“You know whether you have a true belief, whether you have true faithfulness, whether you have a record of suffering for God….” Whenever I read this word of God, I felt it was inconceivable: After I accepted this stage of God’s work, I forsook my family, husband, and children, and left home to perform my duty; moreover, I tried hard to endure sufferings in performing my duty. Do I still have no record of suffering in the eyes of God?
One day, during my spiritual devotions, I read God’s words: “Of the sufferings people undergo, almost more than ninety-nine percent are despised by God. Unreservedly speaking, no one truly suffers for God, and everyone suffers for his own account. …it is the bitter cup made by themselves that people drink.” Facing these words of God, I could not but ask myself: Could the sufferings I’ve undergone really not be approved by God? In perplexity, I came before God to pray and seek: O God! I always feel that I have suffered so much in these years of following you, but you say that almost all the sufferings we have undergone are despised by you. I know this word of yours is absolutely true and discloses the substance of our inherent nature, but I have no knowledge of myself, even less understand the meaning of your word. Inspire and guide me. After the prayer, as I pondered God’s words, I thought about the “sufferings” I had undergone in the years of following God: Although I have left my home, my heart has not completely been put into performing my duty. So many times I was tormented because of losing my little harmonious family and failing to reunite with my family. So many times, because of having no true faith in God, I was afraid that my flesh would have no way out, and I racked my brains for my future and destiny. So many times, when I achieved some results in my work, I was disappointed because of failing to win others’ appreciation, and when I did not achieve good results in the work, I was distressed by the fear of losing my position and face. Still, so many times, when what God did did not fit my notions, I guarded against and misunderstood God because of not understanding the truth or knowing God…. I was recollecting these “sufferings” I had undergone. The more I thought, the more I felt brightened within; the more I thought, the more I felt ashamed and disgraced. Didn’t I, as God says, have no element of suffering for God? When did I suffer and pay the price for satisfying God’s heart’s desire? Didn’t I suffer entirely because I lost fleshly enjoyments and my extravagant desires were not satisfied? In undergoing these sufferings, wasn’t I living in the fooling of satan and stewing in my own juice? Wasn’t I chastising myself as a result of being unwilling to practice the truth? I suffered and paid the price not for the truth but suffered all for my flesh. How could such sufferings be approved by God? I did not know the sufferings approved by God, yet I always felt I had had some record of suffering for God. I was really too shameless!
O God, thank you for your inspiration and guidance, which has made me realize that I have not truly suffered for you and have not yet had any record of suffering for you. In future, I will try to know myself more deeply, do my utmost to pursue the truth and the transformation of my nature, and truly become one who is willing to suffer and pay the price for the truth, so as to set your heart at ease and satisfy you.
Weifang City, Shandong Province