Christian read God's words

What Is True Faith in God?

Han Zheng was confused by these words, “God’s word and work are not all contained within the Bible, and they do exist outside of the Bible.” Later, through seeking communication with her co-workers, she understood that the Bible is only a record of God’s two stages of work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace and that there actually are words and work of God outside of the Bible.

What True Faith in God Refers to and How to Develop It

What True Faith in God Refers to and How to Develop It

What is faith? Many brothers and sisters in the Lord think that as long as they acknowledge God’s name, persist in reading the Bible, meeting and praying, and furthermore are able to sacrifice everything and labor, they are believers who have faith in God. But, this understanding is one-sided.

A Christian woman is praying and reading Bible

How to Keep Faith in God During Trials

A grain of sand: Brothers and sisters, I’m reading the Book of Job when practicing spiritual devotions lately. Whenever I see that God praised Job as a righteous, perfect and upright person who feared God and shunned evil, I admire him greatly in my heart, and I also want to learn from him. I see Job had great faith in God. When he lost his cattle and sheep all over the mountains, his untold wealth, and even his sons and daughters, he didn’t sin through his words blaming God, and he stood witness to God. In the trial he even said words with weight and testimony such as, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). When he suffered great pain from the sore boils all over his body, his wife told him to forsake God and betray God, but instead of doing that, Job said to his wife, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). From this I see that no matter what great sufferings and tribulations Job encountered, even in the face of death, he could retain his integrity by faith and didn’t rebel against or resist God. Job’s faith is very admirable. However, look at myself: Even though I have believed in the Lord for many years, my faith in the Lord is still very small. In my work and life, whenever encountering untoward things that harm my reputation and my interest, or suffering illness and tribulations, though I won’t say anything, I will still misunderstand and blame God in my heart, just unable to obey. Only when I reflect on myself afterward can I see that my faith in God is truly pitiful, and is worlds away from Job’s. If God allows me to encounter trials in the future, with such faith how can I stand testimony to satisfy God? If I can’t, I will be Satan’s laughingstock, and I won’t gain God’s approval. So, how can I have true faith in the Lord? If brothers or sisters have any understanding of it, please fellowship with me. Thanks! Poster: A grain of sand The way of faith: Thank God! A grain of sand, the moment I entered the forum I saw your post. It’s really arranged by God. Previously, I had the same question as yours. But thanks to God’s guidance, after I studied the Bible carefully, prayed earnestly, sought and fellowshiped together with my brothers and sisters, I got some understanding about how to have true faith. Now, I’d like to share it with you here. And if the brothers and sisters interested in this post have any good understanding, please join us and communicate it together, so that we can learn from each other. From the Book of Job we can know that when Job underwent God’s trial, he was already seventy years old. When he had all his property and children taken, even when his body was covered in boils, he still praised the name of Jehovah God, and retained the way of fearing God and shunning evil. This was inextricably linked to his paying attention to knowing God through practical experiences in his daily life. Job’s classic words “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” verified that his knowledge of God wasn’t vague but practical, that his knowledge of God ruling over and controlling everything was real. Job knew clearly in his heart that all his property, livestock, houses and children were bestowed by God. All of those were not obtained by his own hard work and effort. Without the favor and grace of God, no matter how he toiled, how much price he paid, he would have gained nothing. This was what Job was quite certain about in his heart. So, when God blessed him, he praised God’s name; when his property and livestock were robbed of and his servants were killed, he didn’t deny God or forsake God’s name, nor did he try to take them back. He accepted it from God, tearing his cloth up, shaving his head and then bowing down to worship God. This makes us truly see that it was because Job honored God as great and had a God-fearing heart that in tribulations and trials he was able to absolutely obey God, held no misunderstandings or complaints against God, and said the following words “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” At the same time, it can be seen that Job’s faith in God was true, and that his faith was on the basis of having real knowledge of God’s sovereignty. A grain of sand: Thank God! After reading your fellowship like this, I feel much brightened. It turns out that Job’s true faith in God was caused from his knowledge of God’s sovereignty. Job acknowledged from his heart that no matter whether he received good or evil, it was dominated and arranged by God. So he could stand witness to God in trials. This also makes me understand why God praised Job as a person who feared God and shunned evil: He never abandoned God, never did anything to rebel against or resist God under any circumstance; but instead he bore beautiful and resounding testimony for God relying on his true faith, and made Satan completely humiliated and defeated. Job’s faith is indeed worth our emulating! The way of faith: A grain of sand, your acceptance is pure. Thanks for God’s enlightenment! A grain of sand: The way of faith, I have another question: As Job had never seen God, and at that age there was no assembly to attend and no scriptures to read, then how did he confirm God’s real existence, see God’s power and know God’s domination over…

As-Christians-How-Can-We-Face-Trials-From-God-Audaciously-And-Calmly

As Christians, How Can We Face Trials From God Audaciously and Calmly?

Brothers and sisters of Testify God: Glad to write to you! I have met some problems and calamities in my life recently. Although I know from theory that they are trials and refinements from God, which are good environments for me, I’m still afraid of them a lot. What should I do to dare to face them? Jia Yin Sister Jia Yin: Hello! Regarding the question you asked, I know many Christians have faced it and been confused about it. It is normal that we have this confused and contradictory state. It’s chiefly because we don’t understand the purpose and meaning of God’s work of trials and refinements, and what desired effects should be achieved. The Desired Effects of Trials and Refinements God said: “Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:9-10). “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zechariah 13:9). It can be seen through God’s words that the purpose of God’s trials and refinements is to change and purify man, so that man can be gained and become the people of God’s kingdom. Just like our belief in God, when we’ve enjoyed abundant mercy, love and grace from God, we have profuse “faith” and resolve to fulfill God and repay His love. But if one day, trials come, for example, we are persecuted by our unbelieving families, have frustrations at work, problems in life or pains from disease, or are slandered and ejected by others, then we will have misunderstandings and complaints to God. Because we think that, we’ve paid and expended a lot for God but why do we still need to suffer these calamities? Only at this time can we find out that there are so many impurities in our belief in God, such as personal extravagant desires, transactions, extortions and other motivations, and that our viewpoint of belief in God is incorrect. God sees into the depths of mankind’s hearts and He arranges trials and refinements in order to purify our improper motivations and desires. Thus we can stand in the place of a created being and worship God. The Meaning and Significance of Trials and Refinements From appearances, trials and refinements bring us pains but it achieves the effect of saving us and purifying us. The more trials we meet and pains we suffer, the better we can be able to see that the corruption of us runs too deep, that we lack too much, and that our stature is so small. So we will keep praying, get closer to God and dare not leave Him even for a second. Meanwhile, we will feel that we are unable to overcome the many problems we encounter if we go away from God. Then we will always read His words, fellowship about His truth, get close to Him, rely on Him and practice His words often. The more God’s words we practice in this way, the more corrupt dispositions we can change. Hence we’ll get purified unwittingly and live by God’s word, and then get saved. As such, hardship is our best protection which urges us to come closer to God and pray more often. Through these hardships and trials, we can see God’s holy and righteous disposition, and feel His love and earnest intention in saving man. Meanwhile, we can also recognize the corrupt essence and the truth of our disobedient and God-resisting nature. Only by experiencing trials and refinements can our sins be cleansed. So, the way how we experience trials and refinements directly correlates with whether we can be saved by God! There is an admonition in the Proverbs: “The prosperity of fools shall destroy them” (Proverbs 1:32). It’s true that when we have a leisurely environment and don’t have any troubles, we will have enjoyment of flesh, covet the comforts of it, have no place for God in our hearts, are unrestrainedly dissolute in speaking or doing things, and even offend God and dishonor His name without knowing it. It’s just as what God says: “When people’s lives are easy, and there is no suffering in their environment, they are incapable of experiencing. In comfortable environments, it is easy for people to become depraved—but adverse environments make you pray with greater urgency, and make you dare not leave God. The more easy and dull their lives, the more people feel there is no point in living, and they even feel that they’re better off dead. This is how corrupt people’s flesh is; they can only receive benefits if they experience trials” (Practice 8). So they’re all good for us no matter what persecution or adversity, trials or refinements we meet. And this environment can prompt us to pray more often, get closer to God, read His word and seek His will, which lets us know how to rely on God and not go away from Him. Such hardship is a blessing, can only benefit and does no harm to us. This point can also be seen from the fact of God’s work—People who gain the approval of God are the ones who have experienced trials and refinements, such as Abraham. God told Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac, and he did so willingly, not talking conditions with God or making his own choices, so that he gained God’s approval. As for Job, no matter whether God gave things to or took away from him, blessed or gave him disasters, he still insisted on worshipping God and praising His name. Job didn’t have even a little complaint but followed God’s way: Fear God and shun evil. Finally, he said, “But he knows the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall…

What Is True Faith?

What Is True Faith?

By Li Xin What is faith? Under comfortable environments, with our works going well and family lives being peaceful, many of us will have the faith to follow the Lord, actively reading the Bible and attending meetings; however, once something unpleasant happens, we will become weak immediately. For example, when we are facing living difficulties because of losing our jobs, when our families lose peace due to something against our wishes happening, or when we are always refused a new job in spite of our praying, we begin losing our faith in God. Then, in consideration of all these things, what is real faith exactly? As for this question, there are two passages of words that speak clearly, “What does faith refer to? Faith is the genuine belief and the sincere heart that humans should possess when they cannot see or touch something, when God’s work is not in line with human notions, when it is beyond human reach. This is the faith that I speak of. People are in need of faith during times of hardship and refinement, and along with faith comes refinement. These are inextricable. No matter how God works or what kind of environment you are in, if you are able to pursue life, seek to have God’s work carried out within you, and pursue the truth, and if you have an understanding of God’s actions and are able to act according to the truth, then this is your genuine faith and this shows that you have not lost hope in God. Only if you are still able to pursue the truth through refinement, you are able to truly love God and do not develop doubts of Him, if no matter what He does you still practice the truth to satisfy Him and you are able to deeply seek out His will and be considerate of His will, then this means you have true faith in God.” “When you face sufferings you must be able to not consider the flesh and not complain against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or disappear. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design, and be more willing to curse your own flesh than to complain against Him. When you are faced with trials you must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping. Only this can be called true love and faith.” From these words, we see that true faith is the belief that we should possess when God’s work is not in accordance with our notions. When we face suffering and hardships, we do not lose our faith in God or complain against God and are able to follow God as always, and even if we can’t see His actions after praying, we still completely believe in His work and words without any doubts and have an obedient heart to seek out His will. This is true faith. To better understand this aspect of truth, let’s look at the experiences of Job and Moses. True Faith in Suffering and Trials Job was the richest man in the east; however, in the trials, in a very short time, all his possessions were robbed by bandits and his sons and daughters were crushed to death in the collapse of his house. Facing all this, Job didn’t complain against God, because he had seen a lot of God’s deeds through all things and thus deeply understood that everything he owned was bestowed by God. Therefore, even though God took away everything from him, he never lost his faith in God because of losses in his own interests, and instead he said, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). Afterward, Job was covered with sores. When his wife advised him to curse God, he said, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Because of his true faith, Job was able to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements in the trials, thus bearing resounding witness. In the end, he saw the back of Jehovah God and heard His voice. True Faith in Refinement Moses, as everyone who has read the Bible knows, before leading the Israelites out of Egypt, was exiled by Pharaoh to the wilderness because of his killing an Egyptian. Moses was originally an Egyptian prince and led an extravagant life in the palace; however, he had to raise sheep to make a living when in the wilderness, and moreover, what he would face every day was only animals, with nobody to talk to. We may wonder how he lived such a life. To everyone’s surprise, in those tough years, Moses, through praying to God and relying on Him, survived in the wilderness at last. What’s more, after forty years of refinement, not only his hot blood and natural personality were ground away, but also he developed true faith in God, being a man after God’s heart. Thus, after that, Jehovah God formally used him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When God called him, Moses didn’t make any personal choices, refuse or falter but instead accepted God’s commission. It is through forty years of refinement that Moses achieved this kind of faith. In summary, it can be seen that true faith reveals itself in trials and refinements. Though the circumstances that Job and Moses encountered were not the same, they were similar in that when faced with adversities, they still prayed to and praised God and maintained their faith in Him, no matter what He did. Therefore, in the end, they received God’s approval and blessings. We can see from these facts that every environment we encounter is arranged specifically for each of us by God, and that…

Lord Jesus and disciple peter

Why Did the Lord Jesus Approve of Peter’s Faith?

By Zhang Jin In Matthew 16:18-19 the Lord Jesus said: “And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Whenever I read these two verses, I would think: Why did the Lord Jesus give Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven? Since the Lord Jesus bestowed upon Peter such great authority, it means that the Lord Jesus approved of Peter’s faith and that Peter was a person after God’s heart. But I couldn’t understand why the Lord commended Peter since he had denied knowing the Lord three times before His crucifixion. I was very perplexed. One day, I opened the Bible, and turned to Matthew 16, trying to find from the context the prerequisite and background for the Lord Jesus’ giving Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 16:13-19 records: “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He said to them, But whom say you that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” I read these verses repeatedly and pondered them carefully: Did the Lord Jesus approve of Peter because, of His disciples, only Peter recognized He was the Christ? Why did the Lord Jesus say that Peter was blessed and give him the keys of the kingdom of heaven after he answered Him by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”? But I still could not figure out why the Lord approved of Peter’s faith, and didn’t know how I should pursue to receive the Lord’s approval of my faith. I asked all the preachers I knew these questions, but no one could give me a satisfying answer. I was very disappointed: Why do none of them know the answer? How then can they lead the believers onto the path of being approved by God? I felt that the prospects of my faith in God were bleak, thinking: If only I could see the Lord Jesus and ask Him about that. … Later, I finally found the reason that Peter gained God’s approval from a book, which says: “Why is it said that Peter is a fruit? Because he has something of worth, or something worth perfecting, he has a resolution to seek truth and has a firm will; he has reason, is willing to suffer hardship, and he rejoices in truth in his heart, and when he encounters something he will not let it go. These are all strong points.” “After a period of experience, Peter saw in Jesus many of the deeds of God, saw the loveliness of God, and saw much of God’s being in Jesus. So too did he see that the words of Jesus could not have been spoken by man, and that the work Jesus did could not have been done by man. In Jesus’ words and actions, furthermore, Peter saw much of the wisdom of God, and much divine work. During his experiences, he did not merely come to know himself, but also focused on observing the actions of Jesus, from which he discovered many new things; namely, that there were many expressions of the practical God in the work that God did through Jesus, and that Jesus’ words, actions, the ways He shepherded the churches and the work He carried out differed from any ordinary man. Thus, from Jesus he learned many lessons that he was supposed to learn, and by the time Jesus was about to be nailed to the cross, he had gained some knowledge of Jesus—a knowledge which was the basis of his lifelong loyalty to Jesus, and of his crucifixion upside down for the sake of Jesus.” “Though there were three times when Peter denied knowing Christ, and though he tempted the Lord Jesus, such slight human weakness bore no relation to his nature, and did not affect his future pursuit, and cannot sufficiently prove that his temptation was an act of antichrist. Normal human weakness is something shared by all people in the world—do you expect Peter to be any different? … Though the many years of painful experiences of Peter are not recorded in the Bible, this does not prove that Peter did not have real experiences, or that Peter was not made perfect. How can the work of God be fully fathomed by man?” “Peter was made perfect through experiencing dealing and refinement. He said, ‘I must satisfy God’s desire at all times. In all that I do I only seek to satisfy God’s desire, and whether I am chastised, or judged, still I am happy to do so.’ Peter gave his all to God, and his work, words, and entire life were all for the sake of loving God. … What Peter cared about was the true love within his heart, and that which was practical and could be achieved. He did not care about whether he would receive a reward, but about…

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