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Continual Advancement (UL 88)

The Upward Look, Chapter 88

Continual Advancement

I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:13, 14. {UL 102.1}

It is the duty of everyone who professes to be a Christian to keep his thoughts under the control of reason and oblige himself to be cheerful and happy. However bitter may be the cause of his grief, he should cultivate a spirit of rest and quietude in God. The restfulness which is in Christ Jesus, the peace of Christ, how precious, how healing its influence, how soothing to the oppressed soul! However dark his prospects, let him cherish a spirit to hope for good. While nothing is gained by despondency, much is lost. While cheerfulness and a calm resignation and peace will make others happy and healthy, it will be of the greatest benefit to one's self. Sadness and talking of disagreeable things is encouraging the disagreeable scenes, bringing back upon one's self the disagreeable effect. God wants us to forget all these--not look down but up, up! {UL 102.2}

Sadness deadens the circulation in the blood vessels and nerves, and also retards the action of the liver. It hinders the process of digestion and of nutrition, and has a tendency to dry up the marrow of the whole system. . . . {UL 102.3}

God's purposes are often veiled in mystery; they are incomprehensible to finite minds; but He who sees the end from the beginning knows better than we. What we need is to cleanse us from earthliness, to perfect our Christian character, that the robe of Christ's righteousness shall be put upon us. . . . Faith, patience, forbearance, heavenly-mindedness, trust in your wise heavenly Father, are the perfect blossoms which mature amidst clouds and disappointments and bereavements. . . . {UL 102.4}

The order of providence in relation to His people is advancement, progression. Continual advancement is the way of holiness, rising higher and higher in the knowledge and love of God. . . . God is unchangeable--the same yesterday, today, and forever. Faith must be exercised in all our prayers, for it has not lost its power, nor humble obedience its reward. If our brethren, who profess to believe the truth, would show their faith by their works, they would honor God and be enabled to convince many souls that they have the truth, for according to their faith and their obedience will they realize the fulfillment of the promises of God and be endowed with power from on high.--Letter 1, March 29, 1883, to J. N. Andrews, our first missionary, who was dying of tuberculosis in Switzerland. {UL 102.5}

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