“Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” The meekness that is born of sorrow, when the heart has been exercised aright through yielding submission to the will of God, brings forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Those who have humbly sought God for comfort and peace in the midst of trial, have had imparted to them the gentleness of Christ. Those who have learned of Him who is meek and lowly of heart, express sympathy, and manifest gentleness toward those who are in need of consolation; for they can comfort others with the consolation wherewith they are comforted of God. In seeking to save souls who are ready to perish, they make Jesus their pattern in all things. They respond to the comfort given them of God, and become inheritors of his kingdom. Through the operations of the Holy Spirit a new nature is implanted within them, and they are sanctified of soul, and the Lord gives grace for grace.
Jesus expects that his gentleness and condescension will be reproduced in those whom he blesses. Jesus came to our world, and chose the lowliest life, took the humblest position, leaving us an example that we should follow in his steps. The Majesty of heaven was meek and lowly in heart, and he expects all his followers to catch his spirit of meekness and lowliness, and become wise in helping those that mourn. There is no time in life when we shall not need to cultivate meekness and lowliness of heart. Those who minister in connection with Christ, will be called upon to manifest meekness and lowliness, that they may reveal this attribute to those who are learners in the school of Christ. A possession of the gentleness of Christ means the possession of true dignity. The adorning that is of value with God is a meek and quiet spirit, and it is of more value than gold and silver and precious gems. The attributes of God are goodness, mercy, love, long-suffering, and patience, and his followers are to possess the same attributes of character, representing Christ in true spirituality. Meekness, the treasure of inward wealth, may be possessed in the midst of poverty and sorrow. The soul reveals the source of its strength in the manifestation of meekness and lowliness of heart; for the grace of meekness has its origin in the source of all blessedness, and those who possess this grace are in harmony with Christ and the Father. The followers of Christ thus become one with each other. If meekness and love are not a part of our character, we are not the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, and our whole experience is feeble and uncertain.
Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit, and an evidence that we are branches of the living God. The abiding presence of meekness is an unmistakable evidence that we are branches of the True Vine, and are bearing much fruit. It is an evidence that we are by faith beholding the King in his beauty and becoming changed into his likeness. Where meekness exists, the natural tendencies are under the control of the Holy Spirit. Meekness is not a species of cowardice. It is the spirit which Christ manifested when suffering injury, when enduring insult and abuse. To be meek is not to surrender our rights; but it is the preservation of self-control under provocation to give way to anger or to the spirit of retaliation. Meekness will not allow passion to take the lines.
When Christ was accused by the priests and Pharisees, he preserved his self-control, but he took his position decidedly that their charges were untrue. He said to them: “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou me?” He knew that his position was right. When Paul and Silas were beaten and thrust into prison without trial or sentence, they did not surrender their right to be treated as honest citizens. When there was a great earthquake, and the foundations of the prison were shaken, and the doors were opened, and every man’s bands were loosed, and the magistrates sent word to the prisoners that they might depart in peace, Paul entered a protest, and said: “They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? Nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. . . . And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.” Through the action of Paul and Silas the name of God was magnified and the authorities were humbled. It was necessary that the honor of God should be vindicated at this time.
At all times and in all places the Christian should be that which the Lord designs that he should be,–a free man in Christ Jesus. Duty performed in the Spirit of Christ will be done with sanctified prudence. We shall be guided as with a light from heaven when we have a vital connection with God. Holy men wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit. To be meek does not mean that we shall regard ourselves as in a servile condition; for Christ is our sufficiency. Christ pronounced his benediction upon those who felt their need of divine grace. He pronounces a blessing upon the weary and heavy laden of every age. Human agents who accept his guidance, who hear his word, will be led into clear light, and will bear fruit to the glory of God. Those who have repented of their sins, who have cast their weary, heavy-burdened souls at the feet of Christ, who have submitted to his yoke, and become his colaborers, will be partakers with Christ in his sufferings, and partakers also of his divine nature. In the world the Christian will be slighted and dishonored, and will consent to be least of all and servant of all. He will submit to be injured, to be despitefully used and persecuted, but wearing the yoke of Christ he will find rest unto his soul, and the yoke will not be galling. He will hear the Saviour saying: “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.” Jesus not only commands his followers, but he instructs them, he helps the helpless, he invigorates the fainting, he inspires the faithless with faith and hope. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” If men have mourned with godly sorrow, the fruit of meekness and humility will be manifest in the character. Their affections will be drawn from earthly things, and they will have learned, through trial and testing, the precious lesson that great truths can be brought into the little things of life as well as into the great things. Practical religion is far-reaching in its influence, and will aid us in fulfilling the duties of daily life. Daily we are to learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart, and find rest unto our souls. It is in obeying the word of God that peace and rest come in. O, what fragrance might be brought into the daily life if all were to follow simply and completely the teachings of the word of God, which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! Like the rays of the sun in heaven, which brighten the earth, so are the commandments of God exceeding broad.
In the audience to whom Jesus spoke in his sermon on the mount there were not only those who were weary and heavy laden, but the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the rabbis and rulers, and the so-called great men, who were ambitious to receive the honor of men. He knew that there was strife in the Jewish nation, and desire for supremacy in the hearts of men. He knew that there was unhappiness in homes because the precious jewel of meekness had been lost. Meekness and lowliness of heart serve as a shield, and break the fierce darts of the enemy. The meek often have a thorny path to travel; for meekness is often set down as weakness or insensibility, while those who lose self-control conclude that their pride is sensitiveness. But Jesus is our pattern, and it is from him that we receive strength and grace to walk in humility and contrition before God. But whatever may be our trials, God understands them, and invites us to share the blessing that he has pronounced upon the meek and lowly in heart.
— E.G. White, Signs of the Times, 8/22/1895