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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists

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    Courage and Perseverance in the Ministry

    When Jesus sent his disciples forth to labor, he sent them two and two, that they might be a help and strength to each other, and stand more courageously in defense of truth. They did not feel as some do now, that they would rather work alone than have any one with them who did not labor just as they labored. Our Saviour understood what ones to associate together. He did not connect with the mild, beloved John one of the same temperament; but he connected with him the ardent, impulsive Peter. These two men were not alike either in their disposition or in their manner of labor. Peter was prompt and zealous in action, bold and uncompromising, and would often wound; John was ever calm, and considerate of others’ feelings, and would come after to bind up and encourage. Thus the defects in one were partially covered by the virtues in the other.HS 126.3

    God never designed that, as a rule, his servants should go out singly to labor. To illustrate: Here are two brothers. They are not of the same temperament; their minds do not run in the same channel. One is in danger of doing too much; the other fails to carry the burdens that he should. If associated together, these might have a moulding influence upon each other, so that the extremes in their characters would not stand out so prominent in their labors. It might not be necessary for them to be together in every meeting; but they could labor in places ten, fifteen, or even thirty miles apart,—near enough together, however, so that if one came to a crisis in his labors, he could call on the other for assistance. They should also come together as often as possible for prayer and consultation. Although different in temperament, they are one in faith, one in purpose, and can claim the promise of Christ to his disciples, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”HS 126.4

    When one labors alone continually, he is apt to think that his way is above criticism, and he feels no particular desire to have any one labor with him. But it is Christ's plan that some one should stand right by his side, so that the work shall not be moulded entirely by one man's mind, and so that his defects of character shall not be regarded as virtues by himself or by those who hear him.HS 127.1

    Unless a speaker has one by his side with whom he can share the labor, he will many times be placed in circumstances where he will be obliged to do violence to the laws of life and health. Then, again, important things sometimes transpire to call him away right in the crisis of an interest. If two are connected in labor, the work at such times need not be left alone.HS 127.2

    It is Satan's regular employment to hinder the work of God, and to work for the destruction of the race. Frequently when the interest in a certain locality is at its height, he makes it appear to the mind of the worker that some trifling matter at home is of great importance, and demands his immediate presence. The eye of the worker not being single to the glory of God, he leaves the work unfinished, and rushes home. He may be kept away for days and even weeks, and his former work becomes raveled and tangled. Stitch after stitch is dropped, never to be taken up again. This pleases the enemy. And when he sees that he is successful in making temporal matters supreme in the mind of this person, he gives him his hands full of trouble. He at once begins to manufacture home difficulties, so as to entangle his mind, and, if possible, to keep him away from the work altogether.HS 127.3

    God designs that the interest of the workers shall be absorbed in his will. He says. “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” A soul is of more value than all the world; and to let things of a temporal nature come in between us and the work of saving souls is displeasing to the God of heaven. As a people, we have as yet scarcely begun to realize the importance of the work intrusted to us. Oh that the servants of God might have a new touch from his divine power! Oh that they had more faith to prevail with God in prayer, and more, far more, earnestness and perseverance in their labors!HS 127.4

    When souls are deciding for or against the truth, do not, I beseech you, allow yourselves to be drawn away from your field of labor. Do not abandon it to the enemy, I might say, even if one lay dead in your house. Christ said, “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” If you could only see the importance of the work as it has been presented to me, the paralysis that is upon many would be shaken off, and there would be a rising from the dead and a coming to life through Jesus Christ.HS 127.5

    Christ meant something when he said, “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” He intended to impress upon us the fact that we must make eternal things of first importance, and so relate ourselves to the cause and work of God that we shall not be hindered by things of a temporal nature. Everything of this character must come in secondary. The armor of God, once put on, is not to be laid off for slight excuses.HS 128.1

    What we need now is untiring energy and perseverance, so that we will not be broken off from the work by difficulties and home perplexities. If we do allow our interest to be thus separated, the enemy will understand it, and he will make trouble right in our families to draw us away from the work. But if we firmly take our stand as God's workmen, saying, “The Lord has given us a message, and we cannot be faithful watchmen unless we stand at our post of duty; we will carry the work through at all hazards,” then we shall find that angels of God will minister to our households at home, and will say to the enemy, “Stand back.” It is a great and solemn work in which we are engaged, and God will help us to carry it forward, if we learn to rely wholly upon him.HS 128.2

    Oh, my brethren, put on the whole armor of God, and move with wisdom and intelligence. Do not work weeks and months to bring around a condition of things that will bind you hand and foot so that you cannot engage in the warfare as bold soldiers of Jesus Christ, and then mourn and complain because your circumstances are such that you cannot give yourselves wholly to the work. It is not God who lays upon you this burden. He has given you reason, and he wants you to use it. He would not have you arrange things at home so that when you go out to labor your minds will be continually upon your families. Before you make any move with reference to your families, he would have you consider carefully whether you are piling up burdens that will hinder you from engaging in his work. I have felt sad as I have heard different individuals tell how difficult it was for them to give themselves to the work of God. They do not like to consider the steps that they have taken to place themselves in this position. If God should work a miracle to bring them out of this position, they would go right to work to bring about another similar state of things. Such do not feel the necessity of counseling with God; they prefer to follow their own inclination and judgment.HS 128.3

    Some have made it a point never to let temporal matters come between them and the work of God, and they have lost much in consequence of this. But what of that? What are temporal things when compared with the eternal? We have enlisted in the army of the Lord, and now let none of us create such a condition of things that we shall have to desert it.HS 128.4

    I appeal to you, my brethren in the ministry. Connect yourselves more closely with the work of God. Many souls that might be saved, will be lost, unless you strive more earnestly to make your work as perfect as possible. There is a great work to be done in Europe. It may seem to move slowly and hard at first; but God will work mightily through you if you will only make an entire surrender to him. Much of the time you will have to walk by faith, not by feeling.HS 128.5

    I do not know but all present have infirmities of some kind upon them. If so, do not gratify the enemy by standing in the desk and telling of those infirmities; but talk of the mighty power of Christ to bless all who come unto him. Jesus lives. Move out by faith, and claim the promises of God. Do you not remember the woman that came behind Jesus and touched the hem of his garment and was made whole? Hers is the kind of faith that you need. Many have the casual touch, but there are few who are closely connected with Christ by living faith.HS 129.1

    Wherever you are, however trying your circumstances, do not talk discouragement. The Bible is full of rich promises. Can you not believe them? When we go out to labor for souls, God does not want us to go a warfare at our own charges. What does this mean? It means that we need not go in our own strength, for God has pledged his word that he will go with us.HS 129.2

    As workers, let us seek the Lord together. Of our own selves we can do nothing; but through Christ we can do all things. God intends that we shall be a help and blessing to one another, and that we shall be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. In the hour of our deepest trial, Jesus will be our “bright and morning star.” There is in life much sorrow of our own creating. Satan works up distrust and discouragement. But God lives and reigns; and he will give us all the help we need. It is our privilege at all times to draw strength and encouragement from his blessed promise, “My grace is sufficient for you.”HS 129.3

    Monday morning, September 21.

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