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6. The Meaning of Suffering and What Kind of Suffering Believers of God Must Bear

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Chapter 7 Other Aspects of the Truths That You Should Understand in Your Belief in God

6. The Meaning of Suffering and What Kind of Suffering Believers of God Must Bear

Relevant Words of God:

Today, most people don’t have that knowledge. They believe that suffering is without value, they are renounced by the world, their home life is troubled, they are not beloved of God, and their prospects are bleak. The suffering of some people reaches a certain point, and their thoughts turn to death. This is not the true love of God; such people are cowards, they have no perseverance, they are weak and powerless! God is eager for man to love Him, but the more man loves Him, the greater man’s suffering, and the more man loves Him, the greater man’s trials. If you love Him, then every kind of suffering will befall you—and if you don’t, then perhaps everything will go smoothly for you, and all will be peaceful around you. When you love God, you will feel that much around you is insurmountable, and because your stature is too small you will be refined; moreover, you are incapable of satisfying God, and you will always feel that God’s will is too lofty, that it is beyond the reach of man. Because of all this you will be refined—because there is much weakness within you, and much that is incapable of satisfying the will of God, you will be refined inside. Yet you must clearly see that purification is only achieved through refinement. Thus, during these last days you must bear testimony to God. No matter how great your suffering, you should go on to the very end, and even at your last breath, still you must be faithful to God, and at the mercy of God; only this is truly loving God, and only this is the strong and resounding testimony.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Do not be discouraged, do not be weak, I will reveal to you. The road to the kingdom is not that smooth, nothing is that simple! You want blessings to come easy, right? Today everyone will have bitter trials to face, otherwise the loving heart you have for Me will not grow stronger and you will not have true love for Me. Even if it is just minor circumstances, everyone must get through them, it’s just that they differ to some degree. The circumstance is one of My blessings, how many often kneel before Me to ask for My blessing? Silly children! You always feel that a few lucky words count as My blessing, yet don’t feel that bitterness is one of My blessings. Those who share in My bitterness shall certainly share My sweet. That is My promise and My blessing to you.

Excerpted from “Chapter 41” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh

When God works to refine man, man suffers. The greater his refinement, the greater his love of God, and the more of God’s might is revealed in him. The less man’s refinement, the less his love of God, and the less God’s might is revealed in him. The greater his refinement and pain and the more his torment, the deeper his true love of God will be, the more genuine his faith in God will be, and the deeper his knowledge of God will be. In your experiences you will see that those who suffer great refinement and pain, and much dealing and discipline have a deep love of God, and a more profound and penetrating knowledge of God. Those who have not experienced being dealt with have but a superficial knowledge, and can only say: “God is so good, He bestows grace upon people so that they can enjoy Him.” If people have experienced being dealt with and disciplined, then they are able to speak the true knowledge of God. So the more wondrous God’s work in man is, the more valuable and significant it is. The more impenetrable it is to you and the more incompatible it is with your notions, the more God’s work is able to conquer you, gain you, and make you perfect. The significance of God’s work is so great! If He did not refine man in this way, if He did not work according to this method, then God’s work would be ineffectual and without significance. This is the reason behind the extraordinary significance of His selection of a group of people during the last days. It was said before that God would select and gain this group. The greater the work He carries out within you, the deeper and purer your love for God. The greater the work of God, the more man is able to get a taste of His wisdom and the deeper is man’s knowledge of Him.

Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

When receiving the judgment of God’s words, we must not fear suffering, nor should we be afraid of pain; much less should we fear that God’s words will pierce our hearts. We should read more of His utterances about how He judges and chastises us and exposes our corrupt essences. We must read them and hold ourselves up to them more. Don’t compare others to them—compare ourselves against them. We are not lacking in any single one of these things; we can all square with them. If you don’t believe it, go experience it yourself. … We must first know that it doesn’t matter if any of His words are easy on the ear, if they make us feel bitter or sweet—we must accept all of them. We should have this attitude toward God’s words. What kind of attitude is this? Is it an attitude of godliness? Of forbearance? Or, is it an attitude of suffering? I’ll tell you, it’s none of those. In our faith, we must firmly maintain that God’s words are the truth. Since they are indeed the truth, we should accept them rationally. Whether or not we are able to recognize or admit it, our first attitude toward God’s words should be one of absolute acceptance.

Excerpted from “The Importance and the Path of Pursuing the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Loving God requires seeking God’s will in all things, and that you probe deep within when anything happens to you, trying to grasp God’s will, and trying to see what God’s will is in the matter, what He asks you to achieve, and how you should be mindful of His will. For example: Something happens that requires you to endure hardship, at which time you should understand what God’s will is and how you should be mindful of His will. You must not satisfy yourself: First put yourself to one side. Nothing is more abject than the flesh. You must seek to satisfy God, and you must fulfill your duty. With such thoughts, God will bring especial enlightenment to you in this matter, and your heart will also find comfort. Be it big or small, when something happens to you, you must first put yourself to one side and regard the flesh as the most lowly of all things. The more you satisfy the flesh, the more liberties it takes; if you satisfy it this time, next time it will ask for more, and as this carries on, you come to love the flesh even more. The flesh always has extravagant desires; it always asks that you satisfy it and that you gratify it within, whether it be in the things you eat, what you wear, or in losing your temper, or pandering to your own weaknesses and laziness…. The more you satisfy the flesh, the greater its desires become and the more debauched the flesh becomes, until it gets to the point when people’s flesh harbors even deeper notions, and disobeys God, and exalts itself, and becomes doubtful about the work of God. … Thus, you must rebel against the flesh, and not pander to it: “My husband (wife), children, prospects, marriage, family—none of them matter! In my heart there is only God, and I must try my best to satisfy God and not satisfy the flesh.” You must have this resolve. If you are always possessed of such resolve, then when you put the truth into practice and put yourself aside, you will be able to do so with but a little effort.

Excerpted from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Whether you can gain life before God and what your ultimate end will be, depend on how you carry out your rebellion against the flesh. God has saved you and chosen you and predestined you, yet if today you are unwilling to satisfy Him, you are unwilling to put the truth into practice, you are unwilling to rebel against your own flesh with a heart that truly loves God, ultimately you will ruin yourself, and will thus endure extreme pain. If you always pander to the flesh, Satan will gradually swallow you up inside, and leave you without life, or the touch of the Spirit, until the day comes when you are completely dark inside. When you live in darkness, you will have been taken captive by Satan, you will no longer have God in your heart, and at that time you will deny God’s existence and leave Him. Thus, if you wish to love God, you must pay the price of pain and endure hardship. There is no need for external fervency and hardship, reading more and running about more; instead, you should put aside the things within you: the extravagant thoughts, personal interests, and your own considerations, notions, and intentions. Such is God’s will.

Excerpted from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

God asks people to put the truth into practice primarily to deal with the things inside them, to deal with their thoughts and notions that are not after God’s heart. The Holy Spirit touches people in their hearts and enlightens and illuminates them. So behind everything that happens is a battle: Every time people put the truth into practice, or put the love of God into practice, there is a great battle, and though all may seem well with their flesh, in the depths of their hearts a life-and-death battle will, in fact, be going on—and only after this intense battle, after a tremendous amount of reflection, can victory or defeat be decided. One does not know whether to laugh or cry. Because many of the intentions within people are wrong, or else because much of God’s work is at odds with their notions, when people put the truth into practice, a great battle is waged behind the scenes. Having put this truth into practice, behind the scenes, people will have shed countless tears of sadness before finally making up their mind to satisfy God. It is because of this battle that people endure suffering and refinement; this is true suffering. When the battle comes upon you, if you are able to truly stand on the side of God, you will be able to satisfy God. Suffering in the course of practicing the truth is inevitable; if, when they put the truth into practice, everything within people were right, then they would not need to be made perfect by God, and there would be no battle, and they would not suffer. It is because there are many things within people that are not fit for use by God, and because there is much of the rebellious disposition of the flesh, that people need to learn the lesson of rebelling against the flesh more profoundly. This is what God calls the suffering that He asked man to undergo with Him.

Excerpted from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In their belief in God, what people seek is to obtain blessings for the future; this is their goal in their faith. All people have this intent and hope, but the corruption in their nature must be resolved through trials. In whichever aspects you are not purified, these are the aspects in which you must be refined—this is God’s arrangement. God creates an environment for you, forcing you to be refined there so that you can know your own corruption. Ultimately, you reach a point at which you would rather die and give up your schemes and desires, and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Therefore, if people do not have several years of refinement, if they do not endure a certain amount of suffering, they will not be able to rid themselves of the bondage of corruption of the flesh in their thoughts and in their hearts. In whichever aspects you are still subject to Satan’s bondage, and in whichever aspects you still have your own desires and your own demands, these are the aspects in which you should suffer. Only through suffering can lessons be learned, which means being able to gain truth, and understand God’s will. In fact, many truths are understood by experiencing painful trials. Nobody can comprehend God’s will, recognize God’s almightiness and wisdom, or appreciate God’s righteous disposition when in a comfortable and easy environment or when circumstances are favorable. That would be impossible!

Excerpted from “How to Satisfy God in the Midst of Trials” in Records of Christ’s Talks

God works in every single person, and no matter what His method is, what kind of people, things and matters He makes use of to do service, or what kind of tone His words have, He only has one end goal: saving you. Before saving you, He needs to transform you, so how could you not suffer a bit? You’re going to have to suffer. This suffering can involve many things. Sometimes God raises up the people, matters, and things around you so that you can come to know yourself, or else you might be directly dealt with, pruned, and exposed. Just like someone on an operating table–you have to undergo some pain for a good outcome. If every time you are pruned and dealt with, and every time He raises up people, matters, and things, it stirs up your feelings and gives you a boost, then this is correct, and you will have stature and will enter into the reality of the truth. If, every time you are pruned and dealt with, and every time God raises up your environment, you feel no pain or discomfort whatsoever, and feel nothing at all, and if you do not come before God to seek His will, neither praying nor seeking the truth, then you really are so numb! If a person is too numb, and is never spiritually aware, then God will have no way to work on them. He will say, “This person is overly numb, and has been corrupted too deeply. I have done so many things on them, and made so much effort, yet I still cannot call to their heart, nor can I awaken their spirit. This is so troublesome and difficult to work with.” If God arranges certain environments, people, things, and objects for you, if He prunes and deals with you and if you learn lessons from this, if you have learned to come before God, learned to seek the truth, and, unknowingly, are enlightened and illuminated and attain the truth, if you have experienced a change in these environments, reaped rewards, and made progress, if you begin to have a little comprehension of God’s will and you cease to complain, then all of this will mean that you have stood firm in the midst of the trials of these environments, and have withstood the test. As such, you will have gotten through this ordeal.

Excerpted from “To Attain the Truth, You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks

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