top of page

Ellen White on tribulations

Ellen G White on tribulations Angels are watching over us, to guard us; and we often grieve these angels by indulging in trifling conversation, jesting and joking, and also by sinking down in a careless, stupid state. And although we may make an effort now and then for the victory, and obtain it, yet if we do not keep it, but sink down in the same careless, indifferent state, unable to endure temptations, and to resist the enemy, it is not enduring the trial of our faith, that is more precious than gold. It  is not suffering for Christ's sake, and glorying in tribulation. ExV54 30.2 And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience hope; and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts." EA 162.3 The seeds of truth that are being sown by missionary efforts will then spring up and blossom and bear fruit. Souls will receive the truth who will endure tribulation and praise God that they may suffer for Jesus. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." When the overflowing scourge shall pass through the earth, when the fan is purging Jehovah's floor, God will be the help of His people. The trophies of Satan may be exalted on high, but the faith of the pure and holy will not be daunted. 5T 82.1 Shrinking from hardships, complaining under tribulation, makes the servants of God weak and inefficient in bearing responsibilities and burdens. RH May 19,  1885, par. 10 What is our path to heaven? Is it a road with every inviting convenience? No, it is a path that is narrow and apparently inconvenient; it is a path of conflict, of trial, of tribulation and suffering. Our Captain, Jesus Christ, has hid nothing from us in regard to the battles we are to fight. He opens the map before us and shows us the way. "Strive," He says, "to enter in at the straight gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able."

[Luke 13:24.] "Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." [Matthew 7:13.] "In the world ye shall have tribulation." John 16:33. The apostle echoes the words of Christ, "Through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom." Acts 14:22. Well, is it the discouraging aspect we are to keep before the mind's eye?  7LtMs, Lt 7, 1892, par. 12 himself to be a "brother, and companion in tribulation" ( AA 588.1 We rejoice in hope, not in feeling. We know that tribulation works experience, and experience hope. When we are tried, or do not feel just as we would like, we are not to become impatient, speaking harsh and unkind words. We cannot afford to do this. The trying of our faith is to work patience in us. (644) We are fighting the battle in view of heavenly intelligences, and we grieve the heart of God when we deny him in any way. We have the promise of the Holy Spirit, and we are to glory in tribulation, and find our joy in Christ. God commandeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. EA 162.4  would that we all could continually bear in mind what Christ is to us, and what we are to him. If we could constantly realize this relation between Christ and our souls, we would rejoice in hope of the glory of God, even in the midst of tribulation. But when tribulation comes upon us, how hard it seems to rejoice; for we are like Peter, and look upon the troublous waves about us instead of keeping the eye fixed upon Jesus.

But I would have you see the importance of keeping the eye fixed upon him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith; for when we take our eyes off the difficulties and trials and fix them upon our Helper, we shall see his matchless charms, and know that "all things work together for good to them that love God." ST March 28,  1892, Art. A, par. 1 The Lord would not have us depreciate ourselves, or think that he has forsaken us, when tribulation comes upon us; for we are of value in his sight. He declares, "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." He places upon us a value equal to the sufferings of Christ, who died for us upon Calvary's cross; he clothes us with his righteousness; and when trial comes upon us, his eye is upon the purchase of the blood of his only-begotten Son. In this we are to rejoice. The Lord will have a tried people. We are to be tested and proved, to see whether we are worthy of an entrance into the city of God, to have right to the tree of life. If we gain eternal life, we gain everything; and if we lose it, we lose everything; it would be better for us had we never been born than to lose heaven. It is only as we depend upon the strength and righteousness of Christ that we can stand the testing of God. We shall have to educate the mind, and again and again bring to our remembrance the fact that Christ has his hand upon us. With his own divine lips he has said, "Without me ye can do nothing," but through Christ we can do all things. It is not for us to mark out the way in which we shall walk; but if we take everything that comes to us as in the providence of God even our tribulation will work patience, and we need not sink in discouragement while we look by faith to Jesus. When the fogs and mists rise here in Oakland, you cannot see the sun, but you do not despair of ever seeing the sun again. You know that behind the clouds the sun is still shining. And by and by the mists roll back, and the sun shines forth, and gladdens the hearts of men by its radiant beams.

Then why should we despair when our spiritual sky is clouded? Can we not have faith that the Sun of Righteousness is still shining? Can we not say, "I know that my Redeemer liveth"? We should let our faith penetrate the darkness. It is Satan that casts his dark shadow between our souls and God so that we may not see Jesus; but by living faith we may keep him in view, and let nothing interpose between the soul and God ST March 28,  1892, Art. A, par. 3 Then you will be in a position where you can rejoice in tribulation. If I had given way to the attacks of the enemy, I should long ago have been out of the work; for Satan has been on my track ever since I started in the service of the Lord. But after all the trials and conflicts through which I have had to pass, I have only this testimony to bear: There is help for every soul in God. There is no respect of persons with God; for every soul for whom Christ has died is precious in his sight. Jesus loves every soul, from the least to the greatest. The entire family circle is precious before him, and whatever he permits to come upon us is for the purpose of perfecting our characters. He desires that we shall bring the solid timbers into our character building in this life, that nothing may mar our religious experience, or unfit us for the future immortal inheritance We are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent." We may gain a better knowledge of God through tribulation than through any other experience; for we may then learn to trust God in the dark. Paul says: "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." Can we measure such a reward as is promised in these words, an exceeding and eternal weight of glory? We are living in the last days, and we read that "the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." The powers from beneath are moving the people to take the measures that will bring the people of God into tribulation. Satan is ever seeking to weaken the church by bringing in dissension and discord, that we shall not fulfill the words of Christ, and be one as he and the Father are one, and so bear a decided testimony to the world of the divinity of Christ. But we must look by faith to

Jesus, and the trial will lose its force, and no art of the enemy can avail to cripple our hope in Christ; for we shall realize that we have a Saviour who is mighty to save. Through the darkness of trial and sorrow, we shall be able to distinguish the marks of the crucifixion in his hands and feet and side, and shall hear the voice of the Lord of glory saying ST March 28,  1892, Art. A, par. 6 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." Our whole future eternal life depends on whether we shall so live that our names may remain graven upon the palms of his hands. ST March 28,  1892, Art. A, par. They have not the genuine article that  Paul possessed, that could glory in tribulation, because "tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts." [Romans 5:3-5 GW92 115.2 Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. It is a conflict, a battle, a march day after day. It is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of heaven. If we sit with Christ on his throne, we must first be partakers with him in his suffering. Individually we must experience that which was spoken of Christ. It became him, "in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." Shall we then be timid and cowardly because of the trials we must meet as we advance? Shall we not meet them without repining or complaint? In this world we shall have tribulation; but the Lord Jesus will give us all the help that we ask, and believe that he will bestow.  RH June 20,  1907, par. 3 By God's mighty cleaver of truth we have been taken from the quarry of the world and brought into the workshop of the Lord to be prepared for a place in his temple. In this work the hammer and chisel must act their part, and then comes the polishing. Rebel not under this process of grace. You may be a rough stone, on which much work must be done before you are prepared for the place God designs you to fill. You need not be surprised if with the hammer and the chisel of trial God cuts away your defects of character. He alone can accomplish this work. And be assured that he will not strike one useless blow. His every blow is struck in love, for your eternal good and happiness. He knows your defects, and works to restore, not to destroy. He sends trials to you to make you strong to do and to suffer for him. RH June 20,  1907, par. 4 During the march of the children of Israel through the wilderness, God tried their faith, to lead them to trust in him. Before they left Egypt, he began to give them these lessons, to lead them to look to him as their deliverer and protector. The tribulations through which they passed were a part of his great plan. It was not by chance that they came to Marah, where they could not drink of the water, "for it was bitter." Thus God desired to teach them a lesson of trust. But they murmured and complained, crying out in distrust, "What shall we drink?" Do we not too often, like the Israelites, forget God, and by murmuring and complaining lose the blessing of the trial? RH June 20,  1907, par. 5 Remember that in every time of trouble Jesus is near you, seeking to impress his image upon you. He is trying to help you to carry the cross. He is close beside you, seeking to lead you to see how sorry he is that you make mistakes. He is always ready to clasp the hand stretched out for aid.

Christ's love for his children is as strong as it is tender. It is a love stronger than death; for he died for us. It is a love more true than that of a mother for her children. The mother's love may change; but Christ's love is changeless. "I am persuaded," Paul says, "that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." RH June 20,  1907, par. 6 - RH June 20,  1907, par. 7 in every trial we have strong consolation. Is not our Saviour touched with the feeling of our infirmities? Has he not been tempted in all points like as we are? And has he not invited us to take every trial and perplexity to him? Then let us not make ourselves miserable over tomorrow's burdens. Bravely and cheerfully carry the burdens of today. Today's trust and faith we must have. But we are not asked to live more than a day at a time. He who gives strength for today will give strength for tomorrow. Let us take our sorrows to the Lord in prayer, saying, "My burdens are too heavy for me. Wilt thou bear them?" Christ will say, "I will take them. With everlasting kindness will I have mercy upon thee." Nothing wounds the soul like the sharp doubts of unbelief.  RH June 20,  1907, par. 8 When trial comes, as it will, do not worry or complain. Silence in the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. "Then are they glad because they be quiet." Remember that underneath you are the everlasting arms. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him." He is guiding you into a harbor of gracious experience, and he bids you. "Be still, and know that I am God." "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." If you are patient, "the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth," will be found "unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." RH June 20,  1907, par. 8 - RH June 20,  1907, par. 9 Our path to the Paradise of God will be often intercepted by the tempter, who is intent on weakening our faith by hiding the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Our Saviour has warned us that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God. "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." "

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." For every service we render, every self-denial, every sacrifice we make, the Lord has guaranteed to requite us, not because it is a debt he owes, but because his heart is full of infinite love, full of mercy and tenderness. In this life he will repay us a hundredfold, and in the world to come he will give us everlasting life. ST October 22,  1896, par. 9 Every moment is exceedingly precious. Those who overcome much, love Jesus the most, and in that day, when every one is rewarded according to his works, they will be put next to Christ, within the inner circle; honored, yes, greatly honored. "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Know that he loves you, and will be your constant efficiency ST October 22,  1896, par. 10 - ST October 22,  1896, par. 11 Through trial God leads His children to perfect trust. "In the world ye shall have tribulation," Christ says; "but in Me ye shall have peace." It is through much tribulation that we are to enter the kingdom of God. The followers of Christ will often be sorely tried and afflicted. Joseph was maligned and persecuted because he was determined to preserve his virtue and integrity. David, God's chosen messenger, was hunted like a beast of prey by wicked enemies. Daniel was cast into a den of lions because he would not yield his allegiance to God. Jeremiah spoke the word that God gave him, and his plain testimony so enraged the king and the princes that he was cast into a loathsome pit. Stephen was stoned for preaching Christ and Him crucified Paul was imprisoned, and finally put to death, because he obeyed Christ's command to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles. John, the beloved disciple, was banished to the Isle of Patmos for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. ST February 5,  1902, par. 2 No cross, no crown. How can we be strong in the Lord without trial? To have physical strength, we must have exercise. To have strong faith, we must be placed in circumstances where our faith will be tried. Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience, and advances us in the work of character building. Our Saviour was tried in every way, yet He triumphed in God constantly. It is our privilege under all circumstances to be strong in the strength of God, and to glory in the cross of Christ. Through affliction God reveals to us the plague-spots in our characters, that by His grace we may overcome our faults. Unknown chapters in regard to ourselves are opened to us, and the test comes, whether we will accept the reproof and the counsel of God. When brought into trial, we are not to fret and worry. We should not rebel, or worry ourselves out of the hand of Christ. We are to humble the soul before God.

The ways of the Lord are obscure to him who desires to see things in a light pleasing to himself. They appear dark and joyless to our human nature. But God's ways are ways of mercy, and the end is salvation. Elijah knew not what he was doing when in the desert he said that he had had enough of life, and prayed that he might die. The Lord in His mercy did not take him at his word. There was yet a great work for Elijah to do; and when his work was done, he was not to perish in discouragement and solitude in the wilderness Not for him the descent into the dust of earth, but the ascent in glory, with the convoy of celestial chariots to the throne on high. Our sorrows do not spring out of the ground. God "doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men." When He permits trials and afflictions, it is for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. If received in faith, the trial that seems so bitter and hard to bear will prove a blessing. The cruel blow that blights the joys of earth will be the means of turning our eyes to heaven. How many there are who would never have known Jesus had not sorrow led them to seek comfort in Him. The trials of life are God's workmen, to remove the impurities and roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring, and chiseling, their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process; it is hard to be pressed down to the grinding wheel. But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple. Upon no useless material does the Master bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace. But when tribulation comes upon us, how many of us are like Jacob. We think it the hand of an enemy; and in the darkness we wrestle blindly until our strength is spent, and we find no comfort or deliverance. To Jacob the divine touch at break of day revealed the One with whom he had been contending,—the Angel of the covenant; and, weeping and helpless, he fell upon the breast of Infinite Love, to receive the blessing for which his soul longed. We also need to learn that trials mean benefit, and not to despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when we are rebuked of Him. Happy is the man whom God correcteth.... He maketh sore, and bindeth up; He woundeth, and His hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee." To every stricken one, Jesus comes with the ministry of healing. The life of bereavement, pain, and suffering may be brightened by precious revealings of His presence. Each fiery trial is God's agent for our refining. Each is fitting us for our work as co-laborers with Him. "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." Mrs. E. G. White  ST February 5,  1902, par. 8 - ST When we accept Christ as our Saviour, we must not flatter ourselves with the false hope that all the briers and thorns will be removed from our pathway. O Jesus, thou self-denying Son of God, how infinite is thy tenderness! We should all have perished had it not been for thy forbearance and love. Thou seest our weakness; thou knowest our defects of character; thou art acquainted with every temptation and its strength. It is because of thine infinite mercy that we are not consumed. Thou knowest our weakness, yet thou dost not cast us off, but bearest long with us. Having loved his own, Christ loved them unto the end. Shall we then refuse to be partakers with him in suffering? 14LtMs, Ms 203, 1899, par. 5 Many of your afflictions have been visited upon you, in the wisdom of God, to bring you closer to the Throne of Grace. He softens and subdues his children by sorrows and trials. This world is God's work-shop, where he fashions us for the courts of Heaven. He uses the planing knife upon our quivering hearts until the roughness and irregularities are removed, and they are fitted for their proper places in the heavenly building.

Through tribulation and distress, the Christian becomes purified and strengthened, developing a character after the model Christ has given. The influence of a true godly life cannot be measured. It reaches beyond the immediate circle of home and friends, shedding a light that wins souls to Jesus. T26 208.2 - T26 208.3

There the redeemed greet those who led them to the Saviour, and all unite in praising Him who died that human beings might have the life that measures with the life of God. The conflict is over. Tribulation and strife are at an end. Songs of victory fill all heaven as the ransomed ones take up the joyful strain, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again, a triumphant conqueror. AA 602.1 These things I have spoken unto you," He said, "that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." [John 16:33,] Christ did not fail, neither was He discouraged; and His followers are to manifest a faith of the same enduring nature. They are to live as He lived, and work as He worked, because they depend on Him as the great Master-worker. GW 39.1 Courage, energy, and perseverance they must possess. Though apparent impossibilities obstruct their way, by His grace they are to go forward. Instead of deploring difficulties, they are called upon to surmount them. They are to despair of nothing, and to hope for everything. With the golden chain of His matchless love, Christ had bound them to the throne of God. It is His purpose that the highest influence in the universe, emanating from the Source of all power, shall be theirs. They are to have power to resist evil, power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master, power that will enable them to overcome as Christ overcame. GW 39.2 Christ tells us that our sea will not always be smooth. We shall have tribulation. This is a part of our education, necessary to the formation of a strong, symmetrical character. There is nobility of character for us to gain. Every day we are to acquire a deeper knowledge of Christ.  18LtMs, Ms 130, 1903, par. 35 The grace of God sustained Paul in his imprisonment, enabling him to rejoice in tribulation. With faith and assurance he wrote to his Philippian brethren that his imprisonment had resulted in the furtherance of the gospel. "I would ye should understand, brethren," he declared, "that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds with Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and  many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear." AA 480.2 There is a lesson for us in this experience of Paul's, for it reveals God's way of working. The Lord can bring victory out of that which may seem to us discomfiture and defeat. We are in danger of forgetting God, of looking at the things which are seen, instead of beholding by the eye of faith the things which are unseen. When misfortune or calamity comes, we are ready to charge God with neglect or cruelty. If He sees fit to cut off our usefulness in some line, we mourn, not stopping to think that thus God may be working for our good. We need to learn that chastisement is a part of His great plan and that under the rod of affliction the Christian may sometimes do more for the Master than when engaged in active service. AA 481.1 If ministers, while engaged in the work that the Master has appointed them, have trials and perplexities and temptations, should they be discouraged? Should they cast away their confidence because their labors do not always bring the results that they so greatly desire to see? True workers will not despond in view of the work before them, arduous though it may be. Shrinking from hardship, complaining under tribulation, makes the servants of God weak and inefficient. GW 266.2 As those who stand in the forefront of the battle see that the special warfare of Satan is directed against them, they will realize their need of strength from God, and they will labor in His strength. The victories that they gain will not exalt them, but will cause them to lean more securely upon the Mighty One. Deep and fervent gratitude to God will spring up in their hearts, and they will be joyful in the tribulation that comes to them while pressed by the enemy. GW 266.3 You need not expect always to be correctly judged or correctly represented. Christ says that in the world we shall have tribulation, but in Him we shall have peace. 3T 423.2 Tribulation will come of a character that will drive to God all who wish to be His, and His alone. Until tested and proved in the furnace of trial, we do not know ourselves, and it is not proper for us to measure the characters of others and to condemn those who have not yet had the light of the third angel's message. 6T 396.3 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 shall 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 8T 127.3 Jesus has not left you to be amazed at the trials and difficulties you meet. He has told you all about them, and He has told you also not to be cast down and oppressed when trials come. Look to Jesus, your Redeemer, and be cheerful and rejoice. The trials hardest to bear are those that come from our brethren, our own familiar friends; but even these trials may be borne with patience. Jesus is not lying in Joseph's new tomb. He has risen and has ascended to heaven, there to intercede in our behalf. We have a Saviour who so loved us that He died for us, that through Him we might have hope and strength and courage, and a place with Him upon His throne. He is able and willing to help you whenever you call upon Him. 8T 128.1 If you try to carry your burdens alone you will be crushed under them. You have heavy responsibilities. Jesus knows about them, and He will not leave you alone if you do not leave Him. He is honored when you commit the keeping of your soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. He bids you hope in His mercy, believing that He does not desire you to carry these weighty responsibilities in your own strength. Only believe, and you will see the salvation of God. 8T 128.2 Do you feel your insufficiency for the position of trust that you occupy? Thank God for this. The more you feel your weakness, the more you will be inclined to seek for a helper. "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." James 4:8. Jesus wants you to be happy, to be cheerful.  8T 128.3 Let not the unkind speeches of men hurt you. Did not men say unkind things about Jesus? You err, and may sometimes give occasion for unkind remarks; but Jesus never did. He was pure, spotless, undefiled. Do not expect a better portion in this life than the Prince of glory had. When your enemies see that they can make you feel hurt, they will rejoice, and Satan will rejoice. Look to Jesus, and work with an eye single to His glory. Keep your heart in the love of God. 8T 129.1  sister said, "My heart is glad for this privilege. I seldom have the opportunity of meeting with such friends on God's holy day. I am alone, yet not alone; for Jesus is with me, and angels help me in the love of the truth. I want to be purified through a knowledge of the truth. I rejoice that I have eaten the manna that will sustain me in my loneliness and great tribulation." RH May 25,  1876, par. 58 God desires us to be patient in tribulation and affliction, content to rest in His great arms of infinite love, believing that He is working for us all the time. It is our privilege to be joyful in the Lord. Let us praise Him more. By our joyfulness we reveal that our life is hid with Christ in God; that in Him we find the most blessed companionship; and that through His grace we have a living connection with heaven. 16LtMs, Ms 102, 1901, par. 14 Jesus would have us comforted with faith in His goodness. Whatever may be the tribulation that shall come upon us in the world, yet we are to be of good cheer, knowing that Christ has overcome the world. We will have tribulation in the world, but peace in Jesus Christ. My brother, turn your eyes from within and look to Jesus who is your only helper.  10LtMs, Lt 26, 1895, par. 22

10 views0 comments


bottom of page