Today’s Gospel For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. – Proverbs 1:32 Reflection Two days ago, I took the potted to the outdoor. After a rain, it was almost limp like frosted eggplant. I was aching and thought: It’s hopeless … However, this morning I stumbled across the potted, and it became more vigorous. I couldn’t help but sigh: Rain makes flowers stronger. Aren’t our lives also this way? If one wants to have maturity in life, he must experience some setbacks and hardships. Only people such as this can become stronger. Because we cannot see the value of experiencing these hardships or understand that the adversity can serve as a paving stone to success, we are afraid of difficulties and hope that our life goes well once and for all. It is easy for us to become depraved and freeloaders, even lead a sated, idle life in comfortable environment. If we continue on this way, we will achieve nothing and live in vain. As for Christians, torment and refinement are the greatest blessings from God, because Christians need to endure being tempered by all kinds of sufferings if they want to gain life. The Bible said, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried …” (Dan 12:10). “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (Jas 1:2-4). There are many verses like these in the Bible. We can understand that we can be made perfect by God amid hardship and refinement. For example, the ancient saints and prophets beloved by God are used and blessed by Him after sufferings. Abraham, he could offer up his only son Isaac to satisfy God in the trial, and God blessed him and made his progeny as numerous as the stars of heaven, and as plentiful as the sand on the seashore. After forty-year affliction in the wilderness, Moses’ hot blood was cast away so that he was able to obey God and was fit for use by God. He finally carried the heavy responsibility of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Job’s property was robbed and his children suffered disaster, but he became a righteous man who feared God and shunned evil because of his true faith. In Peter’s process of following the Lord, he suffered hundreds of tribulation and refinement. In the end, he was nailed upside down on the cross for the sake of God. He achieved obedience unto death and had the supreme love of God. Only by undergoing ordeals, can our corruption be cleansed. After our sins are cast away, we can gain God’s praise and approval. Only the foolish people choose the easy life. Moreover, we wish to enter the kingdom of heaven once and for all, but Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Mat 11:12). We should change our viewpoint of pursuit and try our best to pursue the truth according to the Lord’s requirements. » Read more on Sermons on Trials and Tribulations page, or click on the related articles below: • How to Overcome Trials and Tribulations in Life • What Should We Do When We Face Trials? Learn From the Story of Job • Required Reading for Christians: Trials—Another Kind of Blessing From God
Today’s Gospel The LORD is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. – Psalm 34:18 Reflection From this verse, we see God’s compassion for man and that only God can save us from the sufferings. Living under the domain of Satan, man is afflicted and tortured by Satan, and has much sorrow and bitterness within. Only God has mercy on us and can save us from the sufferings. In daily life, trivial things, work stress, and complex relationship with family and friends make us live a tiring and hard life. And we often live in sins because of scrambling for reputation and fortune. We feel sad ourselves, and also cause pains to others. Only by coming before God, can we get rid of the bondage of sins and the pain of flesh, and live a free and released life. Just like this passage of words says, “The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time. ” » Further reading about the testimonies of God’s Grace: • God Is With Me, I Fear Disaster No More • After Husband Betrayed Me, God Guided Me Through the Pain • Understanding the grace of God: Accompanied by God’s Love, I Was No Longer Worried About My Children’s Illness
Suffering can perfect our faith and make us strong. Only if we face the hardships in life calmly and obey God’s arrangements can we live a happy life.