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…

face trials, Job and Abraham,

What Should We Do When We Face Trials?

By Huixin In the course of our believing in God, we will all encounter some trials, both big and small. Often times, however, we will be thrown into a panic or blame and misunderstand God, and thus live in torment. Then how shall we treat these trials in accordance with God’s wishes when faced with them? Every brother and sister will encounter trials, like illness, persecution and suffering, natural and manmade disasters. When these situations befall us, they are tests of our faith and obedience toward God. The Bible says, “For You, O God, have proved us: You have tried us, as silver is tried” (Psalm 66:10). “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” (James 1:2–4). From this we can see that trials are God’s tests and ordeals for people. They can temper people’s will, refine their confidence, cleanse the impurity in their belief in God, further their spiritual growth and make them soon become someone after God’s heart. So, how shall we treat God’s trials when they come upon us? God’s words say, “While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or have negativity within them, or to lack clarity on God’s will or their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, like Job. Although Job was weak and cursed the day of his own birth, he did not deny that all things in human life were bestowed by Jehovah, and that Jehovah is also the One to take it all away. No matter how he was tested, he maintained this belief. No matter what kind of refinement you undergo in your experiences from God’s words, God requires mankind’s faith. This way, what is perfected are people’s faith and aspirations. You cannot touch or see it; it is under these circumstances that your faith is required. People’s faith is required for when something cannot be seen by the naked eye, and your faith is required for when you cannot let go of your own notions. When you are not clear on God’s work, what is required is your faith and that you take a firm stance and stand witness. When Job reached this point, God appeared to him and spoke to him.” From God’s words, we see that when God’s trials come upon us, we will become weak and negative and this is normal, but we should have true faith in God. We should come before Him and seek His intentions. Even if they are not in line with our own notions and imaginings, we should still accept and submit to them with a seeking heart, because everything God does is good, and among it all is the will of God. Take Job for example. He feared God and shunned evil; when his children committed sins, he would offer sacrifices for them. Overnight, his great fortune disappeared, and his house collapsed and took his children’s lives with it. Although he didn’t understand God’s will then, he did not sin with his mouth by blaming God, but instead sought and prayed to God; after he understood God’s will, he praised God, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). He stood firm in his testimony during his trials, and thus gained God’s blessings. There was also Abraham. When he was 100 years old, God gave him a son. After his son grew up, God asked him to offer up his only son Isaac to Him as a sacrifice. Even though he became weak at the time, yet he knew that his son was bestowed by God, he did not complain and sincerely offered to return his son to God. When God tested him, he didn’t make a bit of his own choices or requirements but obeyed God absolutely instead, so God blessed him so that his descendants would be as numerous as the grains of sand on a beach or the stars in the sky, and would eventually become great nations. The faith and obedience of Job and Abraham are something we should imitate. The experiences of Job and Abraham allow us to realize that no matter what trials we face, we should not use reasoning with God or lay conditions on Him, but should obey and accept them unconditionally. This is the sense that we as created beings must possess. However, what is our attitude when facing God’s trials in our real life? Often times we may flee from God’s trials, and even misunderstand and guard against God because of not understanding the will of God as He tries people. Actually, when we understand the meaning of God’s trying people, we will not be wary of His trials, and we will obey and treasure all of them. This way we will stand firm and bear witness for Him in trials, and become people who are compatible with His intentions. God says, “If, like Job, man is able to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and can give his entire being to the hands of God, then will man’s end not be the same as Job’s—the receipt of God’s blessings? If man is able to accept and submit to God’s rule, what is there to lose? And thus, I suggest that you be careful in your actions, and cautious toward everything that is about to come upon you. Do not be rash or impulsive, and do not treat God and the people, matters, and objects He has arranged for you depending on your hot blood or your naturalness, or according to your imaginations and conceptions; you must be cautious in your actions, and must pray and seek more….” God’s words tell us that, everything disagreeable to us is set up meticulously by God. We need to come before…

How to Be Useful Vessels of God

How to Be Useful Vessels of God

By Jiaxin I heard a story: A group of colorful and beautiful pencils are about to leave the factory. Then they will go to different places to work and welcome their new life. First, they will suffer being sharpened by knives, because only through that can they begin to work; then they will be routinely criticized by rubbers, because only rubbers can correct the mistakes in their work; finally, they shall be held by one hand in their entire life, because only in this way can they perfectly fulfill their function, their way ahead be finer and their steps be steadier. Pencils spend their whole life experiencing these three processes: being sharpened by knives, being criticized by rubbers and being held by hands. Only through the three processes can they fulfill themselves. Otherwise, they will be worthless. Only after believing in the Lord did I know: Each of us is a vessel in the Lord’s hands. In order to let us realize our value and functions, the Lord arranges many sufferings in our entire life, including smiting, discipline, trials and refinements. Only through experiencing these environments can we turn into a useful person, shoulder heavy burdens for the Lord, and gain His perfection of us. Otherwise, we will be worthless. Just as the Bible says, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tries the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3). “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: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” (Zechariah 13:9). After being corrupted by Satan, we are full of satanic corrupt dispositions in our heart and soul, such as arrogance, conceit, crookedness, cunningness, selfishness, despicableness, and so on. We often live in these corrupt dispositions, unable to extricate ourselves from them. We are tortured to be extremely miserable so that we often cry out, “How could we free ourselves from the control of these satanic dispositions?” God’s words give us the answer. God says, “So if people do not have several years of refinement, if they don’t have a certain amount of suffering, they will not be able to avoid the bondage of corruption of the flesh in their thought and in their hearts. … Only in suffering can lessons be learned, which means being able to gain truth, and understand God’s intention. In fact, many truths are understood within experience of painful trials. Nobody says that God’s intention is known, that His almightiness and wisdom are understood, that God’s righteous disposition is appreciated in an environment of ease or in favorable circumstances. That would be impossible!” (“How to Satisfy God in the Midst of Trials”). From God’s words, I understand that only after experiencing the sufferings and trials arranged by God, can we cast aside our satanic dispositions, get rid of the bonds and control of them and no longer live in sin. Without a certain amount of suffering, we could never see through satanic disposition’s affliction on us and won’t forsake and abandon the bondage of Satan on us from heart. Although smiting, dealing, trials, and refinement bring pain to our flesh, only through these can we be perfected by God. Just like the gold, only through refinement can it be purer. Sufferings and trials are our cup of blessings, and even more the path we must take to become mature in life to be a useful vessel.   » Read more on our Why does God allow pain and suffering page, or click on the related articles below. • Required Reading for Christians: Trials—Another Kind of Blessing From God • What Should We Do When We Face Trials? Learn From the Story of Job • Why Does God Test Us? Have You Felt God’s Goodwill?

Job's trials

A Brief Talk About the 3 Differences Between Temptations and Trials

By Kelly, United States It’s said in the Bible, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man” (James 1:13). So, some brothers and sisters wonder the difference between temptations and trials. Below, I’d like to share a bit of my understanding of this issue. First, distinguish from the source. Matthew 4:3 records, “And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” This verse clearly states that Satan is “the tempter.” As we all know, when the Lord Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness after baptism, He was tempted three times by Satan. Job lost his vast wealth and all his children because of Satan’s temptation. And so on. It can be seen that temptations come from Satan and that God never tempts people. Just as the Bible says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man” (James 1:13). As for trials, they come from God. Just as Jehovah God said, “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). God appropriates Satan’s tests to try people. For example, when Satan made accusations of Job before God, God permitted it to tempt Job. As a result, Job lost all his property and his children in an instant, and later he was covered in sores head-to-toe. God used these things to try Job in order that he could bear testimony for Him before Satan and the worldly people. Second, distinguish from the substance and the effect. The substance of Satan is evil and malicious, so its temptations are also evil and malicious. For instance, when Satan tempted Adam and Eve, they listened to its enticements and ate the forbidden fruit. As a result, their spirits died, and they were driven out of the Garden of Eden by God and lived a cursed life of sweating and laboring. There is another example, concerning Job. When Satan first tempted him, his livestock, enough to cover a mountain, was carried off by the robbers, and his children were crushed to death by the collapsing house. When Satan’s second temptation befell Job, it raked his flesh, smiting him with sore boils from head to toe and causing him unbearable pain. The substance of God is righteous and holy, so God’s trials are beautiful and good. God’s words say, “He is almighty, holy, and righteous. So likewise, His flesh is also supreme, almighty, holy, and righteous. Flesh such as that is only able to do that which is righteous and beneficial to mankind, that which is holy, glorious, and mighty, and is incapable of doing anything that violates the truth or morality and justice.” When God subjected Job to trials, although he lost all his livestock, sons and daughters, and he developed terrible boils all over his body, and suffered the censure of his friends and even the abandonment by his wife, these trials brought him great benefit: He felt God’s care for him, his faith and obedience toward God were perfected, and his knowledge of God was heightened. Most importantly, because Job stood firm and bore testimony for God before the worldly people and Satan, he thoroughly got rid of Satan’s accusations, becoming a free person who worshiped God. Just as Job said, “But He knows the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Besides, after Job had undergone God’s trials, God blessed him, bestowing him with double the fortune and lifespan he had originally had, and ten beautiful children. And God appeared and spoke to him out of the whirlwind. Third, distinguish from Satan’s motives and God’s intentions. Temptations come from Satan. By means of them, Satan intends to harm and corrupt man, and wreck the relationship between us and God so that we will blame, leave and even betray God. But as for trials, they come from God. Through them, God wants us to learn to rely on Him to see His deeds during our experiences, thereby increasing our faith in Him; meanwhile God aims to purify the contamination within us and make us have more knowledge and obedience of Him. Next, I’d like to share some experiences of a sister of our church with you. When she was doing church work, one day her son called and said that her husband needed to be hospitalized because of illness. Hearing this news, she wanted to go to the hospital to look after her husband. But she was tied up with some important work in the church. At that time, she thought of God’s words, “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God.” God’s words allowed her to realize that this thing was a spiritual battle. That was Satan’s temptation befalling her and Satan wanted to disturb her from maintaining the work of the church. Meanwhile, God was testing her to see what she would choose at the crucial time, personal benefit or the benefit of the church. Feeling that God and Satan were watching her, she didn’t want to disappoint God. Thus, she determined to deal with the church work first and then go to care for her husband in the hospital. When she made this decision, to her surprise, her son rang up to say that her husband had gotten better. After experiencing such things several times, she gradually understood…

Bible Study: Trial Is God's Blessing

Trial Is God’s Blessing – Reflection on James 1:2-4

It’s written in the Book of James 1:2-4, “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.” From the verses, we can see that God blesses man and perfects man through trials and refinements. So when we are in trials, we should seek God’s will and face the trial with a positive attitude. In this way we can make up for our deficiencies and tempered our will in adversities. Eventually we can satisfy God’s will and requirement and be commended by God. Since ancient times, those who were used by God or blessed by God all experienced tribulations. They obeyed the environment God arranged for them and stood testimony for God, so that they gained God’s blessings. Moses was refined in the wilderness for 40 years, until his hot blood was ground away and he had the true faith to be fit for God’s use, to shoulder the heavy responsibility of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Abraham offered up his only beloved son, Isaac, to satisfy God’s heart. Finally he received God’s blessings for bearing testimony for God in the trial. Job upheld his faith to God after his property had been stolen and his children lost their lives. Finally he stood the testimony for God and gained God’s blessings. Peter experienced hundreds of trials in the journey of following the Lord. Finally he was nailed upside down on the cross for the Lord, and achieved obedience unto death and love to the utmost. In the Book of Daniel, it says, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried” (Daniel 12:10).These words tell us that only by experiencing trials and refinements can we be made purified and get changed in our life disposition. The Lord said, “Whoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). “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.”   » You might be interested in reading more: • A Reflection on How to Overcome Trials and Tribulations From a Story • How Can We Face Trials From God Audaciously and Calmly? • What Should We Do When We Face Trials? Learn From the Story of Job

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