shall communicate gloomy, disagreeable thoughts. Let our words be not a savor of death unto death, but of life unto life.—Testimonies for the Church 6:62, 63. VSS 160.1

Our Weakness Not a Subject of Discussion—It is not praiseworthy to talk of our weakness and discouragement. Let each one say, “I am grieved that I yield to temptation, that my prayers are so feeble, my faith so weak.”—In Heavenly Places, 276. VSS 160.2

No Virtue in Remembrance of Sins—Every time we talk darkness, it pleases the enemy, for he does not want the joy of Christ to dwell in our hearts by faith. Christ is to us a never-failing fountain of refreshing joy. God does not regard it any virtue in us to keep looking at and talking of our mistakes and sins.—Letter 42, 1896. VSS 161.1