The Danger of Talking Doubt
The Review and Herald
February 11, 1890
The Danger of Talking Doubt
By Mrs. E. G. White
"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." If our minds are fixed upon the things that are eternal, and not on the things of earth, we shall grasp the hand of infinite power, and what can make us sad? What can make us doubt? What can separate our souls from the Lord? Paul says, "I am persuaded 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."
I am thankful that we need not be left a prey to Satan's power. We need not be left to be driven this way and that. We need not be blinded by the delusions of Satan, but may have our eyes anointed so that we may see things as they really are. The children of God should not permit Satan to place himself between them and their God. If you permit him to do this, he will tell you that your troubles are the most grievous, the sorest troubles that any mortal ever bore. He will place his magnifying glasses before your eyes, and present everything to you in an exaggerated form to overwhelm you with discouragement. You should have your eyes anointed with the heavenly eye-salve. You should take the word of God as the man of your counsel, and humble your doubting soul before God, and with contrition of heart say, "Here I lay my burden down. I cannot bear it. It is too heavy for me. I lay it down at the feet of my compassionate Redeemer."
We must not think that we shall escape trials; for the apostle says, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." Gold is tried in the fire, that it may be purified from dross; but faith that is purified by trial, is more precious than refined gold. Then let us look upon trials in a reasonable way. Let us not come through them with murmuring and discontent. Let us not make mistakes in getting out of them. In times of trial we must cling to God and his promises. Some have said to me, "Do you not get discouraged at times when you are under trial?" And I have answered, "Yes, if by discouragement you mean sad or cast down." "Didn't you talk to any one of your feelings?" "No; there is a time for silence, a time to keep the tongue as with a bridle, and I was determined to utter no word of doubt or darkness, to bring no shade of gloom upon those with whom I was associated. I have said to myself, I will bear the Refiner's fire; I shall not be consumed. When I speak, it shall be of light; it shall be of faith and hope in God; it shall be of righteousness, of goodness, of the love of Christ my Saviour; it shall be to direct the minds of others toward heaven and heavenly things, to Christ's work in heaven for us, and our work upon earth for him."
Christ is cleansing the temple in heaven from the sins of the people, and we must work in harmony with him upon the earth, cleansing the soul temple from its moral defilement. If we will work thus, we shall find that the sweet influence of God's Spirit will be wrought into our life. Grace and peace and strength will take the place of strife and weakness, and instead of talking of discouragement and gloom, we shall speak of God's light and love and joy. We shall be looking at the things that are not seen, which are not temporal, but eternal. When we engage in this work, the angels of God will draw near to communicate divine power, and combine heavenly strength with human weakness. Then we shall grow into the image of our Lord. We shall be learning how to believe in him, learning how to commit our souls to him, as unto a faithful Creator. The apostle says, "It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." And as a result, our mental and spiritual powers increase. As we learn of Christ, we shall understand how to keep our spiritual strength, we shall feed on the word of God, and we shall have the blessed experience described by the apostle in these
words: "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
The children of God may rejoice in all things and at all times. When troubles and difficulties come, believing in the wise providences of God, you may rejoice. You need not wait for a happy flight of feeling, but by faith you may lay hold of the promises, and lift up a hymn of thanksgiving to God. When Satan tempts you, breathe not a word of doubt or darkness. You may have your choice as to who shall rule your heart and control your mind. If you choose to open the door to the suggestions of the evil one, your mind will be filled with distrust and rebellious questioning. You may talk out your feelings, but every doubt you utter is a seed that will germinate and bear fruit in another's life, and it will be impossible to counteract the influence of your words. You may be able to recover from your season of temptation, and from the snare of Satan, but others that have been swayed by your influence may not be able to escape from the unbelief you have suggested. How important it is that we speak to those around us only those things which will give spiritual strength and enlightenment! Let us seek to lift souls to Jesus, whom having not seen we may love, and be filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Memory's hall should be hung with sacred pictures, with views of Jesus, with lessons of his truth, with revealings of his matchless charms. If memory's hall were thus furnished, we would not look upon our lot as intolerable. We would not talk of the faults of others. Our souls would be full of Jesus and his love. We would not desire to dictate to the Lord the way that he should lead. We would love God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves. When the joy of the Lord is in the soul, you will not be able to repress it; you will want to tell others of the treasure you have found; you will speak of Jesus and his matchless charms. We should devote all to him. Our minds should be educated to dwell upon those things that will glorify God; and if our mental powers are dedicated to God, our talents will improve, and we shall have more and more ability to render to the Master. We shall become channels of light to others.
We can have a close connection with God and with our Saviour; and when we are connected with God, we shall be all light in the Lord, for in him is no darkness at all. But if we connect with Satan, we shall have only darkness, for he is the ruler of the darkness of this world. We shall be filled with murmuring and complaining and evil surmising. You will have only the spirit of accusation against your brethren, and your soul will be separated from the Source of your strength. We should be thankful that it is not too late in the day to make wrongs right. We still have the privilege of coming to the Source of light and power. We still may grow up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. But in order to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus, you must meditate upon his love, you must talk of his power and extol his grace.
While I was in England, one day there was a great parade in the streets. It was the Queen's Jubilee. Every one was talking about it. The shop windows were filled with her pictures, and all were extolling the Queen of England. Could we have taken from the shop windows the pictures of the queen, and the signs of her glory, and placed instead expressions of the glory and majesty of Jesus, would not the people have regarded us as religious fanatics? They would have thought that we were carrying religion too far, and that we did not know what we were about. But did not our Master lay aside his royal robes, his crown of glory? Did he not clothe his divinity with humanity, and come to our world to die man's sacrifice? Why should we not talk about it? Why should we not dwell on his matchless love? O that our tongues might lose their paralysis, that we might speak forth his praise! O that the spiritual torpor which has come upon the souls of men, might be removed, that we might discern the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ! We are to be the representatives of our Lord upon earth. Is it not time to change the order of things? You who have lived only for self, will you not make haste to connect with Christ, the light of the world? He can communicate heaven's light through you to those who sit in darkness. You that have claimed to know the Lord, you who profess to have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, reveal it to those around you. Show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. If men can make so much ado over the Queen's Jubilee, if they can manifest so much enthusiasm over a finite being, can we not speak to the glory of the Prince of Life, who is soon to come in majesty to take his weary, worn followers to himself; to unlock the prison bars of death, and set the captives free; to give his loved ones who sleep, a glorious immortality? Why cannot Christ be introduced into our conversation? We are almost home. Let us speak courage to the weary soldiers of the cross. Let us cheer the toiling travelers. Let us tell the pilgrims and strangers of earth that we shall soon reach a better country, even a heavenly.