Health Nugget – Gratitude

How can I sing praises when things are so bad?

“It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy.”

The scientific evidence is conclusive when it comes to mood, outlook, and health. Happy people live 7–10 years longer than unhappy people. Additionally, optimistic people have a 77% lower risk of heart disease than pessimistic people. But how can you be happier and more optimistic in the world we live in today?

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself,” we are often told. And while it can be hard to avoid self-pity entirely, mentally strong people choose to exchange self-pity for gratitude.

Gratitude is more than just an adjective. It is a habit and practice that may actually change your perception of well-being. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Rather than complain about the things we think we deserve, we should take a few moments to focus on all that we have. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

“Gratitude is good medicine,” says Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis and author of The Little Book of Gratitude.

“Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life. …”

It appears that being grateful is the gift that seriously keeps on giving.

Here’s a simple way to get started:

Write these down before you go to bed or share them around the dinner table. In five minutes, you can practice gratitude from the heart.

  1. Health: What did your body do for you today?

Did you know you take about eight million breaths a year? Your feet can take you up a mountain; your arms can hold someone you love. Take a minute to marvel at the finely-tuned machinery of your body, and be thankful for the steps you take every day to keep it safe and healthy.

  1. Eat: What did you feed your body to nourish yourself today?

Was it an old favorite, something you made or something new and different? If you eat three meals a day, you’ll eat about a thousand meals this year! Take a minute to savor something especially yummy.

  1. Activity: What did you do that you really enjoyed today?

Did you give it your all when exercising, did you finally finish that craft project you started a while ago or did you find a quiet moment while sitting in traffic to reflect? Take a minute to think back on one particularly awesome moment.

  1. Relationship: To whom do you look forward to connecting with?

Is it someone who always has a smile for you, has your back or makes you laugh until you cry, or maybe someone you haven’t seen in a long time? Take a minute to smile as you think about this special person.

  1. Time: What are you doing right now?

Every single day you wake up with 24 brand new hours. The past is history, the future is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present! Take a minute to be thankful for the gift of time.

As God’s children, we will want to appreciate the gifts that He has given to us. Daily we will express our gratitude to Him.

“Gratitude, rejoicing, benevolence, trust in God’s love and care—these are health’s greatest safeguard.

“The power of the will and the importance of self-control, both in the preservation and in the recovery of health, the depressing and even ruinous effect of anger, discontent, selfishness, or impurity, and, on the other hand, the marvelous life-giving power to be found in cheerfulness, unselfishness, gratitude, should also be shown.

“There is a physiological truth—truth that we need to consider—in the scripture, ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.’ Proverbs 17:22

“The true principles of Christianity open before all a source of inestimable happiness.

“We should encourage a cheerful, hopeful, peaceful frame of mind; for our health depends upon our so doing.” My Life Today, 151

Sources:;; and Psychology Today. Amy Morin is a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

 Judy Rebarchek is a member of the LandMarks team. She can be contacted at:

Inspiration – Praise Ye the Lord

“Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). Have any of us duly considered how much we have to be thankful for? Do we remember that the mercies of the Lord are new every morning and that His faithfulness faileth not? Do we acknowledge our dependence upon Him and express gratitude for all His favors? On the contrary, we too often forget that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.”

James 1:17

God is love. He has a care for the creatures He has formed. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him” (Psalm 103:13). “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). What a precious privilege is this, that we may be sons and daughters of the Most High, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Then let us not mourn and grieve because in this life we are not free from disappointments and afflictions.

If in the providence of God we are called upon to endure trials, let us accept the cross and drink the bitter cup, remembering that it is a Father’s hand that holds it to our lips. Let us trust Him in the darkness as well as in the day. Can we not believe that He will give us everything that is for our good? “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32)? Even in the night of affliction how can we refuse to lift heart and voice in grateful praise, when we remember the love to us expressed by the cross of Calvary?

What a theme for meditation is the sacrifice that Jesus made for lost sinners! “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). How shall we estimate the blessings thus brought within our reach? Could Jesus have suffered more? Could He have purchased for us richer blessings? Should it not melt the hardest heart when we remember that for our sakes He left the happiness and glory of heaven and suffered poverty and shame, cruel affliction and a terrible death? Had He not by His death and resurrection opened for us the door of hope, we should have known nothing but the horrors of darkness and the miseries of despair. In our present state, favored and blessed as we are, we cannot realize from what depths we have been rescued. We cannot measure how much deeper our afflictions would have been, how much greater our woes, had not Jesus encircled us with His human arm of sympathy and love, and lifted us up.

We may rejoice in hope. Our Advocate is in the heavenly sanctuary, pleading in our behalf. Through His merits we have pardon and peace. He died that He might wash away our sins, clothe us with His righteousness, and fit us for the society of heaven, where we may dwell in light forever.

Dear brother, dear sister, when Satan would fill your mind with despondency, gloom, and doubt, resist his suggestions. Tell him of the blood of Jesus, that cleanses from all sin. You cannot save yourself from the tempter’s power, but he trembles and flees when the merits of that precious blood are urged. Then will you not gratefully accept the blessings Jesus bestows? Will you not take the cup of salvation that He presents, and call on the name of the Lord? Do not show distrust of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Do not for a moment pain the heart of the pitying Saviour by your unbelief. He watches with the most intense interest your progress in the heavenly way; He sees your earnest efforts; He notes your declensions and your recoveries, your hopes and your fears, your conflicts and your victories.

Shall all our devotional exercises consist in asking and receiving? Shall we be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive? Shall we be recipients of His mercies and never express our gratitude to God, never praise Him for what He has done for us? We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. If the loving-kindness of God called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer. We would abound more and more in the love of God and have more bestowed to praise Him for. You who complain that God does not hear your prayers, change your present order and mingle praise with your petitions. When you consider His goodness and mercies you will find that He will consider your wants.

Testimony Treasures, vol. 2, 108–110.

The Pen of Inspiration: “Serve the Lord with Gladness”

Ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.” [Deuteronomy 12:7.] Those who honor God by obedience to all his requirements are free to eat and rejoice before the Lord, and he himself, as an unseen guest, will preside at the board. That which is done for the glory of God should be done with cheerfulness, with songs of praise and thanksgiving, not with sadness and gloom. Would that all who profess to be the children of God, who profess to keep his commandments, might bring thankfulness and rejoicing into the service of Christ. Nothing is more grievous to God than for his children to go constantly mourning, covering the altar with tears. He says by the prophet Malachi, “And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.” [Malachi 2:13.]

Comfort in Service

Our God should be regarded as a tender, merciful father. The service of God should not be looked upon as a heart-saddening, distressing exercise. It should be a pleasure to worship the Lord and to take part in his work. As the people of God meditate upon the plan of salvation, their hearts will be melted in love and gratitude. When they were lost, Christ died to save them; through the gift of the Son of God, provision has been made whereby none need perish, but all may have everlasting life. God would not have his children, for whom so great a salvation has been provided, act as though he were a hard, exacting task-master. He is their best friend, and when they worship him, he expects to be with them to bless and comfort them, and fill their hearts with joy and love. The Lord desires his children to take comfort in his service, and to find more pleasure than hardship in his work. The Lord desires that those who come to worship him shall carry away with them precious thoughts of his care and love that they may be cheered in all the employments of daily life, that they may have grace to deal honestly and faithfully in all things.

The children of God are called upon to be representatives of Christ, showing forth the goodness and mercy of the Lord. If they but revealed his goodness from day to day, barriers would be raised around their souls against the temptations of the evil one. If they would keep in remembrance the goodness and love of God, they would be cheerful, but not vain and full of carnal mirth.

The Lord would have all his sons and daughters happy, peaceful, and obedient. Jesus says, “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. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto my Father; for my Father is greater than I.” “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” [John 14:27, 28; 15:11; 16:24.]

Never Doubt God

When we go mourning, we leave the impression upon minds that God is not pleased to have us happy, and in this we bear false witness against our Heavenly Father. Satan is exultant when he can lead the people of God into unbelief and despondency. He delights to see us mistrusting God, doubting his willingness and power to save us. He loves to have us feel that the Lord will do us harm by his providences. O let the attitude of doubt be changed! Christ in the Old Testament is the same as Christ in the New Testament. His commands and promises are identical. When he charged his people of old to rejoice before him, it was for our comfort as well as for theirs. Happiness that is sought only from selfish motives, outside of the path of duty, is ill-balanced, fitful, and transitory, and when it is over, the soul is filled with loneliness and sorrow. But when we engage in the service of God, the heart should be aglow with thanksgiving; for the Christian is not left to walk in uncertain paths, he is not left to vain regrets and disappointments. If we do not have the pleasures of this life, we may still be joyful in looking to the life beyond. Let us never doubt God. He made us, he loves us, and in one rich gift poured out all heaven for us; and “he that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” [Romans 8:32.]

God knows our wants, and has provided for them. The Lord has a treasure-house of supplies for his children, and can give them what they need under all circumstances. Then why do we not trust him? He has made precious promises to his children on condition of faithful obedience to his precepts. There is not a burden but he can remove, no darkness but he can dispel, no weakness but he can change to power, no fears but he can calm, no worthy aspiration but he can guide and justify.

We are not to look at ourselves. The more we dwell upon our own imperfections, the less strength we shall have to overcome them. We are to render a cheerful service to God. It is the work of Satan to present the Lord as lacking in compassion and pity. He misstates the truth in regard to him. He fills the imagination with false theories concerning God; and instead of dwelling upon the truth in regard to the character of our Heavenly Father, we fasten our minds upon the misrepresentations of Satan, and dishonor God by mistrusting him and by murmuring against him. When we act like culprits under sentence of death, we bear false witness against God. The Father gave his only begotten and well-beloved Son to die for us, and in so doing he placed great honor upon humanity; for in Christ the link that was broken through sin was reunited, and man again connected with Heaven. You who doubt the mercy of God, look at the Lamb of God, look at the man of sorrows, who bore your grief and suffered for your sin. He is your friend. He died on the cross because he loved you. He is touched with the feeling of your infirmities, and bears you up before the throne. In view of his unspeakable love, should not hope, love, and gratitude be cherished in your heart? Should not gladness fill your service to God?

Satan ever seeks to make the religious life one of gloom. He desires it to appear toilsome and difficult; and when the Christian presents this view of religion in his own life, he is, through his unbelief, seconding the falsehood of Satan. We dishonor God when we think of him only as a judge ready to pass sentence upon us, and forget that he is a loving Father. The whole spiritual life is molded by our conceptions of God; and if we cherish erroneous views of his character, our souls will sustain injury. We should see in God one who yearns toward the children of men, longing to do them good. He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. All through the Scriptures, God is represented as one who calls, woos by his tender love, the hearts of his erring children. No earthly parent could be as patient with the faults and mistakes of their children as is God with those he seeks to save. No one could plead more tenderly with the transgressor. No human lips ever poured out more tender entreaty to the wanderer than does he. O shall we not love God, and show our love by humble obedience? Let us have a care for our thoughts, our experiences, our attitude toward God; for all his promises are but the breathings of unutterable love.

Review and Herald, January 14, 1890.


“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

It is an unqualified command, and it is a command just as surely as are the words, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

“It is a very difficult commandment to obey,” do you say? No: “His commandments are not grievous.” It is impossible, however, to obey any commandment of God, when it is regarded from the human side, merely as a commandment; we must know it as a promise, and then it becomes a delight. Obedience to the commandment, “In everything give thanks,” not only brings, but is the highest happiness that human hearts can know.

What have we to be thankful for?—Everything. Listen: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32)? Now the very thought of God’s free gift must awaken love, “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). Since God cannot but give us all things in Christ, and in Him all things are for our good, how can we be otherwise than thankful in everything?

“How can I be thankful when I know that I am a sinner, and that I am lost?” Easily enough, when you know that “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). If you feel lost, that should remind you that the Lord Jesus Christ is good at finding.

“Ah, but you don’t know how great a sinner I am; you would feel depressed if you felt yourself to be the greatest sinner in the world.”

Not by any means; so much the more for joy. “Faithful is the saying, of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief; howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me as chief might Jesus Christ show forth all longsuffering” (1 Timothy 1:15, 16, R.V.). “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). The greater the sin, the greater the saving grace bestowed. Then thank God.

“But I have so many temptations; how can I give thanks in the midst of them?”

“My brethren, count it all joy, when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2–4). How can one help being thankful for that which makes him perfect, and brings him everything good?

“Oh, but I have more trials and trouble than anybody else in the world.”

Good! then you have more to be thankful for than anybody else in the world; for have you never read: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:3–5). The greater the trial, the greater the comfort.

“I am so very poor and needy, I lack everything; how can I give thanks?” Your great need should simply remind you of the promise, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19). The more needy you are, the more you get. “I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me” (Psalm 40:17). “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him” (James 2:5)? Your poverty is your wealth.

“But I am so vacillating, so easily swayed; the slightest breath moves me, and I cannot stand.”

Then thank God doubly for that, “because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4); and if you are so easily swayed by the Holy Spirit. Only let the breath of Christ blow upon you, and it will always carry you in the right direction with the force of “a rushing mighty wind”(Acts 2:2).

The fact is, Christ has so completely identified Himself with humanity, that there is not any circumstance in life, no condition of the soul or body, no need or frailty, that does not in itself suggest the fullness of God in Him. Whatever poverty or temptation or suffering we have, whether as the direct result of our own folly, or from causes of which we are not personally responsible, we may know that they are the sufferings of Christ, and find the joy of deliverance in the knowledge. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.”

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16, last part). It seems to a great many that these words drive off the thought of effectual prayer further than ever, for they would not presume to say that they were righteous. But how does anyone become righteous? “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5). “Being justified freely by His grace,” we obtain righteousness, “even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Romans 3:22).

Therefore the man who is righteous becomes so by believing the glad tidings which God declares to all, “concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” He has learned how to take what God gives, and having learned how to take the greatest gift of all, he knows how simple a matter it is to receive all things else.

For to the man who receives Jesus Christ, everything else is given. It can not be otherwise. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32)? And Jesus, speaking of food and drink and clothing, says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

God does not force allegiance. He waits for it. The crown of our own individual love and loyalty must be offered by our own hands.

The Present Truth (UK) 80. February 2, 1899.

The Principles of Worship

With the many different styles of worship in our society today, the question has arisen: What is acceptable worship to God and what is the best way to worship Him?

The word worship, derived from an old English word, means to give honor or respect to a personage, especially to God. The first part comes from the word worth; to give worth to something, worthiness and respect. On the Sabbath we attend church to give God honor and respect and spend the day in worship with Him.

Worship, when rendered to another god or a created being, is called idolatry. Such worship Peter refused (Acts 10:25, 26). In the book of Revelation we see that John bowed down to the angel who refused to be worshiped.

From ancient times all civilizations had some form of worship. They may not have worshiped the God of heaven, but they did have worship and worship ceremonies. In Egypt, the Pharaohs worshiped snakes, the Nile and many other objects of creation. Even as horrific as it was, some forms of worship involved human sacrifices.

Today, in modern worship there are different types of worship where people adore things or people, called adoration, and there is worship of saints, called veneration, and there are also contemporary worship services known as celebration services. It is believed that by bringing music and contemporary things into Christian worship, the young people will stay in the church. I have attended some contemporary services where the Bible was not opened throughout the whole service. In some cases the worship is very light and informal and the speakers crack jokes, resulting in much laughter. That type of church service is more like a social club designed to gather with people and have a good time. Leaving such a service as that leaves one devoid of any spiritual meat to contemplate through the following week and nothing to contemplate in making a closer relationship with God. Once I attended a service where the preacher talked about a recent football game, which provided no spiritual food.

There are many examples in the Bible of worship. God’s people worshiped in their own peculiar style as well as did the heathen. During the time of Ahab and Jezebel, God’s people fell into Baal worship. At the time Nebuchadnezzar ruled the Babylonian kingdom, he had a vision of an image describing all of the kingdoms that would come after him. He wanted his kingdom to last forever and wasn’t happy to be told that his kingdom would come to an end, so he made a golden image and demanded everybody to worship that image, representing his kingdom which he believed should endure forever.

Later Belshazzar, with his rulers, feasted and praised the gods of wood, stone, silver and gold in place of the God of heaven.

Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because he refused to stop praying or worshiping his God for even a few days.

As you read through the Bible you can learn about the patriarchs and prophets, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who set up altars to God. Moses was told to take off his sandals, because the place on which he was standing, near the burning bush, was holy ground.

There were very specific and explicit instructions given to Moses in regard to the performance of the sanctuary services that were implemented in the wilderness. In the New Testament, it is recorded that Jesus worshiped on the Sabbath day and tells of Him standing up to read from Isaiah, the prophet (Luke 4:16, 17).

In the book of Acts, the apostle, Paul, whose many letters to the churches that he ministered to and make up most of the New Testament, met and worshiped with the believers on the Sabbath day.

Worship is the theme of the book of Daniel and also the book of Revelation where three angels were sent to give the last message of warning to the world to worship God who made heaven and the earth. Within those messages there is also warning against worshiping the beast and his image.

It is very important to understand the important principles of whom to worship, what to worship and how to worship.


In Ephesians 5:19 it says, “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Music is mentioned over and over again in the book of Psalms as an act of worship. “Singing, as a part of religious service, is as much an act of worship as is prayer.” Christian Education, 63. Songs that praise and give devotion to God should be selected and never music that is devoid of beauty and power.

“Those who make singing a part of divine worship should select hymns with music appropriate to the occasion, not funeral notes, but cheerful yet solemn melodies. The voice can and should be modulated, softened, and subdued.” The Signs of the Times, June 22, 1882. In some churches music is selected that is so loud that it is impossible to hear that still quiet voice. Such does not show reverence toward God.


“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” Psalm 95:6, 7. Part of worship is to kneel before God in prayer. There are other times to be in communication with heaven when it is inconvenient and even dangerous to kneel with eyes closed, e.g., while driving a car or going walking, but there are several examples in the New Testament written by Paul describing bowing down on our knees before God as part of public worship. Prayer and kneeling are principles of worship and to bow reverently with eyes closed is an act of submission, allowing the mind to concentrate on the prayer without being distracted. Public prayers need to be spoken clearly and plainly so all listening will benefit from the words, and when children are present prayer should be short so they are not wearied.

Listening and Reverence

“Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20. This brings in the aspect of listening and of reverence in the house of God. “When the benediction is pronounced, all should still be quiet, as if fearful of losing the peace of Christ. Let all pass out without jostling or loud talking, feeling that they are in the presence of God, that His eye is resting upon them, and that they must act as in His visible presence. Let there be no stopping in the aisles to visit or gossip, thus blocking them up so that others cannot pass out. The precincts of the church should be invested with a sacred reverence. It should not be made a place to meet old friends and visit and introduce common thoughts and worldly business transactions. These should be left outside the church. God and angels have been dishonored by the careless, noisy laughing and shuffling of feet heard in some places.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 493, 494.

When we enter into the presence of God, no matter where that is, an atmosphere of reverence should prevail.

Observing Personal Boundaries

In one church service I attended the pastor encouraged the congregation to go around and greet everyone and hug everyone and kiss the ladies if they could get away with it. That surely does not sound right for this culture. Some people read the verse that says to greet others with a holy kiss and in some countries men do greet each other with a kiss on each cheek (II Corinthians 13:12), but where did that come from? Some earlier commentaries say that this custom was usually men greeting men and the women greeting women in this manner, that being the culture. In our culture greetings should be in a different context which should also correlate with the whole Bible. If you read I Corinthians 7:1, it says, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” There needs to be balance here; the Bible does not contradict itself and the cultural context must be considered. Though it is not good that men kiss the ladies in church, they do not want to be so cold and formal that visitors feel unwelcome without being greeted with a smile or handshake. Paul tells us in Romans 12:10 that we are to be “kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” There is always a balance in these things, showing friendship but also respecting personal boundaries.

No Idolatry

Christ should be the theme of our conversation. “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” I Corinthians 2:1, 2. The theme of all the apostles preaching and discussion in the New Testament was Christ and so should it be the theme of our own worship.

“The science of salvation is to be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. Let nothing be brought into the preaching of the Word to supplement Christ, the Word and power of God.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 337.

Christ is the only name given by which we are saved; He is our salvation. Christ should be in every worship service. He should always be the theme of all worship.


“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” II Corinthians 9:7. When Abraham returned from the battle, rescuing Lot and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, he gave an offering and tithe to God for all that He had done. This instruction of giving tithes and offerings was also given to the children of Israel. There is also the example in the New Testament of Jesus commending the widow who gave her two mites, which was all that she had. Her contribution, because it was all her wealth, was far more than all the others who gave.

Hebrews chapter 10 tells us that we are not saved by the blood of bulls and goats, but we are saved through the blood of Christ. The Lamb of God has already paid that price by His sacrifice so today it is no longer necessary to offer these sacrifices.

Worship God in Truth

“But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” I Timothy 3:15.

Where we worship God should be a place of truth. We are also told of the importance of worshiping God. The Bible talks about assembling together in Hebrews 10:25. It says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the Day approaching.” In Matthew 18:20 it says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” It is important to worship God in His house on His day. We need that fellowship and communion with one another to strengthen and encourage us in our spiritual walk. Those who go to church only on New Year’s Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving, or even less than that, miss the blessing promised that where people are gathered together in His name He will be among them (Matthew 18:20).

John Wesley once said, “Sir, if you wish to serve God, you can’t serve Him alone. You must find companions or make them. The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.” We are meant to associate together and to help each other on the way to the kingdom of heaven.

Praise and Thanksgiving

Praise is a key component of worship. We need to remember to praise the Lord and thank Him for all of the things He has done for us. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1. This does not say that I will bless the Lord when I feel good or when things are going good or bad. It does not say that I will bless the Lord when I am rich or poor. It does not say I will bless the Lord when I have everything or when I am in trouble. It says all of the time, no matter what condition you are in.

In Psalm 42:5 it says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” This praise is repeated several times.

There are many verses in the book of Psalms that praise the Lord. “Whoso offers praise glorifies Me: and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23. God likes to be praised. We can join David when he said, “I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are Your works; and that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:14.

“Where the church is walking in the light, there will ever be cheerful, hearty responses and words of joyful praise.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 318. Ellen White also said, “Have we not reason to talk of God’s goodness and to tell of His power? When friends are kind to us we esteem it a privilege to thank them for their kindness. How much more should we count it a joy to return thanks to the Friend who has given us every good and perfect gift. Then let us, in every church, cultivate thanksgiving to God. Let us educate our lips to praise God in the family circle. … God’s goodness in hearing and answering prayer places us under heavy obligation to express our thanksgiving for the favors bestowed upon us. We should praise God much more than we do. The blessings received in answer to prayer should be promptly acknowledged.

“We grieve the Spirit of Christ by our complaints and murmurings and repinings. We should not dishonor God by the mournful relation of trials that appear grievous. All trials that are received as educators will produce joy. The whole religious life will be uplifting, elevating, ennobling, fragrant with good words and works.

“Let the peace of God reign in your soul. Then you will have strength to bear all suffering, and you will rejoice that you have grace to endure. Praise the Lord; talk of His goodness; tell of His power. Sweeten the atmosphere that surrounds your soul. … Praise with heart and soul and voice, Him who is the health of your countenance, your Saviour, and your God.” God’s Amazing Grace, 325.

We have many things to praise God and to thank Him for. One favorite quote comes from the book, The Ministry of Healing, 251. It says, “Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings—as much a duty as it is to pray. If we are heaven-bound, how can we go as a band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the way to our Father’s house?” This goes along with the text in Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

“Forgetting our own difficulties and troubles, let us praise God for an opportunity to live for the glory of His name. Let the fresh blessings of each new day awaken praise in our hearts for these tokens of His loving care. When you open your eyes in the morning, thank God that He has kept you through the night. Thank Him for His peace in your heart. Morning, noon, and night, let gratitude as a sweet perfume ascend to heaven.” Ibid., 253.

There are so many reasons for which to be thankful and to give praise to the Lord for what He has done for us. If nothing else, you can be thankful that there is a God in heaven who cares about you and listens to you—that is something to be really thankful for!

Whatever trial you may be going through you often do not have to look very far to find someone who is in a worse situation. Not too long ago I read about a lady journalist who was laid off from her job. She drew unemployment which soon ran out, along with her savings, causing her to lose her apartment. About that same time, her father died and she inherited a motor home which then provided her with a place to live. She parked her motor home in a business parking lot until she was asked to leave and then made a temporary arrangement with some people whom she knew to park her motor home in their back yard while searching for work, putting up notices in coffee shops and online.

Anyone who has a roof over their head, a job, clothes and shoes, has something to be thankful for. It may not be the best, but it is more than many other people have in this world.

When I visited the Philippines, I saw that there were some very wealthy people there and then there were the very poor. In the city, most of the poor have crude, corrugated iron shacks which become very muddy when it rains. If you have a place to live, be thankful. Be thankful if you have a family.

A story is told of a Christian lady and her friend who enjoyed bike riding. One day as they were riding on a bike trail she was about a minute ahead of her friend who heard a commotion up ahead. As her friend caught up she saw that a cougar had attacked her and had her by the face. She was struggling to free herself from the mountain lion without success. Eventually, others arrived and threw rocks at the cougar which finally ran off. Surprisingly, the woman survived the attack with minimal scarring. She relates now with Daniel who was thrown into the lion’s den and survived. She now praises God for her own deliverance from the cougar.

A private plane crashed in the desert in Arizona, bursting into flames upon impact. Surviving the crash and in flames, both the parents rolled on the ground to extinguish the flames. The woman had massive burns and it was uncertain for several weeks if she would come out of the coma and survive. Though her husband was also severely burned, he was not as badly burned as she was and a vigil was held by that mother’s bedside every day to talk to and encourage her. While lying there in the hospital, she resolved to survive and return home to her family. In time, she left the hospital still with bandages over her burns. Simple chores that normally took little time were now mammoth tasks, but she was thankful to be alive.

A young mother gave birth to her second daughter. Three days later she was running a high temperature and it was discovered that she had some sort of bacterial infection. As a result of this, she underwent many surgeries during which both of her hands and legs were amputated, because they had turned black. Her survival was uncertain, but she was determined to be there for her baby. With sheer determination, very soon she, with prosthetic arms and legs, was back home caring for her two daughters, remaining cheerful and thankful to be alive and an encouragement to others in far less difficult situations.

One lady came to grief when her chimpanzee got loose while attempting to get the 200-pound animal back into its cage. The chimp was a bit upset and started to fight with her, literally ripping off her face. Her fingers, her hand and her teeth, eyes, nose and mouth were all gone. When help arrived, the chimpanzee was shot and all were amazed to find the lady who was in such a terrible condition still breathing. Even with such horrific injuries and also blind, this poor lady hung on to life to be there for her daughter. She insisted that though she had been damaged physically, she was still the same person inside and wanted acceptance in spite of her appearance.

Considering what others have endured, most of us have nothing to complain about. Lord, forgive me for complaining about anything. I have all of my limbs, my face and my hands. No matter what situation you are going through, there is always something to be thankful for. Stories like these inspire me with God’s faithfulness, knowing that there is a better place where those horrible things will no longer happen. It also gives a proper perspective on life. Whatever problems or difficulties you face, there is still something to be thankful for, if you still have life. We all have troubles, disappointments and hard experiences to go through, but in spite of all of those things, if we look beyond to the big picture, there is always something for which to give praise and thanks.

Each of us has been blessed abundantly. The greatest thing we have to be thankful for is Jesus. We should be thankful that there is something beyond this fragile life of which there are no certainties and Someone who is going to make all things better. If we are ready for His kingdom, our bodies will be repaired and we will live for eternity. Jesus was willing to leave heaven and to sacrifice His life so that we may have eternal life. That is the number one thing that we can be thankful for every day. Heaven is a real place worth considering and something we do not often grasp.

Because of His great love for us and the hope He gives to all who choose to accept His invitation, God deserves all of our worship. Let us honor Him with reverence, praise and thanksgiving for He has blessed us above all things, way more than we are worthy.

A network engineer, Jana Grosboll lives in Derby, Kansas. 

Bible Study Guides – The Early Church

December 16, 2012 – December 22, 2012

Key Text

“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Romans 12:12.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 8, 9–29; The Acts of the Apostles, 9–16.


“We are to find our strength just where the early disciples found their strength: ‘These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.’ Acts 1:14.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 140.


  • What was the last thing Jesus promised His disciples before ascending to heaven? Acts 1:6–9.
  • What, then, was the first thing the disciples did before starting their mission? Acts 1:10–14. Describe the results. Acts 2:1–4, 41.

Note: “In obedience to the word of their Master the disciples assembled in Jerusalem to wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Here they spent ten days, days of deep heart searching. They put away all differences and drew close together in Christian fellowship. … At the end of ten days the Lord fulfilled His promise by a wonderful outpouring of His Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 15.

“Would it not be well for you to seek the Lord as the disciples sought Him before the day of Pentecost? After Christ’s ascension, His disciples—men of varied talents and capabilities—assembled in an upper chamber to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this room ‘all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication’ [Acts 1:14]. They made thorough work of repentance by confessing their own sins. Upon them was laid no burden to confess one another’s sins. Settling all differences and alienations, they were of one accord, and prayed with unity of purpose for ten days.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 368.


  • What can we learn from the disciples’ action when the chief priests and rulers threatened Peter and John because of their powerful witness for Christ? Acts 4:24–33.

Note: “By the grace of Christ the apostles were made what they were. It was sincere devotion and humble, earnest prayer that brought them into close communion with Him. They sat together with Him in heavenly places. They realized the greatness of their debt to Him. By earnest, persevering prayer they obtained the endowment of the Holy Spirit, and then they went forth, weighted with the burden of saving souls, filled with zeal to extend the triumphs of the cross. And under their labors many souls were brought from darkness to light, and many churches were raised up.

“Shall we be less earnest than were the apostles? Shall we not by living faith claim the promises that moved them to the depths of their being to call upon the Lord Jesus for the fulfillment of His word: ‘Ask, and ye shall receive’? John 16:24. Is not the Spirit of God to come today in answer to earnest, persevering prayer, and fill men with power? Is not God saying today to His praying, trusting, believing workers, who are opening the Scriptures to those ignorant of the precious truth they contain: ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world’? Matthew 28:20. Why, then, is the church so weak and spiritless?

“As the disciples, filled with the power of the Spirit, went forth to proclaim the gospel, so God’s servants are to go forth today. Filled with an unselfish desire to give the message of mercy to those who are in the darkness of error and unbelief, we are to take up the Lord’s work. He gives us our part to do in co-operation with Him, and He will also move on the hearts of unbelievers to carry forward His work in the regions beyond. Already many are receiving the Holy Spirit, and no longer will the way be blocked by listless indifference.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 32, 33.

  • How did the early church cooperate with God’s plan to miraculously keep His messengers of truth on active duty? Acts 12:1–17.

Note: “Only the sense of God’s presence can banish the fear that, for the timid child, would make life a burden. … Let him read how to Peter, in prison and condemned to death, God’s angel appeared; how, past the armed guards, the massive doors and great iron gateway with their bolts and bars, the angel led God’s servant forth in safety.” Education, 255, 256.


  • With what kind of attitude did Paul and Silas pray when rudely cast into prison at Philippi, and how did this touch the heart of the jailer? Acts 16:16–34.

Note: “Paul and Silas suffered the loss of all things. They suffered scourging, and were in no gentle manner thrown upon the cold floor of a dungeon in a most painful position, their feet elevated and fastened in the stocks. Did repinings and complaints then reach the ear of the jailer? Oh, no! From the inner prison, voices broke the silence of midnight with songs of joy and praise to God. These disciples were cheered by a deep and earnest love for the cause of their Redeemer, for which they suffered.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 406.

  • How did Peter’s attitude promote God’s glory in Joppa? Acts 9:36–42.

Note: “Directing that the weeping friends be sent from the room, he [the apostle] kneeled down and prayed fervently to God to restore Dorcas to life and health.” The Acts of the Apostles, 132.

What did God impress Ellen White to state regarding our attitude in prayer?

Note: “Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people. But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, ‘Get down upon your knees.’ This is the proper position always.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 311.

  1. Of what did the apostle Paul see fit to remind us, and why? Hebrews 12:28, 29.

Note: “Some think it a mark of humility to pray to God in a common manner, as if talking with a human being. They profane His name by needlessly and irreverently mingling with their prayers the words, ‘God Almighty’—awful, sacred words, which should never pass the lips except in subdued tones and with a feeling of awe.” Gospel Workers, 176.


  • How far-reaching were the answers to the prayers of Cornelius and Peter? Acts 10:1, 2, 9–16, 25–35.

Note: “From the case of Cornelius we may learn a lesson that we would do well to understand. The God of heaven sends His messengers to this earth to set in operation a train of circumstances which will bring Peter into connection with Cornelius, that Cornelius may learn the truth. Through angel ministration Peter is brought into cooperation with the inquiring souls who have all things in readiness to hear the truth and receive advanced light. …

“The conversion of Cornelius and his household was only the first fruits of a harvest to be gathered in from the world. From this household a widespread work of grace was carried on in a heathen city.” Evangelism, 558.

  • What did the apostles in Jerusalem do when they heard that God’s word had been received in Samaria? Acts 8:14–17.

Note: “We are no more secure from false teachers now than they were in the apostles’ days; and, if we do no more, we should take as special measures as they did to secure the peace, harmony, and union of the flock. We have their example, and should follow it. Brethren of experience and of sound minds should assemble, and following the Word of God and the sanction of the Holy Spirit, should, with fervent prayer, lay hands upon those who have given full proof that they have received their commission of God, and set them apart to devote themselves entirely to His work. This act would show the sanction of the church to their going forth as messengers to carry the most solemn message ever given to men.” Early Writings, 101.

  • What specific duty do we all have toward our ministers, evangelists, and Bible workers who labor in the Lord’s vineyard? Ephesians 6:18–20.

Note: “Those who do not go from place to place to labor, can take hold of the arm of God by living faith. They can pray that the God of heaven will help those who are carrying the truth to others.” The Review and Herald, June 29, 1886.


  • What sums up the prayer life of the early church, and how is this to encourage us? Romans 12:12.

Note: “When we read the lives of men who have been eminent for their piety we often regard their experiences and attainments as far beyond our reach. But this is not the case. Christ died for all; and we are assured in His word that He is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. The prophets and apostles did not perfect Christian character by a miracle. They used the means which God had placed within their reach; and all who will put forth the same effort will secure the same results.” The Sanctified Life, 84.

  • What does Peter imply as a hindrance to men’s prayers? I Peter 3:7. How else are we warned of prayers hindered? Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 58:1–5.

Note: “[Isaiah 58:1–3 quoted.]

“A people are here addressed who make high profession, who are in the habit of praying, and who delight in religious exercises; yet there is a lack. They realize that their prayers are not answered; their zealous, earnest efforts are not observed in heaven, and they earnestly inquire why the Lord makes them no returns. It is not because there is any neglect on the part of God. The difficulty is with the people. While professing godliness, they do not bear fruit to the glory of God; their works are not what they should be. They are living in neglect of positive duties. Unless these are performed, God cannot answer their prayers according to His glory. In the case of offering prayer for Sister F, there was confusion of sentiment. Some were fanatical and moved from impulse. They possessed a zeal, but not according to knowledge.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 147.


1 What should be the first thing we do before going to witness?

2 How did John and Peter become so powerful in Christ?

3 Are you thankful in all things?

4 How can we help our ministers in their work?

5 What elements in the prayers of the early believers are still lacking in our own?

© 2003 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Poor, But Rich!

A poor blind woman in Paris put twenty-seven francs into a plate at a missionary meeting.

“You cannot afford so much,” said one.

“Yes, sir, I can,” she answered.

On being pressed to explain, she said: “I am blind, and I said to my fellow straw-workers, ‘How much money do you spend in a year for oil in your lamps when it is too dark to work nights?’ they replied, ‘Twenty-seven francs.’ So I found that I save so much in the year because I am blind and do not need a lamp, and I give it to shed light to the dark heathen lands.”

What a happy, thankful heart was that! What a rich poor woman! She might have added the misery of a complaining, selfish spirit to the misfortune of her blindness, but instead, she made the darkness itself light by cherishing a loving and thankful spirit; she lessened her own woes by seeking to relieve those of others. Such grace to me be given!

The Youth’s Instructor, November 5, 1896.

Keys to the Storehouse – Thankful or Thankless? Which Are You?

“God has put it in our power to obtain a knowledge of the laws of life. This knowledge has been placed within our reach for use. We should employ every facility for the restoration of health, taking every advantage possible, working in harmony with natural laws. When we have prayed for the recovery of the sick, we can work with all the more energy, thanking God that we have the privilege of co-operating with Him, and asking His blessing on the means which He Himself has provided.” Conflict and Courage, 240.

Work and pray with God in restoring the health to yourself and to others, thanking Him for the privilege of cooperating with Him. Are you thankful?

“All the powers of our being, every means of our existence and happiness, all the blessings of the warm sunshine and the refreshing showers, causing vegetation to flourish, every comfort and every blessing of this life, comes from God. He sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. The treasures of heaven are poured out to all.” The Signs of the Times, December 12, 1878.

There is so much to be thankful for:

  • The powers of our being
  • Every means of our existence and happiness
  • All the blessings of the warm sunshine and the refreshing showers causing vegetation to flourish
  • Every comfort and every blessing of this life
  • All the treasures of heaven

Are you thankful or thankless?

“The great mass of mankind take the gift from their heavenly Father’s hand but make no acknowledgment to Him. They seem to take it for granted that these bounties are their rightful due, and forget that God is the giver. They do not even acknowledge their obligations by thanking God for His mercies. Indeed they treat no other friend so ill. They sit at the family board, loaded with bounties from His hand, and render no thanks to Him. They enjoy the gifts, but despise the giver.” Ibid.

The thankless worldling:

  • takes the gift but makes no acknowledgment to Him
  • takes it for granted that these bounties are their rightful due, and forget that God is the giver
  • do not even acknowledge their obligations by thanking God for His mercies
  • sit at the family board, loaded with bounties from His hand, and render no thanks to Him

“The worst feature of this picture is, many who profess to be followers of Christ pursue the same course as the unbeliever and thankless worldling. They take the gifts of heaven without lifting the heart and voice to God in sincere thanks. God has blessed them with comfortable homes. They lie down to rest in safety because of the guarding care of His ministering angels; but they arise in the morning with scarcely a thought of God. This is unlike the world’s Redeemer. Although He owned all things, He never broke bread without lifting His eyes and hands to heaven in thanks to His Father, craving His blessing upon it. Yet finite man, wholly dependent upon God, has no sense of the debt of gratitude he owes.” Ibid.

The thankless professor:

  • takes the gifts of heaven without lifting the heart and voice to God in sincere thanks
  • takes for granted that God has blessed them with comfortable homes and no thanks is given
  • lies down to rest in safety because of the guarding care of His ministering angels, but arises in the morning with scarcely a thought of God

Father: We are a thoughtless, thankless people. Please forgive us of our slothfulness. Replace these ugly characteristics with the thankful mind of our dear Saviour and Redeemer. Remove the whirlwind of the world from around us that we may focus our minds upon the most wonderful gifts and mercies you have bestowed upon each of us that we may always give praise and thanks for all. Amen.

Bible Study Guides – An Attitude of Gratitude

March 24, 2013 – March 30, 2013

Key Text

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 443–445; The Ministry of Healing, 241–259.


“Good deeds are twice a blessing, benefiting both the giver and the receiver of the kindness. The consciousness of right-doing is one of the best medicines for diseased bodies and minds. When the mind is free and happy from a sense of duty well done and the satisfaction of giving happiness to others, the cheering, uplifting influence brings new life to the whole being.” The Ministry of Healing, 257.

“The love which Christ diffuses through the whole being is a vitalizing power. Every vital part—the brain, the heart, the nerves—it touches with healing. By it the highest energies of the being are roused to activity. It frees the soul from the guilt and sorrow, the anxiety and care, that crush the life forces. With it come serenity and composure. It implants in the soul, joy that nothing earthly can destroy—joy in the Holy Spirit—health-giving, life-giving joy. Our Saviour’s words, ‘Come unto Me, … and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28), are a prescription for the healing of physical, mental, and spiritual ills. Though men have brought suffering upon themselves by their own wrongdoing, He regards them with pity. In Him they may find help. He will do great things for those who trust in Him.” Ibid., 115.

“Every ray of light shed upon others will be reflected upon our own hearts. Every kind and sympathizing word spoken to the sorrowful, every act to relieve the oppressed, and every gift to supply the necessities of our fellow beings, given or done with an eye to God’s glory, will result in blessings to the giver. Those who are thus working are obeying a law of heaven and will receive the approval of God. The pleasure of doing good to others imparts a glow to the feelings which flashes through the nerves, quickens the circulation of the blood, and induces mental and physical health.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 56.


  • There is something else necessary to our physical, spiritual, and mental well-being which will also directly affect our witness to the world. What is it? Psalm 5:11.

Note: “The influence of the mind on the body, as well as of the body on the mind, should be emphasized. The electric power of the brain, promoted by mental activity, vitalizes the whole system, and is thus an invaluable aid in resisting disease. This should be made plain. The power of the will and the importance of self-control, both in the preservation and in the recovery of health, the depressing and even ruinous effect of anger, discontent, selfishness, or impurity, and, on the other hand, the marvelous life-giving power to be found in cheerfulness, unselfishness, gratitude, should also be shown.

“There is a physiological truth—truth that we need to consider—in the scripture [Proverbs 17:22 quoted].” Education, 197.

“When we go mourning, we leave the impression upon minds that God is not pleased to have us happy, and in this we bear false witness against our Heavenly Father. … But when we engage in the service of God, the heart should be aglow with thanksgiving; for the Christian is not left to walk in uncertain paths, he is not left to vain regrets and disappointments. If we do not have the pleasures of this life, we may still be joyful in looking to the life beyond.” The Review and Herald, January 14, 1890.

  • Does this mean that we should amuse ourselves and others with frivolity, joking, and jesting? Ephesians 5:4.
  • How can we have a deep inner joy? Galatians 5:22–25; Psalm 43:5; Hebrews 13:6.

Note: “The word of God should be studied and obeyed, then the heart will find rest and peace and joy, and the aspirations will tend heavenward; but when truth is kept apart from the life, in the outer court, the heart is not warmed with the glowing fire of God’s goodness.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 547.


  • How do our thoughts affect us physically? Proverbs 17:22; II Timothy 1:7.

Note: “Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other. To keep the body in a healthy condition to develop its strength, that every part of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be the first study of our life. To neglect the body is to neglect the mind. It cannot be to the glory of God for His children to have sickly bodies or dwarfed minds.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 485, 486.

“There is an intimate relation between the mind and the body, and in order to reach a high standard of moral and intellectual attainment the laws that control our physical being must be heeded.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 601.

“Every influence that affects the health of the body has its bearing upon mind and character.” Child Guidance, 408.

  • With what should we fill our minds? Philippians 4:8.
  • How can I have peace when there are circumstances and trials which overwhelm me? Philippians 4:6, 7; Psalm 130:5, 6; Lamentations 3:26.

Note: “Parents, gather the rays of divine light which are shining upon your pathway. Walk in the light as Christ is in the light. As you take up the work of saving your children and maintaining your position on the highway of holiness, the most provoking trials will come. But do not lose your hold. Cling to Jesus. He says, ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me’ (Isaiah 27:5). Difficulties will arise. You will meet with obstacles. Look constantly to Jesus. When an emergency arises, ask, Lord, what shall I do now?” The Adventist Home, 207, 208.


  • What does sorrow, regret, unrest, and guilt do to the body? Proverbs 12:25.

Note: “Satan is the originator of disease; and the physician is warring against his work and power. Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere. Nine tenths of the diseases from which men suffer have their foundation here. Perhaps some living home trouble is, like a canker, eating to the very soul and weakening the life forces. Remorse for sin sometimes undermines the constitution and unbalances the mind.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 443, 444.

  • What are some causes of a downcast spirit? Psalm 55:4, 5; Matthew 6:34.

Note: “He [God] does not desire us to go in anguish of spirit. We are not to look at the thorns and the thistles in our experience. We are to go into the garden of God’s Word, and pluck the lilies, and roses, and the fragrant pinks of His promises. Those who look upon the difficulties in their experience will talk doubt and discouragement, for they do not behold Jesus, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 160.

  • What is the remedy for the downcast spirit? Psalms 51:6–12; 55:16–18; 61:2–4; 77:11, 12.
  • When should we especially remember to be cheerful and why? Psalm 128:2.

Note: “Those who are excited, anxious, or in a hurry, would do well not to eat until they have found rest or relief; for the vital powers, already severely taxed, cannot supply the necessary digestive fluids.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 107.


  • For what is God looking and longing? Leviticus 26:12; II Corinthians 6:16; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2.

Note: “Those who teach the principles of health reform should be intelligent in regard to disease and its causes, understanding that every action of the human agent should be in perfect harmony with the laws of life. The light God has given on health reform is for our salvation and the salvation of the world. Men and women should be informed in regard to the human habitation, fitted up by our Creator as His dwelling place and over which He desires us to be faithful stewards. ‘For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ II Corinthians 6:16.” Counsels on Health, 479.

  • Through whom and for what purpose does God want to dwell in us? John 16:13.
  • How will this affect those around us? Malachi 3:16; Ephesians 5:19, 20; Hebrews 10:24, 25.

Note: “We are in a world of suffering. Difficulty, trial, and sorrow await us all along the way to the heavenly home. But there are many who make life’s burdens doubly heavy by continually anticipating trouble. If they meet with adversity or disappointment they think that everything is going to ruin, that theirs is the hardest lot of all, that they are surely coming to want. Thus they bring wretchedness upon themselves and cast a shadow upon all around them. Life itself becomes a burden to them. But it need not be thus. It will cost a determined effort to change the current of their thought. But the change can be made. Their happiness, both for this life and for the life to come, depends upon their fixing their minds upon cheerful things. Let them look away from the dark picture, which is imaginary, to the benefits which God has strewn in their pathway, and beyond these to the unseen and eternal.

“For every trial, God has provided help.” The Ministry of Healing, 247, 248.


  • Why did God create humanity? Revelation 4:11.

Note: “Infinite love—how great it is! God made the world to enlarge heaven. He desires a larger family of created intelligences.” “Ellen G White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1081.

  • What cooperation on our part is needed that He may dwell within? II Corinthians 6:17, 18; 7:1; John 14:21, 23; Acts 5:32.

Note: “The condition of being received into the Lord’s family is coming out from the world, separating from all its contaminating influences. The people of God are to have no connection with idolatry in any of its forms. They are to reach a higher standard. We are to be distinguished from the world, and then God says, ‘I will receive you as members of My royal family, children of the heavenly King.’ As believers in the truth we are to be distinct in practice from sin and sinners. Our citizenship is in heaven.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 481

  • How is it possible to implement all of His instruction? Romans 8:7–14.

Note: “Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin, and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 165.

  • If we do what God has said, what reward awaits us? Isaiah 64:4; I Corinthians 2:9.

Note: “It should ever be kept prominent that the great object to be attained through this channel [the Battle Creek Health Institute] is not only health, but perfection, and the spirit of holiness, which cannot be attained with diseased bodies and minds. This object cannot be secured by working merely from the worldling’s standpoint.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 554.


1 Do I have a merry heart or a sad one?

2 What thought patterns do I need to change in order to think upon good things?

3 How can we give our fears to God in order to be set free from them?

4 For what things can I praise God today?

5 Do I really desire to have the Lord dwell within me, and what must I change in order to have that become a reality in my experience?

The Religion of Christ

“There are erroneous doctrines also, as that of an eternally burning hell and the endless torment of the wicked, that, by giving exaggerated and distorted views of the character of God, have produced the same result upon sensitive minds. Infidels have made the most of these unfortunate cases, attributing insanity to religion; but this is a gross libel and one which they will not be pleased to meet by and by. The religion of Christ, so far from being the cause of insanity, is one of its most effectual remedies; for it is a potent soother of the nerves.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 444.

This Lesson Is Not Only Theory

“This is true sanctification. It is not merely a theory, an emotion, or a form of words, but a living, active principle, entering into the everyday life. It requires that our habits of eating, drinking, and dressing be such as to secure the preservation of physical, mental, and moral health, that we may present to the Lord our bodies—not an offering corrupted by wrong habits, but ‘a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God’ (Romans 12:1).” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 57, 58.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.