Daughters of God


Our Will and Our Way Should Be Submitted to God

A letter written on April 5, 1873, to Sister Billet, of San Francisco, California. Ellen White gives encouragement to her friend to stand fast on the platform of eternal truth. Sister Billet had not yet taken her stand as a Sabbathkeeper. DG 230.3

Dear Sister Billet,

I would be much pleased to have a conversation with you today, but as this is impossible, the next best thing for me to do is to let the silent pen give expression to my thoughts and feelings. Very many hundred miles separate us, but you are not forgotten by us. We have deep interest that your soul should prosper even as your health. DG 230.4

My dear sister, does the truth grow more clear to your understanding? As you plant your feet upon the platform of eternal truth, do you feel that God is more precious and that you are in His sheltering care? We have precious, harmonious, sanctifying truth. We do not always consider that the sanctification we so earnestly desire and for which we pray so earnestly is brought about through the truth and, by the providence of God, in a manner we least expect. When we look for joy, behold there is sorrow. When we expect peace, we frequently have distrust and doubt because we find ourselves plunged into trials we cannot avoid. In these trials we are having the answers to our prayers. In order for us to be purified, the fire of affliction must kindle upon us, and our will must be brought into conformity to the will of God. In order to be conformed to the image of our Saviour we pass through a most painful process of refining. The very ones that we regard the most dear upon the earth may cause us the greatest sorrow and trial. They may view us in the wrong light. They may think us in error, and that we are deceiving and degrading ourselves because we follow the dictates of enlightened conscience in seeking for the truth as for hid treasures. DG 230.5

The character and course of the Christian is in marked contrast to that of worldlings. The Christian cannot find pleasure in the amusements and in the varied scenes of gaiety of the world. Higher and holier attractions engage the affections. Christians will show that they are the friends of God by their obedience.... DG 231.1

Our prayers for conformity to the image of Christ may not be answered exactly as we desire. We may be tested and proved, for God sees it [is] best to put us under a course of discipline which is essential for us before we are fit subjects for the blessing we crave. We should not become discouraged and give way to doubt, and think that our prayers are not noticed. We should rely more securely upon Christ and leave our case with God to answer our prayers in His own way. God has not promised to bestow His blessings through the channels we have marked out. God is too wise to err and too regardful of our good to allow us to choose for ourselves. DG 231.2

The plans of God are always the best, although we may not always discern them. Perfection of Christian character can be obtained only through labor, conflict, and self-denial. We do not always count upon this, and do not consider the painful and often protracted process of purifying necessary for us in order that we may be conformed to the image of Christ. God frequently answers our prayers in a way we least expect. He brings us into positions which are the most trying to reveal what is in our hearts. To further the development of Christian graces He will place us in circumstances which will demand increased exertion on our part to keep our faith in lively exercise. DG 231.3

Let us bear in mind, dear sister, how inestimably precious are the gifts of God—the graces of His Spirit—and we shall not shrink from the trying, testing process, be it ever so painful or humiliating to us. How easy would be the way to heaven if there were no self-denial or cross! How worldlings would rush in the way, and hypocrites would travel in it without number! Thank God for the cross, the self-denial. The ignominy and shame our Saviour endured for us is none too humiliating for those saved by the purchase of His blood. Heaven will indeed be cheap enough. DG 231.4

Dear sister, it is for us to be patient, to choose the suffering part of religion. Your own precious child may not discern the mystery of godliness and may think you stubborn and foolish, that you will be odd and singular from the world. But faint not. If [you are] faithful to duty, God may touch the heart of your child and she may see the matchless charms of a Saviour's love. To the unbeliever whose happiness is in the things of the world, its pleasures and its vanities, the conscientious observers of the Lord's Sabbath seem wild and erratic. They may inquire why the great men, the ministers, the doctors, and the learned do not see these things if they are indeed the truth. Because of the cross! Popularity and worldly inducements are considerations too great for them to yield up. They have their minds darkened by the god of this world.... DG 232.1

We may have Christ with us while engaged in our daily avocations. Wherever we are, in whatever we are engaged, we may be indeed elevated because we are united to Christ. We may take up our humble life duties ennobled by and sanctified through the assurance of the love of God. Working from principle in the humblest calling invests it with dignity. The consciousness that we are indeed the servants of Christ will give a higher tone of character to our everyday duties—ever cheerful, patient, forbearing, and gentle. Says Christ, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” John 16:12.... DG 232.2

If you, my dear sister, are seen to be firm in principle, fearless in duty, zealous in seeking to exemplify Christ in your daily work, yet humble, lowly, gentle and tender, patient and forgiving, ready to suffer and to forgive injuries, you will be a living epistle known and read of all men. Your friends who are conforming their character to the world are not abiding in Christ, however high may be their profession. They do not discern the value and preciousness of the love of Christ. They cannot have a just sense of the great sacrifice made by the Captain of our salvation to redeem them from hopeless misery. The infinite sacrifice made on their account they cannot discern, therefore they are not willing to make any sacrifice themselves.... DG 232.3

Christ has bought us with a dear price, but yet He will recompense our service to Him. We may feel sad and weep over our poor service to Him who has given us such unmeasured evidences of His interest in and love for us. But the recompense will not be in exact proportion to the amount of work done, but in accordance with the motive and the love which prompted the doing of the work. The recompense will be of grace. His own abundant mercy will be displayed not because we have done anything worthy, but on account of His unmeasured love. Christ will say to the faithful, sincere worker, “Well done, good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:23. And even now angels of God take cognizance of our works of love and righteousness and we shall not be forgotten even in this life. In keeping His commandments there is great reward. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165. Christ lays no more upon His servants than He gives them strength to perform. He will not cast them off in their adversity. When heart and flesh fail He will be the strength of their heart and their portion forever. DG 233.1

Sinners talk of the amusements of the world and the pleasures of sin, but when death is staring them in the face, they say nothing in praise of the beautiful life of sin they have led. The terrible, dark future is before them and if they could only know that their names were written in heaven, what a weight would be lifted from their sin-burdened souls! In every condition, under every circumstance, the Christian can say, “The path of holiness is a good way.” However trying may be their position, they can say, “The Lord is good; ‘his mercy endureth forever’.” Be of good courage, my sister. Trust wholly in God. He will sustain and comfort you in all your trials endured for His name's sake.... Good is the Lord and greatly to be praised.—Letter 9, 1873. DG 233.2