Editorial – Hardships

In August 1868, Ellen White had a dream that is recorded in Testimonies, vol. 2, 594–597. In this dream, part of a large body of people began a journey in heavily loaded wagons. The road ascended. On one side was a high, smooth, white wall; on the other side was a precipice. As the road grew both narrower and steeper, they, for safety, abandoned the wagons and traveled on by horseback with only a portion of their luggage. But the path grew still narrower, and finally they cut the luggage from the horses and continued. When the road became too dangerous for traveling by horseback, a hand seemed to take the bridle and guide them over the perilous way at the places where it seemed they would lose their balance. The road eventually became so narrow that they left the horses behind and traveled on by foot single file, each following in the footsteps of another. Finally it was decided that to travel safely they would have to take off their shoes and then also their stockings, and they journeyed on with bare feet.

At this point in relating the dream, Ellen White said: “We then thought of those who had not accustomed themselves to privations and hardships. Where were such now? They were not in the company. At every change some were left behind, and those only remained who had accustomed themselves to endure hardships. The privations of the way only made these more eager to press on to the end.” Ibid., 595.

Many are not in the revival and reformation movement that were with us a few years ago. The dream partly related above explains why. We have not yet come to the last change! Will you still be in the revival and reformation movement next year? Will you still be in it when Jesus comes?

Hardships have always been, and always will be, a part of evangelism: “The opening labors of the Christian church were attended with hardships and bitter griefs, and the successors of the early apostles find that they must meet with trials similar to theirs; privations, calumny, and every species of opposition meet them in their labors. They must be men of stanch moral courage and of spiritual muscle.” Gospel Workers, 1892, 71, 72.

“The Christian life is compared to the life of a soldier, and there can be no bribes presented of ease and self-indulgence. The idea that Christian soldiers are to be excused from the conflicts, experiencing no trials, having all temporal comforts to enjoy, and even the luxuries of life, is a farce. The Christian conflict is a battle and a march, calling for endurance. Difficult work has to be done, and all who enlist as soldiers in Christ’s army with these false ideas of pleasantness and ease, and then experience the trials, it often proves fatal to their Christianity. God does not present the reward to those whose whole life in this world has been one of self-indulgence and pleasure.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 27, 28.