Now Is the Time to Shine
Reflecting God’s many resources
By Ellen G. White
When the Holy Spirit moves the hearts of believers, when the truth is appreciated, the servants of God will not labor in vain. Christ is an abiding presence in the heart, and we have a sense of the great mercy and lovingkindness of God.
While we review, not the dark chapters in our experience, to complain, but the manifestations of His great mercy and unfailing love and power revealed in our deliverance, we will praise far more than complain. We will talk of the loving faithfulness of God, as the true, tender, compassionate Shepherd of His flock, which He has declared none shall pluck out of His hand. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining, but praise, like clear flowing streams, will come from God’s truly believing ones. “Goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” “Thou shall guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.”
Loss of First Love
Why not awaken the voice of our spiritual songs in the travels of our pilgrimage? Why not come back to our simplicity and life of fervor? The reason is that we have lost our first love. Let us, then, be zealous and repent, lest the candlestick will be moved out of its place. . . .
The temple of God is opened in heaven, and the threshold is flushed with the glory that is for every church that will love God and keep His commandments. We need to study, to meditate, and to pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the themes of song and thanksgiving of the heavenly choir round about the throne.
"God...will be our helper if we will arise in His strength and go forward."
Praise and Thanksgiving
When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and precious songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assembly of the saints. Murmurings, complainings, and lamentations over little disappointments and difficulties will be lost sight of. As we apply the golden eyesalve, we shall see the glories beyond. Faith will cut through the hellish shadow of Satan, and we shall see our Advocate offering up the incense of His own merits in our behalf. When we see this as it is, and as the Lord would have us, we will be filled with a sense of the immensity and diversity of the love of God.
The appreciation of God’s love and character will quicken insensible hearts, and light will shine into the soul. Our short vision will pass away, and we shall discern wonderful things out of the Word.
Just as long as those who profess the truth are serving Satan, his hellish shadow will cut off their views of God and heaven. They will be as those who have lost their first love. They cannot view eternal realities. That which God has prepared for us is represented in Zechariah, chapters 3 and 4, and 4:12-14: “And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
Arise and Shine
The Lord is full of resources. He has no lack of facilities. It is because of our lack of faith, our earthliness, our cheap talk, our unbelief, manifested in our conversation, that dark shadows gather about us. Christ is not revealed in word or character as the one altogether lovely, and the chiefest among ten thousand. When the soul is content to lift itself up unto vanity, the Spirit of the Lord can do little for it. Our shortsighted vision beholds the shadow, but cannot see the glory beyond. Angels are holding the four winds, represented as an angry horse seeking to break loose and rush over the face of the whole earth, bearing destruction and death in its path.
Shall we sleep on the very verge of the eternal world? Shall we be dull and cold and dead? Oh, that we might have in our churches the Spirit and breath of God breathed into His people, that they might stand upon their feet and live. We need to see that the way is narrow, and the gate strait. But as we pass through the strait gate, its wideness is without limit.
We need now to arise and shine, for our light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon us. We have no time to talk of self, no time to become like the sensitive plant, that cannot be touched without shrinking. In Jesus Christ is our sufficiency. Will we talk faith? Will we talk of the glorious hope, of the full and abundant righteousness of Jesus Christ, provided for every soul? I tell you in the name of the Lord God of Israel that all injurious, discouraging influences are held in control by unseen angel hands, until every one that works in the fear and love of God is sealed in his forehead.
God Is Our Helper
The whole heavenly universe is interested, and the law of God is exercised in behalf of His faithful, commandment-keeping people. It is God in whom we must trust. It is only a narrow minded government that legislates for the suppression of God’s law. God has the world in His hand. We have God on our side. All heaven is waiting and longing for our cooperation. The Lord is supreme. Why should we fear? The Lord is almighty; why should we tremble? In the past God has delivered His people, and He will be our helper if we will arise in His strength and go forward.
The Bible, and the Bible only, is to be our refuge. God is in His Word. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” That is enough for us.
“By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” If the great and loving heart of God is satisfied with the result of His mission in the souls saved, let us rejoice. Let us work as we have never done before. Let us put self aside, and lay hold of Jesus Christ by faith. Let us reveal him to the world as the one altogether lovely and the chiefest among ten thousand. “And after this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Let us take up the praise of God here below. Let us unite with the heavenly company above. Then we shall represent the truth as it is, a power to all who believe.
This article is a selection taken from a letter Ellen G. White wrote to her son W. C. White on June 10, 1897 (letter 138). The letter was published in its entirety in Manuscript Releases, volume 20, pages 215-217. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.