I will bring the third part through the fire - The Christian Church shall endure a great fight of afflictions, by which they shall be refined - not consumed.
They shall call on my name - In this way shall they offer all their prayers and supplications to God.
I will say, It is my people - The Church that I have chosen in the place of the Jews who have filled up the measure of their iniquity.
And they shall say, The Lord is my God - And thus communion shall be established between me and them for ever. Thus there shall be a general restoration.
I will bring the third part through the fire - Such is always God‘s ways. “Thou hast proved us, O God; Thou hast tried us, like as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the snare, Thou laidest trouble upon our loins: we went through fire and water, and Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place” Psalm 66:9-11. “I have refined thee, but not with silver, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” Isaiah 48:10; and, “Through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God” Acts 14:22.
Dionysius: “In adversity virtue is most tried, and it is shown what advance a person has made; for ‹patience‘ hath ‹a perfect work‘ James 1:4; and it is called the touchstone of all other virtues, as is written; ‹God tried His elect as gold in the furnace and received them as a burnt offering‘; and, ‹All the faithful who have pleased the Lord have passed through many tribulations‘. And the angel Raphael saith to Tobias, ‹Because thou wert accepted of God, need was that temptation should prove thee‘.” “Adversities are granted to the elect of God, and therefore to be rejoiced in with the whole heart.” “Fire, crosses, racks were prepared; swords executioners torturers were put in action; new forms of suffering were invented, and yet Christian virtue remained moveless, unconquered: the fiercer the onslaught, the more glorious was the triumph.”: “The more suffered, the more believed in Christ.” Osorius: “Whose virtue they adimired, these they imitated, and shared the suffering, that they might be partakers of the glory. This was that fire, whereby God willed that His own should be tried and purified, that, with Christ whom they gave themselves to imitate, they might enjoy everlasting glory.”
I will bless him and will say, It is My people - Dionysius: “not only by creation as the rest, but by devotion and worship, by predestination and infusion of grace, by singular Providence, by mutual love; ‹and it shall say, The Lord is my God,‘ whom alone above all things, I long for, love, worship.”
This promise is oftentimes renewed through the prophets, oftentimes fulfilled in Christ, whenever the Church is recalled from listlessness by fiery trials, and through them her children are restored to deeper devotedness and closer union with God.
Look to your Redeemer in faith and loving trust, for power and wisdom to do the work of character building. He sits as a refiner, to purify the gold and silver from all dross. Then look continually unto Him, and no cheap or worthless material will be brought into the structure of your character building. HP 19.3Read in context »
You have felt sick at heart because you did not love the work in -----. You have looked back toward -----, for your heart is there, and your body should be where your heart is. God has been testing and proving you; how have you borne the test? You needed to be planed and polished, to have the rough and jagged points of your character removed, that you might become refined for the kingdom of heaven. How hard it is for human nature to deny inclination; how hard for men to leave flattering worldly inducements and, through love of their Saviour and their fellow men, to deny their own pleasure in order to engage more directly in the service of God. 4T 217.1
Brother C, you do not enter heart and soul into the work. You have never made it a direct personal interest, and it is not agreeable to you. Had you been so disposed you could have trained your mind to better understand the work; but you have, in a measure, held aloof from it; you have not connected yourself closely with it and tried to become familiar with its various branches. 4T 217.2
You are not as social and courteous as you should be, and your cold, unapproachable manner is not pleasing to God. You allow your feelings to be easily excited. No man can properly fill a position in connection with the work of God who is controlled by feeling and moves from impulse. Your mind must come in closer connection with God, and in sympathy and interest you must be more closely identified with those who are engaged in His work, or you can be of no use in advancing the cause in -----. You are too independent and exclusive; you need to soften and assimilate your disposition to the mind and feelings of others. You can, as a businessman and as a Christian, do much valuable service for the cause of God if you will only surrender your will and your way to the Lord. You need to be sanctified by the truth, having your mind elevated above every personal consideration and every selfish interest. 4T 218.1Read in context »
What a victory you will gain when you learn to follow the opening providences of God with a grateful heart and a determination to live with an eye single to His glory, in sickness or health, in abundance or want. Self is alive and quivering at every touch. Self must be crucified before you can overcome in the name of Jesus and receive the reward of the faithful. 4T 221.1
*****Read in context »