The Finest Gift God Has Given Me
Before, I would frequently hear my brothers and sisters say, “Everything that God does is for the best; it is all what people need.” I verbally acknowledged this and agreed with it, but I didn’t have any true understanding and experience. Later, through an actual environment that God set up I finally realized that all God was doing to me was based on my own needs, and that it was the finest gift that can be given.
I had a particularly strong desire for status in my heart. When fulfilling my duty in the church, I was always hoping that the leader would pay attention to me and that my brothers and sisters would think highly of me, but reality was never as I hoped it would be. Over several years’ time, no matter who I worked with when fulfilling my duty, I had always been the assistant. No matter what was going on, the leaders would always discuss it with my partners and arrange for them to take care of things. It seemed that in the leaders’ eyes, I was an insignificant, unimportant person. I felt it unfair and I thought: “I fulfill the same types of duties and I’m no worse than the others. Why am I always the assistant? Why am I always inferior to someone else?” I experienced quite a bit of the suffering because my wishes could never be satisfied, and I was constantly living in the midst of my misunderstanding of God. I could not escape from it. One day, the leader had my partner put together some documents, but didn’t ask me to help. That hit a raw nerve for me. Although I knew that I shouldn’t go after that type of worthless thing, I just couldn’t let go of it, and I once again sank into pain. I thought: “Why does this type of situation always find me? Why isn’t what God arranged ever what I want? What isin this?” I really could not understand it.
Later, I saw the following words from God: “Corruption within human nature must be resolved through trials, however. In whichever aspects you do not pass, it is in these aspects that you must be refined—this is God’s arrangement. God creates an environment for you, forcing you to be refined there to know your own corruption. Ultimately you reach a point where you would rather die and give up your schemes and desires, and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement. So if there is anyone who does not have several years of refinement and if they don’t have a certain amount of suffering, they will not be able to get rid of the bondage of corruption of the flesh in their thought and in their hearts. In whichever aspects you are still subject to Satan’s bondage, in whichever aspects you still have your own desires, your own demands—it is in these aspects that you should suffer. Only in suffering can lessons be learned, which means being able to gain truth, and understand God’s will” (“How to Satisfy God in the Midst of Trials” in Records of Christ’s Talks). I felt a wave of warmth in my heart from God’s words, as if God were guiding me face-to-face, telling me what His will was in doing things this way, and allowing me to understand His good intentions. With that enlightenment from God, I took a fresh look at the environment He had created for me. I saw then that God knew me best; He was clear that my corruption from Satan was most severe in status, that I was most greatly constrained in this area. God couldn’t bear to see me always living under Satan’s domain and corrupted, oppressed, tortured, and trodden on by Satan. So, God targeted my nature, continuing to arrange environments to judge, chastise, try, and refine me. All of that was done to purify and transform the corrupt disposition within me, and to save me from the constraints and binds of status. God’s love andwas contained within it. But for so many years, I had never understood God’s good intentions. I wasn’t willing to accept God’s work of “divestment” on me. That is why I was always misunderstanding His heart and always felt that He was hard on me, suppressing me, and wouldn’t allow me to really show myself. If I, as a person who saw status as life itself, had actually had my own way in every domain, my internal desires would have just grown and grown, and in the end I would definitely have been detested, rejected, and eliminated by God because my striving for fame and gains offended God’s disposition. When that time came, I would have been utterly ruined for the sake of status. Only then did I understand the earnest intentions behind the work God had done on me for many years; only then did I see that the environments God had created for me were to save me. This is a love that cannot be expressed with words. My heart was moved by God’s sincere love and my misunderstandings toward God disappeared from my heart. I became willing to accept God’s chastisement and judgment, to be obedient within the environment that God had created for me, and to seek the truth to resolve my corrupt disposition.
It was only through this experience that I truly recognized that God creates environments to try and refine mankind, and there is both deep meaning and great love within this. The truth is that, for me, when those situations that were not in line with my conceptions were upon me, they were exactly what I needed in life. It was an essential means of God making me know and obey Him in order to save me. Just as a mother really understands her own children—which child needs what as they are growing up, what nutrition they need to be supplemented—a mother understands that well. Today, what God does in people’s lives is the same. God possesses penetrating understanding of people. The environments God creates for people and everything He does in their lives are based on what they need. All of it is most beneficial for their lives and it is to allow them to gain the truth, to escape from Satan’s influence of darkness, and to attain obedience to God. Only when people can be obedient within the environments that God has created for them can they gain the truth and life. If people give free rein to their own temperament and preferences and have God satisfy them, then not only will they not gain anything at all, but they will disgust God, and in the end can only harm and ruin themselves. This is because behind the curtain of what people like is nothing but the control of a corrupt disposition that can only make people more and more depraved and rebellious. It is entirely at odds with God’s requirements. It was at that time that I finally had some practical understanding of what God said: “… the path of today goes along with judgment and curse, but you should all know that what I have bestowed upon you, whether it be judgment or chastisement, they are all the best gifts I can give to you, and they are all things that you urgently need” (“Your Character Is So Lowly!” in).
I give thanks for God’s enlightenment that has allowed me to gain some knowledge and understanding of God’s work on man, and to see that the more I am unwilling to accept something, the more this is what I need to have in life entry, and the more I should accept it. I also realize that God’s essence is good, and what God does for mankind is all love. It is all what is most beneficial for people’s lives; it is the sustenance most needed in people’s lives, and it is the finest gift given to man by God. From today forward, I am willing to put myself entirely in God’s hands, to obey and accept all the work that God completes on me. I am willing to seek to know the truth, to gain the truth, and to achieve a change in disposition soon within the environment that God creates for me.
I See the Path to Knowing God
Just when I was sad and disappointed over this and losing my confidence in God, His words enlightened me: “Knowing God must be done through reading God’s word and understanding God’s word. Some people say: ‘I haven’t seen God incarnate, so how can I know God?’ God’s word is actually an expression of God’s disposition. From God’s word you can see God’s love for mankind, His salvation of mankind, and the way He saves them … because God’s word is expressed by God as opposed to God using man to write it out” (“Knowledge of the Incarnation” in Records of Christ’s Talks).
I will never be able to forget God’s love and salvation for me. If it hadn’t been for God designing my environment and dealing with my ambitious desires in the early stages of my life, how would I have been willing to let go of the faith that I had been living by for many years and that had become my life?
The Transformation of a Fallen Man
I strongly feel that it is Almighty God who has changed me and my wife, who has saved my marriage and family, and what’s more, has saved me from extreme corruption and transformed me from an arrogant, evil and filthy seeker of fame into a person who pursues light and justice, who has real life goals.
A Haughty Spirit Before a Fall
In the Bible, the Book of Proverbs says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Just as I was diving head-first into my work with very high hopes, I felt that, in my heart, I was losing touch with God. Not only did my work fail to fall into place, but also the effectiveness of our gospel work went from soaring to taking a nosedive. I fell into an extremely painful position, but wasn’t sure what I did wrong.