The Review and Herald

1752/1902

May 30, 1912

How to Meet Trial and Difficulty

EGW

Those who are laboring in places where the work has not long been started, often find themselves surrounded by discouraging conditions. The need of better facilities is great, and encouragement and sympathy may seem to be withheld. At such times let not the workers give way to discouragement, but let them take their perplexities to the Lord in prayer. When trying to build up the work in new territory, we have often gone to the limit of our resources. At times it seemed as if we could advance no farther. But we kept sending out petitions to heaven, all the time denying self; and God heard and answered our prayers, supplying means for the advancement of the work. RH May 30, 1912, par. 1

Because circumstances change and disappointments come, because you do not have as much help as you hoped to receive for the building up of the work, you are not therefore to become disheartened. Lay every care at the feet of the Redeemer. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Do your best, and then wait, patiently, hopefully, rejoicingly, because the promise of God can not fail. Christ's life of untiring effort has been recorded for our encouragement. He did not fail nor become discouraged. In time of trial, be patient. Patience is a precious jewel. It will bring health to heart and mind. Wait on the Lord until he sees that you are ready to receive and appreciate the blessings for which you ask. Exercise faith, even though the trials are severe. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Of faith hope is born. RH May 30, 1912, par. 2

It requires self-control to accept disappointment meekly; but Jesus understands your needs. Every prayer offered to him in sincerity and faith will be answered. Having done your best, refuse to give way to discouragement and despair. When hedged about with apparently insurmountable difficulties, then is the time above all others to trust in the Lord. RH May 30, 1912, par. 3

The divine command to Moses to deliver Israel found the wilderness shepherd distrustful, slow of speech, and timid. He was overwhelmed with a sense of his incapacity to be a mounthpiece for God. But he accepted the work, putting all his trust in the Lord. The greatness of his mission called into exercise the best powers of his mind. God blessed his ready obedience, and he became eloquent, hopeful, self-possessed, well fitted for his great work. His experience is an illustration of what God will do to strengthen the characters of those who trust him implicitly, and give themselves unreservedly to his service. RH May 30, 1912, par. 4

It is wonderful how strong a weak man may become, how prolific of great results his efforts through faith in the power of God and devotion to his service. Through the exercise of his abilities in the cause of God, the hesitating and irresolute become firm and decided. His nature becomes exalted; the mission of Christ opens before him with new importance and glory, and with deep humility he recognizes in himself a co-laborer with the Saviour. No higher office than this is given to man. No joy can equal that which comes with the assurance that he is an instrument in the hand of God for the salvation of souls. It is a good thing to look back upon a course of labor marked with definite results in the advancement of Christ's kingdom, to see precious souls reaching up to the standard of Christian living, and to know that God has worked through our efforts for the accomplishment of such results. RH May 30, 1912, par. 5

The careless onlooker may not appreciate the work nor recognize its importance. He may think it a losing business, a life of thankless labor and needless self-sacrifice. But the servant of God sees it in the light shining from the cross. His sacrifices appear small in comparison with those of the Master. As he reviews his work, the trials and difficulties that have beset him are not magnified in his mind. The consciousness of duty performed and the glory of his coming reward amply compensate for all the sacrifice he may have made. RH May 30, 1912, par. 6

Laborer for God, when you are weary and heavy-laden, flee to Christ, who has promised you rest. He is the Burden-bearer; he is your strength. Your work in this world is to discipline the mind, to store up knowledge, to perfect character. Only thus will you be able to wage successfully the warfare of life. Keep the spirit humble. Envy, pride, worldly ambition, cupidity, and love of ease must be renounced. In simplicity and love be like those little ones whose angels do always behold the face of the Father in heaven. But unite with these virtues the courage of the tried warrior. Faithful Calebs are needed, who will raise their voices fearlessly in defense of the right, who will be first to press to the front of the battle, and plant the banner of truth in the enemy's camp. RH May 30, 1912, par. 7

A chieftain in Israel, Caleb was one of those chosen to spy out the land of Canaan. When the spies returned from this work, the voices of his companions were raised in complaint. They acknowledged the goodness of the land; but “the people be strong that dwell in the land,” they said, “and the cities are walled, and very great; and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.” RH May 30, 1912, par. 8

Caleb saw the difficulties just as plainly as did the other spies, but he stood firmly at the post God had assigned him. He would not shirk any disagreeable responsibility; and now, in the face of his cowardly companions who were threatening to stone him, he cried with a ringing voice, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” RH May 30, 1912, par. 9

It was Caleb's faith in God that gave him courage, that kept him from the fear of man, and enabled him to stand boldly and unflinchingly in the defense of the right. Through reliance on the same power, the mighty General of the armies of heaven, every true soldier of the cross may receive strength and courage to overcome the obstacles that seem insurmountable. RH May 30, 1912, par. 10

Success in the winning of souls does not depend upon age or circumstances, but upon the love one has for others. Consider John Bunyan imprisoned in the Bedford jail. His enemies think they have placed him where his work for others must cease. But not so. He is not idle. The love for souls continues to burn within him, and from the loath-some dungeon there is sent forth a light that has shone to all parts of the civilized world. There he wrote his wonderful allegory of the pilgrim's journey from the land of destruction to the celestial city. This book, “The Pilgrim's Progress,” portrays the Christian life so accurately, and presents the love of Christ so attractively, that through its instrumentality hundreds and thousands have been converted. RH May 30, 1912, par. 11

Again, consider Luther in his Wartburg prison. His enemies exulted in his absence; for the light of the gospel seemed about to be extinguished. But instead of this the Reformer was filling his lamp from the storehouse of truth; and its light was to shine forth with brighter radiance. While in prison Luther's pen was never idle. While his enemies flattered themselves that he was silenced, they were astonished and confused by tangible proof that he was still alive. A host of tracts, issuing from his pen, circulated throughout Germany. He also performed a most important service for his countrymen by translating the New Testament into the German tongue. RH May 30, 1912, par. 12

In varied ways God worked for his people in ages past, and he is as willing to work through those who today are laboring for the salvation of souls. But the trouble with many is that they have not enough faith. They are too self-sufficient, too easily disturbed by little trials. There is in the natural heart much selfishness, much self-dignity; and when the workers present the truth and it is resented, they too frequently feel that it is an insult to themselves, when it is not they, but the Author of truth who is insulted and rejected. There is need of hiding self in Jesus. The nearer one comes to Jesus, the less will self be esteemed, and the more earnest will be the effort put forth for others. RH May 30, 1912, par. 13

Whether you labor in public or private, you will meet difficulties. But remember, brethren, in every perplexity that God has angels still. You may meet opposition, yes, persecution. But if you are steadfast to principle, you will find, as did Daniel, a present Helper and Deliverer in the God whom you serve. This is the time to cultivate integrity of character. To all who engage in missionary work I would say, Hide in Jesus. Let not self but Christ appear in all your labors. When the work goes hard, and you become discouraged, and are tempted to abandon it, bow upon your knees before God, and say, Here, Lord, is thy pledged word. Throw your weight upon his promises, and every one of them will be fulfilled. RH May 30, 1912, par. 14

Learn to take Christ at his word when you are inclined to despond. Believe that “all power” is given to those who need it, and that this power is for you. Do not look on the dark side, but look in faith to Jesus. The Word of the Lord is sufficient. Take hold unitedly with a will to do what God has said must be done. Success will attend those who cooperate with him all the time. RH May 30, 1912, par. 15

Let us not be weary in well-doing. Why should we, with such helpers to co-operate with us in fighting the battles of life? At our baptism we were pledged to the service of God. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we received the holy rite. The pledge was a life pledge on the part of heaven if we would comply with the conditions. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” “In due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” RH May 30, 1912, par. 16

Go, my brethren and fellow workers, and spread out before God your necessities. It was when the heavens were as brass over Paul that he trusted most fully in God, and was delivered again and again from unreasonable and wicked men. Let us trust in God, saying “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him,” Let self be crucified. Let the love of God shine forth in words and works. Let the gospel of Jesus Christ exert strong, uninterrupted influence upon mind and heart. RH May 30, 1912, par. 17

“Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? 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 all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” RH May 30, 1912, par. 18