4. The Significance of God’s Work of Trials and Refinement.
Relevant Words of God:
What internal state in people are these trials aimed at? They are targeted at the rebellious disposition in people that is incapable of satisfying God. There is much that is impure within people, and much that is hypocritical, and so God subjects them to trials in order to purify them. …
… God’s true love is His entire disposition, and when God’s entire disposition is shown to you, what does this bring to your flesh? When God’s righteous disposition is shown to you, your flesh will inevitably suffer much pain. If you don’t suffer this pain, then you cannot be made perfect by God, nor will you be able to devote true love to God. If God makes you perfect, He will surely show His entire disposition to you. From the time of creation until today, God has never shown His entire disposition—but during the last days He reveals it to this group of people whom He has predestined and selected, and by making people perfect He lays bare His dispositions, through which He makes complete a group of people. Such is God’s true love for people. Experiencing God’s true love for them requires that people endure extreme pain, and pay a high price. Only after this will they be gained by God and be able to give their true love back to God, and only then will God’s heart be satisfied. If people wish to be made perfect by God, and if they wish to carry out His will, and fully give their true love to God, then they must experience much suffering and many torments from the circumstances, to suffer pain worse than death, ultimately they will be forced to give their true heart back to God. Whether or not someone truly loves God is revealed during hardship and refinement. God purifies people’s love, and this is also only achieved amid hardship and refinement.
from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Faced with man’s state and his attitude toward God, God has done new work, allowing man to possess both knowledge of and obedience toward Him, and both love and testimony. Thus, man must experience God’s refinement of him, as well as His judgment, dealing and pruning of him, without which man would never know God, and would never be capable of truly loving and bearing witness to Him. God’s refinement of man is not merely for the sake of a one-sided effect, but for the sake of a multi-faceted effect. Only in this way does God do the work of refinement in those who are willing to seek the truth, in order that man’s resolve and love are made perfect by God. To those who are willing to seek the truth, and who yearn for God, nothing is more meaningful, or of greater assistance, than refinement such as this. God’s disposition is not so easily known or understood by man, for God, in the end, is God. At the end of the day, it is impossible for God to have the same disposition as man, and thus it is not easy for man to know His disposition. The truth is not inherently possessed by man, and is not easily understood by those who have been corrupted by Satan; man is devoid of the truth, and devoid of the resolve to put the truth into practice, and if he does not suffer, and is not refined or judged, then his resolve will never be made perfect. For all people, refinement is excruciating, and very difficult to accept—yet it is during refinement that God makes plain His righteous disposition to man, and makes public His requirements for man, and provides more enlightenment, and more actual pruning and dealing; through the comparison between the facts and the truth, He gives man a greater knowledge of himself and the truth, and gives man a greater understanding of God’s will, thus allowing man to have a truer and purer love of God. Such are God’s aims in carrying out refinement. All the work that God does in man has its own aims and significance; God does not do meaningless work, nor does He do work that is without benefit to man. Refinement does not mean removing people from before God, nor does it mean destroying them in hell. It means changing man’s disposition during refinement, changing his motivations, his old views, changing his love for God, and changing his whole life. Refinement is a real test of man, and a form of real training, and only during refinement can his love serve its inherent function.
from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God can perfect man in both positive and negative aspects. It depends on whether you are able to experience, and on whether you pursue being perfected by God. If you truly seek being perfected by God, then the negative cannot make you suffer loss, but can bring you things that are more real, and can make you more able to know that which is lacking within you, more able to come to grips with your real states, and see that man has nothing, and is nothing; if you do not experience trials, you do not know, and will always feel that you are above others and better than everyone else. Through all this you will see that all that came before was done by God and protected by God. Entry into trials leaves you without love or faith, you lack prayer, and are unable to sing hymns—and, without realizing it, in the midst of this you come to know yourself. God has many means of perfecting man. He employs all manner of environments to deal with the corrupt disposition of man, and uses various things to lay man bare; in one regard He deals with man, in another He lays man bare, and in another He reveals man, digging out and revealing the “mysteries” in the depths of man’s heart, and showing man his nature by revealing many of his states. God perfects man through many methods—through revelation, dealing, refinement, and chastisement—so that man may know that God is practical.
from “Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
No matter what part of God’s work it is, all is unfathomable to man. Were you able to fathom it, then God’s work would be without significance or value. The work done by God is unfathomable; it is too much at odds with your notions, and the more irreconcilable it is with your notions, the more it shows that God’s work is meaningful; were it compatible with your notions, then it would be meaningless. Today, you feel that God’s work is too wondrous, and the more wondrous it is, the more you feel that God is unfathomable, and you see how great God’s deeds are. If He only did some superficial, perfunctory work to conquer man and then that was it, then man would be incapable of beholding the significance of God’s work. Although you are receiving a little refinement now, it is of great benefit to the growth of your life—and so such hardship is of the utmost necessity to you. Today, you are receiving a little refinement, but afterward you will truly be able to behold the deeds of God, and ultimately you will say: “God’s deeds are so wondrous!” These will be the words in your heart. Having experienced God’s refinement for a while (the trial of[a] service-doers and the times of chastisement), some people ultimately said: “Believing in God is really difficult!” This “difficult” shows that God’s deeds are unfathomable, that God’s work is possessed of great significance and value, and is highly worthy of being treasured by man. If, after I have done so much work, you had not the slightest knowledge, then could My work still have value? It will make you say: “Service to God is really difficult, the deeds of God are so wondrous, God truly is wise! He’s so lovely!” If, after undergoing a period of experience, you are able to say such words, then this proves that you have gained God’s work in you.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When God works to refine man, man suffers, his love of God becomes greater, and 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. 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.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
a. The original text omits “the trial of.”