God’s Words Guided Me Through Satan’s Temptations
By Ma Xin, China
Since my husband was not engaged in honest work, drank a lot, and showed no concern for family matters, I was often mired in bitterness and pain. At a time when I did not have the strength to struggle on, a relative shared Almighty God’s gospel of the kingdom with me. Through reading God’s word, I understood that God expresses the truth and does the judgment work of the last days in order to save the human race from the hands of Satan. He allows man to understand, obey, and turn toward Him in order to receive His protection and care. As a result, I joyfully accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days and quickly began living a life of the church. However, just as I was feeling fortunate and happy because I had found something I could depend on in life, Satan’s temptations pounced on me like a wild beast chasing its prey, and a spiritual war ensued …
One day, my daughter came home from school and said to me, “Mom, today when I was helping my teacher bring some things upstairs, I accidentally banged my hand into the railing. It hurts a lot.” Concerned, I took a look at her hand. It wasn’t red or swollen. There was just a bit of broken skin at the base of her thumb. I comforted my daughter and said, “Don’t worry, it’ll be better in a couple of days.” I thought, “Now I believe in Almighty God, so with God’s protection and care, my child will certainly be fine.” However, ten or so days passed, and her thumb and half her palm were getting more and more swollen. After two months, the whole area was black and purple. Her thumb had become bigger than her big toe. I then became very worried. My husband and I brought our daughter to the hospital immediately, but nothing out of the ordinary turned up through all the standard examinations. I silently prayed to God in my heart, “Almighty God. What is wrong with my daughter’s hand? I am willing to look to You and entrust my daughter to You. Please care for her and protect her.” However, when family and friends saw her hand, they all said, “Something really weird is wrong with your daughter’s hand.” Her grandmother also anxiously said, “She will probably have a disability in her hand.” Hearing these things gave rise to a mix of emotions; I felt really uneasy. If my daughter really does become disabled in that hand, what will we do from here on out? She is so young. How can she bear this kind of setback? The more I thought, the more vexed, worried and pained I felt. I thought, “I’ve been praying to God all this time. Why hasn’t my daughter’s hand gotten better? God has not answered my prayers; He has not protected my daughter!” My heart was filled with misunderstandings about and complaints toward God. And during this time, my husband botched things up at work again due to his drunkenness and his boss wanted to fire him. When it rains, it pours—it was just one thing after another! When I heard this news, I became even more distraught. If my husband lost his job, how would our family get by? These things left me feeling very ill at ease and I couldn’t calm down no matter what I did. Even when I read God’s word, I was unable to absorb any of it. I thought, “I believe in God. Why are all these bad things happening in my family? Why is God not watching over us?” I became very negative over this.
When my relative who had shared the gospel with me learned of my thoughts, she patiently shared fellowship with me, “The adversities we’re facing today are because of Satan’s disturbance—there is a war going on in the spiritual world. God’s work in the last days is to save mankind, so when people forsake Satan and return to God, Satan won’t resign itself to defeat. It will disturb and deceive man in every possible way. It will bring all sorts of suffering and tribulations to people so that they start having misunderstandings and complaints about God. Its purpose is to get man to deny and reject God, to lose God’s salvation and once more return to Satan’s domain. If we are this negative and distance ourselves from God, then we have fallen for Satan’s crafty ruse! In fact, these things would be unavoidable even if we didn’t believe in God, but we give Satan an opportunity to harm us when our perspective on faith is wrong. Let’s take a look at a passage of God’s words. Almighty God said, ‘Most people believe in God for the sake of peace and other benefits. Unless it is to your benefit, you do not believe in God, and if you cannot receive God’s graces, you fall into a sulk. How could what you have said be your true stature? When it comes to inevitable family incidents such as children falling ill, loved ones being hospitalized, poor crop yields, and persecution by family members, even these oft-occurring, quotidian matters are too much for you. When such things happen, you are thrown into a panic, you do not know what to do—and most of the time, you complain about God. You complain that God’s words tricked you, that God’s work made a mockery of you. Do you not have such thoughts? Do you think such things happen among you only rarely? You spend every day living amid such events. You do not give the slightest thought to the success of your faith in God, and how to meet God’s will. Your true stature is too small, even smaller than a little chick’s. … You are overflowing with complaints, and you sometimes do not attend gatherings or eat and drink the words of God because of this, sometimes becoming negative for a great length of time’ (“Practice (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
Hearing these words of God, my heart trembled: God really scrutinizes the depths of human hearts! Each and every word reached deep into my heart. The reason for my faith really was because I wanted my family to be safe! When I encountered adversity, I misunderstood God, I complained about God and I lost my faith in Him. I was living in a negative state and my stature was too small. My relative went on in fellowship, “God’s words point out our faulty outlook of having faith just to seek blessings. Due to our notions and imagination, we think that as long as we believe in God, He will bless us and ensure we are safe and sound, that everything goes smoothly. Since this notion exists within our hearts, as soon as we encounter unhappy situations in our lives, we immediately blame God. As a result, we may deny, betray or abandon God at any time. Satan understands all too well this fatal weakness of ours; that is why it brings us all kinds of calamities and suffering in order to disrupt us. If we are unable to see through Satan’s crafty machinations, we will oppose, blame, and deny God in spite of ourselves, and we may even forsake and betray God. We will ultimately be seized and swallowed up by Satan. God’s words say, ‘On earth, all manner of evil spirits are endlessly on the prowl for a place to rest, are ceaselessly searching for the corpses of men to eat up’ (“Chapter 10” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). What is revealed by God’s words is entirely the truth of the spiritual world! The moment we are swallowed up by Satan, we lose our chance at being saved by God. We must see through Satan’s crafty schemes!” My heart brightened considerably as soon as I heard her say these things. I realized that the things that my family was encountering were in fact Satan’s disturbance and calamity. At the same time, God revealed my faulty outlook on faith. I said to my relative, “Since believing in God, I have thought that God is a God that bestows grace upon man and that as long as you believe in God, things will go smoothly in your family and you’ll receive God’s care and protection. When I encountered problems in my life, I thought that something was wrong, and that having faith means that I shouldn’t have these kinds of problems. Only after hearing you read those passages of God’s words did I understand that my perspective on faith has been wrong and that Satan has been using this as a way to disrupt me and get me to generate notions and misunderstandings about God, and to distance myself from Him. I really fell for Satan’s cunning schemes! From now on, no matter what Satan does to harass me, I have to see through its tricks. I will no longer blame, misunderstand or especially betray God. I must stand witness for God. Regardless of whether my child’s hand gets better or whether my husband is able to work, I am willing to entrust these things to God and let God make His arrangements.” To my surprise, once I became willing to obey God’s arrangements and orchestrations, within a short period of time, my daughter’s hand started to suppurate. When the doctor cleared out the pus, he discovered that there was a splinter stuck at the base of her finger. After that was removed, it wasn’t long before my daughter’s hand recovered. After this experience, I could see that once I turned my mistaken perspectives around and became willing to obey God, Satan was shamed and defeated. God removed my daughter’s ailment. God is truly miraculous and almighty!
However, sinister Satan would not fold. When one of its tricks fails, it will try another. One night at around 8 p.m., my husband called me out of the blue and asked me to go downstairs to give him some money. I bundled up our baby, just a little over one year old at the time, and went downstairs, where I saw my husband getting out of a taxi with some effort. He even had great difficulty walking. Seeing him in this state, I felt really anxious and I did not know what to do. All I could do was continuously call out to God, “Almighty God. Faced with this situation, I ask You to protect my heart. My stature is small. Please give me the faith to stand witness in this kind of situation and to not blame You.” I felt significantly more at peace after praying. But after that my husband’s legs got worse and worse to the point that he couldn’t even walk. I had no choice but to have his elder brother and his wife take him to the hospital. I was so worried when I thought about how my husband couldn’t use his legs, so I once again prayed to God, “God! My husband is not well. It is Satan coming to disrupt me so that I will complain to You and betray You. I want to see through Satan’s tricks. No matter how costly my husband’s treatment is, I will not blame You. I am willing to obey You. I ask You to protect me so that I am able to stand witness for You.” After praying I felt much more at peace. Not long after that, my sister-in-law called and said that my husband wouldn’t go to the hospital; he insisted on coming home. Believing this embodied God’s will, I agreed. After they got back, my brother-in-law and his wife tried pinching his legs and washing them with warm water. They busied themselves for quite a while, but my husband still could not feel anything in his legs. Out of desperation, he said, “It’s over. I don’t have any feeling in my legs!” Hearing this, tears suddenly rolled down my face and I thought, “That’s it. He won’t be able to walk anymore. What will we do if he’s paralyzed? How will our family get by?”
Just as I was about to be overcome by pain and despair, I thought of God’s words: “If many things come upon you that are not in line with your notions but you are able to put them aside and know God’s actions from these things, and in the midst of refinements you reveal your heart of love for God, this is standing witness. If your home is peaceful, you enjoy comforts of the flesh, no one is persecuting you, and your brothers and sisters in the church obey you, can you display your heart of love for God? Can this refine you? It is only through refinement that your love for God can be shown, and it is only through things occurring that are not in line with your conceptions that you can be perfected. It is through many negative things, many adversities that God perfects you. It is through many of Satan’s actions, accusations, and its expression in many people that God allows you to acquire knowledge, thus perfecting you” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through God’s words, I understood that Satan was using my husband’s condition to work its machinations. Since my mindset of obtaining blessings from God and conducting transactions with Him in exchange for faith had not been entirely resolved, Satan did this in order to draw me into misunderstanding, blaming, denying, and betraying God, ultimately losing God’s salvation. But God used just such an environment to perfect my faith in Him, allowing me to see things according to God’s words and see through Satan’s plotting so that I would no longer haggle with God with the intention of obtaining blessings. This allowed me to stand on God’s side and bear firm witness for Him in the battle between God and Satan. Once I understood God’s will, I silently prayed to God, “God, protect my heart so that I may stand firm in this situation. Regardless of what happens with my husband, I will not blame You. Even if he is paralyzed, I am willing to continue to follow You.” Amazingly, as soon as I finished praying, I heard my husband say happily, “I’m better now. I can move my legs.” I was incredibly excited—God truly is wise and almighty! God did not intentionally make me suffer these things. Rather, He used these circumstances to test me and to change the mistaken views I held in my faith!
Afterward, I continued reading God’s words, “Satan has continuously carried out plots; humanity has been continuously corrupted by Satan, and Jehovah God has also continuously carried out His wise work. He has never failed, and He has never ceased His work from the creation of the world through now. After humanity was corrupted by Satan, He continuously worked among people to defeat His enemy who corrupts humanity. This battle will continue from the beginning until the world’s end. In doing all this work, He has not only allowed humanity, who has been corrupted by Satan, to receive His great salvation, but also allowed them to see His wisdom, almightiness and authority, and in the end He will let humanity see His righteous disposition—punishing the wicked and rewarding the good. He has battled Satan to this very day and has never been defeated, for He is a wise God, and His wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots. And so He not only makes everything in heaven submit to His authority; He also makes everything upon earth rest below His footstool, and not last of all, He makes those evildoers who invade and harass humanity fall within His chastisement. All the results of the work are brought about because of His wisdom” (“You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I understood from God’s words that ever since mankind was corrupted by Satan, Satan has been disrupting and harming man all along. And all along the way, God has been saving man so that he may break free from Satan’s harm. Looking back on my own experience, ever since I gained my faith, Satan never stopped coming up with schemes to harass me. It used my daughter’s and my husband’s health problems to make me negative and weak, to have me misunderstand and blame God. It attempted in vain to get me to depart from and betray God, to drag me down into hell. Also, God’s wisdom is always based on Satan’s schemes. God used Satan’s disruptions to reveal my incorrect perspective on faith while also using His words to enlighten and illuminate me. This helped me recognize my motive of obtaining blessings from God and conducting transactions with Him. Through actual people, events, and things, God has allowed me to see through to Satan’s evil nature and despicable motives, enabling me to renounce evil and turn to virtue. I will no longer live by my desire to obtain blessings. With genuine faith in God, I can defeat Satan and be gained by God.
These experiences showed me how real God’s love and salvation for man is! From now on, I will pray to God and lean on God more, and I will stand witness through trials. I am determined to follow God unswervingly to the very end!