I am a church leader. One day, I heard that a sister in the gospel-preaching team did not want to do her work anymore and prepared to go home, so I went to the host home where this sister stayed and wanted to have a fellowship with her. I saw the sister was red-eyed with weeping, and she said nothing when she saw I came. I sat down beside her and said: “What difficulties do you have? Let’s chat about it. But be sure not to forsake God!” As I’d just finished my words, the sister said, “It’s so hard and so difficult to preach the gospel! Day after day, I have to face the cold faces of the religious people, and sometimes I even suffered abuse and humiliation. Wherever I go, I was in fear of being caught by the great red dragon. I really cannot bear it anymore. I want to go home.” Then she began to weep again.
Seeing that the sister was passive to such an extent, I thought: She is so weak now; I should immediately fellowship with her about God’s day to stimulate her. Otherwise, what should I do if she really goes home? So, I said to her: “We can’t be foolish! You see what time it is now. Situations in various parts of the world are becoming more and more chaotic, and the disasters greater and greater; God’s day is close at hand! We have followed God up to now and have undergone so many sufferings; if you forsake God and go home at this crucial time, won’t all your previous efforts be wasted? Are you willing to die in this way?” Gradually, the sister stopped weeping, and her state changed a little for the better. And she said: “I won’t go home now. God’s day is coming soon, and even if I have to suffer, there are not many days left for that, are there? At this last crucial time, even with clenched teeth, I will persist to the end.” So the sister agreed to go on performing her duty.
A few days later, I saw this sister again. I did not expect that she became passive once more, and she kept complaining why God’s day still had not arrived. Although I fellowshipped a lot with her, her state still didn’t turn better. At that time, I was at a loss what to do, thinking: I have told you all that I should; what else should I do?
Having no choice, I had to come before God to pray: “O God, the sister’s state becomes poor again and again; I know this has something to do with me. But I am numb and don’t know which aspect of my deficiencies has caused this. May you inspire and enlighten me.”
After the prayer, in The Replies to the Churches in Various Places (2), I read such words: “It in itself is wrong to stir up the brothers’ and sisters’ enthusiasm by talking about the day of God, and it is not in accordance with the truth at all. Besides, God has never required us to stimulate the brothers and sisters by talking about his day, but requires us to resolve all of people’s problems through fellowshipping about the truth, so that they will have the enthusiasm to pursue because of having understood the truth. …People’s enthusiasm to pursue, if developed from the talk about God’s day, is only temporary; and it is with mixtures and cannot stand any test.”
Having read these words, I woke up all at once. Actually, the sister’s state has not been completely corrected because I only encouraged her by talking about God’s day but did not resolve her root problems with the truth.
The sister complained it was hard and difficult to preach the gospel, and that was because she did not understand God’s intention and the significance of undergoing suffering. I should talk with her about God’s eager intention to save man, causing her to know that preaching the gospel is God’s commission to us and the obligation of each of the chosen people, and that, although in preaching the gospel we have to face the cold faces of the religious people and the persecution by the great red dragon, our undergoing these sufferings is worthwhile and meaningful and we are sharing in the suffering of Christ, and at the same time, we can somewhat experience how difficult it is for Christ to do her work on earth. However, I encouraged the sister only by talking about God’s day but did not fellowship about the truth with her. As a result, she had the enthusiasm to cooperate not because she had understood God’s intention and the truth but because she had her own desires and intents. And when she encountered difficulties again in reality or her desires had not been satisfied, she would still become passive and weak and even utter complaints to God. As I performed my duty in such a way, how could I bring benefit to the life of others and how could I lead the people into the reality of God’s word and into God’s presence? I could only mislead the people, and cause them to pursue with an incorrect viewpoint all the time and to depart from God and forsake God. By working that way, I was essentially disrupting and disturbing God’s work of perfecting and gaining people.
Having thought of this, I felt afraid. I immediately fell down before God and prayed to him, “O God, thank you for your exposure, inspiration and guidance. I have realized the deviation in my service and the serious consequence of not using the truth to resolve problems. I have seen that to stir people’s enthusiasm by human methods cannot resolve the basic problems; on the contrary, it will cause people to have more mixtures and stronger desires in their belief in God and finally to fall because their aims are not achieved. At the same time, I have also understood that the enthusiasm aroused by human methods is only temporary and cannot stand any test of fact. Only by using the truth to solve people’s root problems and help them understand the truth can they have a true and lasting strength. And only such service is after your heart and approved by you. O God! I am willing to turn back to you immediately. I will try to settle the sister’s problems with the truth and lead her out of her passive and weak state.”
After the prayer, in view of the sister’s state, I found out the relevant words of God and fellowshipped with her about God’s intention and the significance of undergoing sufferings, to correct her wrong viewpoint of pursuing God’s day. Gradually, the sister’s state changed somewhat for the better, and she began to know her own corruptions….
Zhuanghe City, Liaoning Province