“And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain; and when He was set His disciples came unto Him; and He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.”
Now if any of you are feeling that hunger and thirst after righteousness, do not be discouraged, but claim for yourselves the promise, “Ye shall be filled.”
“Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the poor in heart; for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.”
Will you remember that, when you see others in trouble and in difficulty, or at enmity with one another? If you do not know what else to do about it, you can certainly speak words of peace. That may stop their complaining, and prove a blessing.
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
“Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”
Now Christ gives us a charge. “Let your light so shine before men,” He says, “that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Our daily experience with Christ should be of the highest value to us. We have an individual part to act in his services. Our blessed Saviour has given us these precious promises for our encouragement. He desires us to know that He is watching over us, and that He will teach us what He expects us to do. If the enemy comes to us in the morning, or during the day, with annoyances, let us remember these precious promises and not allow ourselves to be ruffled. Let us remember that we are Christ‘s representatives, and that we must not, by word or act, offend one another.
Do you think that perhaps no trials will arise? Certainly there will be trials. If there were not, you might rejoice that you had no devil to tempt you. But you will have temptations till the very close of time. Therefore you need to keep in close companionship with Christ. His angels are commissioned to watch over you. They are your appointed guardians. If some one says something that tends to provoke you, remember that at such a time silence is eloquence. Do not respond in a manner to retaliate. It will be better to say nothing than to speak unadvisedly. We will all have our battles to fight, though these struggles may vary in character according to our disposition and our experience.
Let us rejoice that Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to lay hold upon divinity. When we feel exceedingly tried, let us remember that there is a heavenly angel by our side. This thought will help us to honor Christ, who has made it possible for us to become sons and daughters of God. Unless we are constantly on our guard, we may be caught unawares, and speak hastily. It may then be impossible for us to remove the impression from the mind of those to whom we have spoken; for some do not desire to get rid of such impressions. They seem to delight in cherishing evil. Let us, by keeping our words in harmony with the instructions which the Saviour has given us, not give them any occasion for offense.
As we come in contact with varying dispositions, we shall undoubtedly find great provocation to speak unkindly. But remember that at such times silence is often eloquence. If you refrain from retaliating when you are provoked by others, you will surprise them. And if repeatedly you preserve your dignity under provocation, they will realize that you are in connection with a higher power. This honors God, Who gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
— E.G. White, Wisconsin Reporter, 9/8/1909 (talk given at Madison Sanitarium)
The enemy is at work in every way to divert our minds from the study of the Scriptures. In the cars, or wherever you go, you will find men trying to sell trashy magazines. You may be tempted to buy some of these magazines and put them on your tables. But do not place on your tables light reading for the perusal of whoever may come to visit you. Keep the Word there. We should study the Word; for above all other knowledge we should desire to know the way to heaven. In the study of these words of blessing that we have read this morning, we may learn some of the most precious lessons that can be found anywhere.
In all the world there is not a better place than in a sanitarium to represent Christ. There you will meet with all kinds of temperaments and dispositions. You will find some that are in trial and perplexity, and who have never risen above their difficulties. If you will at the proper time repeat to them some verse of Scripture, not words of your own, you may be to them a savor of life unto life. You should be furnished with words of Scripture. Leave alone the trashy magazines that can not give you health of mind. When you have read them, you have missed an opportunity of reading out of the Word, the precious promises of God that will shield you from temptations, and that will furnish you with reasons for the faith that you cherish. We should be always able to give a reason for our faith, in a manner that will not offend, but that will glorify God.
I repeat, I know of no better place to gain a valuable experience than right in one of our sanitariums. That is one reason why I have labored so constantly for their establishment. Some people say, we cannot afford so many sanitariums. But if they understood what sanitariums stand for, they could afford them. The Lord desires us to have many of these institutions, and they are to be places where Jesus can be spoken of.
Let us invite the Saviour into this institution. You need His presence in the sick-room. When He walked on earth He was the mighty Healer, and He is in perfect harmony with every effort to relieve suffering humanity. We are in a world that needs all the strength in word and action that we can give.
Let us come to God as little children to learn from Him. When you learn His way you will be comforted by His words, and when you yourselves have been thus comforted, you will then be in a position to speak to others words of comfort. There are sick here, and with all the helpers there should be a strict guardianship over words and actions; for we do not desire the sick to be afflicted any more than is necessary because of their physical aches and pains. If we learn of Christ daily, we shall have good, pleasant dispositions.
If we profess to be children of God, let us know that we have a right to be His children because we have accepted Him, and because we are doing just as He teaches in His Word. If we have some spare time, we will not go to a magazine to read some foolish, trifling, lying story, but we will find something in the Word to commit to memory. Then when the enemy besets us, we can resist him with the written word of God. That is how Jesus met the enemy in the wilderness of temptation, not with arguments of His own to match those of Satan, but with a plain, “It is written.”
You can baffle the great enemy by speaking words in season to those around you. You can meet his temptations with words of Scripture, and you will thereby become strengthened. You will thus be perfecting characters that will prepare you for a transfer to the future, immortal life, where there will be no danger of being overcome by a tempting devil.
Let us put our entire trust in our heavenly Father, that we may be filled with His word, and meet the devil with a power that he cannot resist. If our hand grasps the hand of Infinity, Satan cannot lead us captive. There is a power in the simplicity of true Godliness, for heavenly angels are round about us. We are not left to struggle helplessly against our natural evil dispositions. Wherever we are we can send up a silent prayer to God and receive from Him just the help that is needed. Our God understands all our needs.
Our sanitariums have been established in the order of God, that we might be laborers together with Jesus Christ. Although He is now in the heavens, He is the same merciful, compassionate Saviour as when He was here on earth. He will work for us if we will take hold of Him by living faith. We shall not be left alone, to fall beneath the power of Satan.
O, what a blessing the workers in our sanitariums may be if they will learn to speak words in season. I am thankful to see so many here. I realize that there are struggles before us all, but we may be overcomers. We may overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of His testimony.
Will you not see how much missionary work you can do here in this sanitarium? If you will do this, the presence of God will be here, and you will be strengthened to resist temptations. Let us launch out in faith, armed with an “It is written” knowing that we can quote the Scripture correctly. If we will press forward, doing our best, the blessing of God will be with us abundantly.
— E.G. White, Wisconsin Reporter, 9/15/1909
Recommended Reading: Bible Chapters to Memorize