286 Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Truly Love God
1. Just how much do you love God today? And just how much do you know of all that God has done in you? When God arrives on earth, all that He has done in man and allowed man to see are so that man will love Him and truly know Him. That man is able to suffer for God and has been able to come this far is, in one regard, because of the love of God, and in another regard, is because of God’s salvation; moreover, it is because of the work of judgment and chastisement that God has carried out in man.
2. If you are without the judgment and trials of God, and if God has not made you suffer, then, to be honest, you do not truly love God. The greater God’s work in man, and the greater man’s suffering, the more it is able to show just how meaningful God’s work is, and the more that man’s heart is able to truly love God. How do you learn how to love God? Without torment and refinement, without painful trials—and if, furthermore, all that God gave man were grace, love, and mercy—would you be able to attain the true love of God?
3. During God’s trials man comes to know his deficiencies, and sees that he is insignificant, contemptible, and lowly, that he has nothing; during His trials God creates different environments for man that make man more able to experience the loveliness of God. Although the pain is great, and sometimes insurmountable—and it even reaches the level of crushing grief—having experienced it, man sees how lovely is God’s work in him, and only upon this foundation is there born in man the true love of God, only upon this foundation is there born in man the true love of God.
from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh