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We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts will turn to Him as naturally as the flower turns to the sun. SC 99, 100.

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Things Thou Knowest Not

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jer. 33:3.

We do not always consider that the sanctification we so earnestly desire and for which we pray so earnestly is brought about through the truth and, by the providence of God, in a manner we least expect. When we look for joy, behold there is sorrow. When we expect peace, we frequently have distrust and doubt because we find ourselves plunged into trials we cannot avoid. In these trials we are having the answers to our prayers. In order for us to be purified, the fire of affliction must kindle upon us, and our will must be brought into conformity to the will of God. In order to be conformed to the image of our Saviour, we pass through a most painful process of refining. The very ones that we regard the most dear upon the earth may cause us the greatest sorrow and trial. They may view us in the wrong light. They may think us in error, and that we are deceiving and degrading ourselves because we follow the dictates of enlightened conscience in seeking for the truth as for hid treasures. . . .

Our prayers for conformity to the image of Christ may not be answered exactly as we desire. We may be tested and proved, for God sees it best to put us under a course of discipline which is essential for us before we are fit subjects for the blessing we crave. We should not become discouraged and give way to doubt, and think that our prayers are not noticed. We should rely more securely upon Christ and leave our case with God to answer our prayers in His own way. God has not promised to bestow His blessings through the channels we have marked out. God is too wise to err and too regardful of our good to allow us to choose for ourselves.

The plans of God are always the best, although we may not always discern them. Perfection of Christian character can be obtained only through labor, conflict, and self-denial. . . .

How inestimably precious are the gifts of God—the graces of His Spirit—and we shall not shrink from the trying, testing process, be it ever so painful or humiliating to us. How easy would be the way to heaven if there were no self-denial or cross! How worldlings would rush in the way, and hypocrites would travel in it without number! Thank God for the cross, the self-denial. The ignominy and shame our Saviour endured for us is none too humiliating for those saved by the purchase of His blood. Heaven will indeed be cheap enough.

From Devotional: Our Father Cares, p. 262.

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