November 23, 2013 – November 29, 2013
“And they [the brethren] overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11.
Study Help: Steps to Christ, 115–123.
“We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.
1 THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
- How can we continually show that Christ is living in us? Psalms 105:1–5; 107:1, 2, 15.
Note: “Brethren and sisters, the Lord is our God. If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, we have a hope in God that it is impossible for us to keep to ourselves. We will praise Him. We do not praise Him as much as we should. Whoso offers praise glorifies God. Now instead of speaking doleful words, and telling of our trials and afflictions, let us thank God that we can speak at all, and resolve that we will endeavor to glorify His name.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 148.
- How can difficulties be turned into positive experiences? Ecclesiastes 7:14; II Corinthians 4:8, 9; Romans 8:28.
Note: “When someone asks how you are feeling, do not try to think of something mournful to tell in order to gain sympathy. Do not talk of your lack of faith and your sorrows and sufferings. The tempter delights to hear such words. When talking on gloomy subjects, you are glorifying him. We are not to dwell on the great power of Satan to overcome us. Often we give ourselves into his hands by talking of his power. … Have we not reason to be thankful every moment, thankful even when there are apparent difficulties in our pathway?” The Ministry of Healing, 253, 254.
2 A CURE FOR SADNESS
- What is the best cure for sadness and grief? Psalm 42:11; Ephesians 5:20; James 5:13, first part.
Note: “The Lord Jesus wants us to bear a pleasant countenance, and to speak kind, sympathetic words. Even if we are sick, or if we feel out of sorts, we need not tell others. If we will talk of the goodness of the Lord, this will act as a cure for sadness and grief.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 132, 133.
- What happens to our faith when using proper speech and conversation? Romans 10:17.
Note: “Even under temptation, our language may be that of faith and hope and courage.” The Review and Herald, May 13, 1884.
- What topic should we avoid, as much as possible, in our conversation? Luke 24:17, 25; I Peter 4:12.
Note: “All have trials; griefs hard to bear, temptations hard to resist. Do not tell your troubles to your fellow mortals, but carry everything to God in prayer. Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt or discouragement. You can do much to brighten the life of others and strengthen their efforts, by words of hope and holy cheer.” Steps to Christ, 119, 120.
“The more you dwell upon discouragement, talking to others about your trials, and enlarging upon them, to enlist the sympathy which you crave, the more discouragements and trials you will have. Why mourn over that which we cannot avoid? God is inviting us to close the windows of the soul earthward and open them heavenward that He may flood our hearts with the glory which is shining across the threshold of heaven.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 579.
3 CAREFUL CHOICE OF TOPICS
- Though darkness, failure, and sin exist in this world, why should we not talk about these things? How can we help others in this regard? Isaiah 35:3, 4.
Note: “It is Satan’s work to talk of that which concerns himself, and he is delighted to have human beings talk of his power, of his working through the children of men. Through indulgence in such conversation the mind becomes gloomy and sour and disagreeable. We may become channels of communication for Satan, through which flow words that bring no sunshine to any heart. But let us decide that this shall not be. Let us decide not to be channels through which Satan shall communicate gloomy, disagreeable thoughts. Let our words be not a savor of death unto death, but of life unto life.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 62, 63.
“It is not praiseworthy to talk of our weakness and discouragement. Let each one say, ‘I am grieved that I yield to temptation, that my prayers are so feeble, my faith so weak.’ ” In Heavenly Places, 122.
“Every time we talk darkness, it pleases the enemy, for he does not want the joy of Christ to dwell in our hearts by faith. Christ is to us a never-failing fountain of refreshing joy. God does not regard it any virtue in us to keep looking at and talking of our mistakes and sins.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 161.
- Describe Paul’s attitude in the face of trial and privation. Romans 8:18, 31, 38, 39; II Corinthians 12:9, 10; II Timothy 4:6–8.
Note: “Though Paul was at last confined in a Roman prison—shut away from the light and air of heaven, cut off from his active labors in the gospel, and momentarily expecting to be condemned to death—yet he did not yield to doubt or despondency. From that gloomy dungeon came his dying testimony, full of sublime faith and courage that has inspired the hearts of saints and martyrs in all succeeding ages.” My Life Today, 326.
4 PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
- Why do we need to speak of the precious chapters of our experience? Romans 5:3, 4; Revelation 12:11.
Note: “Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience. After a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, our joy in the Lord and our efficiency in His service would be greatly increased by recounting His goodness and His wonderful works in behalf of His children.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 299, 300.
- What records are kept in heaven of those who share their experiences with others? Malachi 3:16, 17.
Note: “You cannot reach hearts with a mere form of words, a parrot-like repetition of set phrases. What you say must be the expression of a personal experience: If you cheer hearts with words of courage and hope, it will be because the grace and love of God are to you a living reality.” The Review and Herald, April 12, 1892.
- What made the presentations of the apostle Paul so convincing? Philippians 3:7–10.
Note: “Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed, gave convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of the truth. The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity. Argument, even when unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power that it is impossible wholly to resist.
“The apostle’s heart burned with love for sinners, and he put all his energies into the work of soul-winning. There never lived a more self-denying, persevering worker. … He lost no opportunity of speaking of the Saviour or of helping those in trouble.” Gospel Workers, 59.
5 A LAW OF NATURE
- Which law of nature can be used to positive advantage in our daily communication? Romans 10:8–10.
Note: “It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings are encouraged and strengthened as we give them utterance. While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words. If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have—the great mercy and love of God—we should have more faith and greater joy.” The Ministry of Healing, 251–253.
- What illustration can we use to bring hope and encouragement to others? Genesis 28:12.
Note: “He who comes to Jesus is setting his feet upon a ladder that reaches from earth to heaven. …
“Tell the people in clear, hopeful language how they may escape the heritage of shame which is our deserved portion. But for Christ’s sake do not present before them ideas that will discourage them, that will make the way to heaven seem very difficult. Keep all these overstrained ideas to yourself.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 181, 182.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why should we be praising and thanking God always, even when surrounded by trials and difficulties?
2 Why is it better to keep our discouragements and trials to ourselves, rather than expecting others to commiserate with us?
3 How can we, like Paul, take pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, and persecutions?
4 Why is it important to share with others the precious chapters in our experience?
5 What are the rewards of testifying for Christ?
© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.