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Selected Messages Book 2

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    Meditations Through Days of Affliction

    Prayer and Anointing—but Not Instantly Healed

    May 21, 1892—The trying, almost sleepless night is ended. Yesterday afternoon Elder [A. G.] Daniells and his wife, Elder [G. C.] Tenney and his wife, and Brethren Stockton and Smith came to our house at my request to pray that the Lord would heal me. We had a most earnest season of prayer, and we were all much blessed. I was relieved, but not restored. I have now done all that I can to follow the Bible directions, and I shall wait for the Lord to work, believing that in His own good time He will heal me. My faith takes hold of the promise, “Ask, and ye shall receive” (John 16:24).2SM 235.1

    I believe that the Lord heard our prayers. I hoped that my captivity might be turned immediately, and to my finite judgment it seemed that thus God would be glorified. I was much blessed during our season of prayer, and I shall hold fast to the assurance then given me: “I am your Redeemer; I will heal you.”—Manuscript 19, 1892.2SM 235.2

    “I Shall Not Lose Self-control”

    June 23, 1892—Another night has passed. I slept only three hours. I was not in so much pain as usual, but was restless and nervous. After lying awake for some time, trying to sleep, I gave up the effort, and directed my whole attention to seeking the Lord. How precious to me was the promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). I prayed most earnestly to the Lord for comfort and peace, which the Lord Jesus alone can give. I want the blessing of the Lord, so that, while suffering pain, I shall not lose self-control. I dare not trust in self for one moment.2SM 235.3

    The instant that Peter withdrew his eyes from Christ, that instant he began to sink. When he realized his peril, and lifted his eyes and voice to Jesus, crying, Save, Lord, or I perish, the hand ever ready to save the perishing took hold of him, and he was saved....2SM 235.4

    In my home I must daily seek peace and pursue it.... And although the body is suffering, and the nervous system enfeebled, we must not think that we are at liberty to speak fretfully or to think that we are not receiving all the attention we should have. When we give way to impatience, we drive the Spirit of God out of the heart, and give place to the attributes of Satan.2SM 235.5

    When we frame excuses for selfishness, for evil thinking and evil speaking, we are educating the soul in evil, and if we continue to do this, it will become a habit to yield to temptation. We are then on Satan's ground, overcome, weak, and without courage.2SM 236.1

    If we trust in ourselves, we shall certainly fall. Christ says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me” (John 15:4).2SM 236.2

    What is the fruit that we are to bear? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).2SM 236.3

    As I meditated on these things, I felt more and more deeply the sin of neglecting to keep the soul in the love of God. The Lord does nothing without our cooperation. When Christ prayed, Father, keep them in Thy name, He did not mean that we should neglect to keep ourselves in the love and faith of God. Alive unto God, through a living union with Christ, we trust in the promises, constantly gaining greater strength by beholding Jesus. What can change the heart or shake the confidence of the one who by beholding the Saviour is changed into His likeness? Shall such a one be on the watch for slights? Shall his imagination center on self? Shall he allow little things to destroy his peace of mind? He in whose heart Christ abides is willing to be pleased. He thinks no evil, and is content with the assurance that Jesus knows and values aright every soul for whom He died. God says, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir” (Isaiah 13:12). Let this satisfy the longing of the soul, and make us careful and guarded, very ready to forgive others because God has forgiven us.2SM 236.4

    The happiness of life is made up of little things. It is in the power of everyone to practice true Christlike courtesy. It is not the possession of splendid talents that will help us to overcome, but the conscientious performance of daily duties. The kind look, the lowly spirit, the contented disposition, the unaffected, sincere interest in the welfare of others—these things are helps in the Christian life. If the love of Jesus fills the heart, this love will be manifested in the life. We shall not show a determination to have our own way, a stubborn, selfish unwillingness to be happy or pleased. The health of the body depends more upon heart healthfulness than many suppose.2SM 237.1

    One can imagine himself slighted, imagine that he is not in as high a position as he is capable of filling, and so make of himself a supposed martyr. He is unhappy, but who is to blame? One thing is certain—kindness and amiability of temper will do more to exalt him than any supposed smartness with the curse of an ungenial disposition.—Manuscript 19, 1892.2SM 237.2

    Jesus Knows Our Griefs and Pains

    June 26, 1892—I am glad when the daylight comes, for the nights are long and wearisome. But when I cannot sleep, gratitude fills my heart as I think that One who never slumbers is watching over me for good. What a wonderful thought it is that Jesus knows all about the pains and griefs we bear. In all our afflictions He was afflicted. Some among our friends know nothing of human woe or physical pain. They are never sick, and therefore they cannot enter fully into the feelings of those who are sick. But Jesus is touched with the feeling of our infirmity. He is the great medical missionary. He has taken humanity upon Himself, and has placed Himself at the head of a new dispensation, in order that He may reconcile justice and compassion.—Manuscript 19, 1892.2SM 237.3

    “Make Me a Healthy, Fruit-bearing Branch”

    June 29, 1892—My prayer on awaking is, Jesus, keep Thy child today. Take me under Thy guardianship. Make me a healthy, fruit-bearing branch of the living Vine. “Without me,” Christ says, “ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). In and through Christ we can do all things.2SM 237.4

    He who was the adored of angels, who had listened to the music of the heavenly choir, was ever touched, while upon this earth, with the sorrows of children, ever ready to listen to the story of their childish woe. He often dried their tears, cheering them with the tender sympathy of His words, which seemed to hush their sorrows and make them forget their grief. The emblem in the form of a dove that hovered over Jesus at His baptism represents His gentleness of character.—Manuscript 19, 1892.2SM 238.1

    “Let No Unkind Words Be Spoken by Me”

    June 30, 1892—Another night of great weariness is nearly passed. Although I continue to suffer much pain, I know that I am not forsaken by my Saviour. My prayer is, Help me, Jesus, that I may not dishonor Thee with my lips. Let no unkind words be spoken by me.—Manuscript 19, 1892.2SM 238.2

    “I Will Not Complain”

    July 6, 1892—I am so thankful that I can tell the Lord all my fears and perplexities. I feel that I am under the shield of His wings. An infidel once asked a God-fearing youth, “How great is the God you worship?” “So great,” was the reply, “that He fills immensity, and yet so small that He dwells in every sanctified heart.”2SM 238.3

    O precious Saviour, I long for Thy salvation. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee” (Psalm 42:1). I long for a clearer view of Jesus. I love to think of His spotless life, to meditate upon His lessons. How many times I repeat the words, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).2SM 238.4

    Much of the time my body is full of pain, but I will not by complaining become unworthy of the name of Christian. I am assured that this lesson of suffering will be to the glory of God, a means of warning others to avoid continuous labor under trying circumstances so unfavorable to health of the body.—Manuscript 19, 1892.2SM 238.5

    “The Lord Strengthens Me”

    July 7, 1892—The Lord strengthens me by His grace to write important letters. The brethren frequently come to me for counsel. I feel a strong assurance that this tedious affliction is for the glory of the Lord. I will not murmur; for when I wake in the night, it seems that Jesus is looking upon me. The fifty-first chapter of Isaiah is exceedingly precious to me. He bears all our burdens. I read this chapter with assurance and hope.—Manuscript 19, 1892.2SM 239.1

    No Thought of Beating a Retreat

    July 10, 1892—I awoke Emily [Emily Campbell, Mrs. White's traveling companion and secretary.] at five o'clock to build my fire and help me to dress. I thank the Lord that I had a better night's rest than usual. My wakeful hours I employ in prayer and meditation. The question forces itself upon me, Why do I not receive the blessing of restoration to health? Shall I interpret these long months of sickness as evidences of the displeasure of God because I came to Australia? I answer decidedly, No, I dare not do this. At times before leaving America I thought that the Lord did not require me to go to a country so far away, at my age and when I was prostrated by overwork. But I followed the voice of the [General] Conference, as I have ever tried to do at times when I had no clear light myself. I came to Australia, and found the believers here in a condition where they must have help. For weeks after reaching here I labored as earnestly as I have ever labored in my life. Words were given me to speak in regard to the necessity of personal piety....2SM 239.2

    I am in Australia, and I believe that I am just where the Lord wants me to be. Because suffering is my portion, I have no thought of beating a retreat. The blessed assurance is given me that Jesus is mine and that I am His child. The darkness is dispelled by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Who can understand the pain I suffer but the One who is afflicted in all our afflictions? To whom can I speak but to Him who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and who knows how to succor those who are tempted?2SM 239.3

    When I pray earnestly for restoration, and it seems that the Lord does not answer, my spirit almost faints within me. Then it is that the dear Saviour makes me mindful of His presence. He says to me, Cannot you trust Him who has purchased you with His own blood? I have graven thee on the palms of My hands. Then my soul is nourished with the divine Presence. I am lifted out of myself, as it were, into the presence of God.—Manuscript 19, 1892.2SM 240.1

    God Knows What Is Best

    July 14, 1892—When the affliction under which I have been suffering for several months came upon me, I was surprised that it was not removed at once in answer to prayer. But the promise, “My grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9), has been fulfilled in my case. There can be no doubt on my part. My hours of pain have been hours of prayer, for I have known to whom to take my sorrows. I have the privilege of reinforcing my feeble strength by laying hold upon infinite power. By day and night I stand on the solid rock of God's promises.2SM 240.2

    My heart goes out to Jesus in loving trust. He knows what is best for me. My nights would be lonely did I not claim the promise, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15).—Manuscript 19, 1892.2SM 240.3

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