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…
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?
God doesn’t forsake us when He allows us to suffer setbacks or something unpleasant. If we know God’s good intentions, we shall not lose faith in God.
Why does God allow suffering? 9 Bible verses about suffering will help you understand God’s will and keep your faith in God in sufferings. Romans 8:2 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Psalm 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me: for my soul trusts in you: yes, in the shadow of your wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be over. Jer 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, you have made the heaven and the earth by your great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for you. Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us. John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ. » Read more on our Sermons on Suffering page, or click on the related articles below. • Why Isn’t Suffering Such a Bad Thing? Here Is God’s Will • Sovereignty of God Over Sufferings: It Contains God’s Good Intentions • I Saw God’s Protection in Suffering
As Christians, none of us are strangers to trials. So what approach should we Christians take to the trials God sets for us? And when trials befall us, what is God’s will?
If we are able to positively face tribulations and toughen ourselves through experience, we will realize that tribulation is the greatest blessing God bestows upon us.
Only through cruel training can eagles soar high in the air. In our life, we’ll meet many difficulties, but they are what God arranges for us to train us to grow.
No matter what hardships, refinement, or difficulties we encounter in life, God uses them to temper our will, so that we’ll become stronger and have more faith in God.
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.
God’s blessings is more than enjoying peace and joy God bestows upon us. Hardships and trials are the best blessings God bestows upon us.
The Lord once said: “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” The Lord’s burden is light, Then why is my life so tiring?
“Ring …” The phone rang, and it was one of my friends. She invited me to dine together at her home and I agreed readily. Then I packed up and went out by bicycle. I rode along the path which I often passed through, for it was the shortest way to her home. From afar I saw there were some barriers on the path in front of me. When I slowly came nearer, I found that in fact, a constructional force was mending the path. Then I looked to the right and saw there was a wall and no path to walk on; I looked to the left and saw there was a lawn, on which the construction workers were setting some construction objects, and it was hard for me to cross the lawn. I thought to myself: The path is under construction. What shall I do? Shall I go forward or go back? Just when I was wavering, one of the workers greeted me and motioned to me to walk through the open space of the lawn. I nodded, and then pushing my bicycle, I detoured the barriers and rode forward. However, before I rode much further, I had seen someone walking in front of me. The path was not wide, so in order not to knock him, I stopped to push my bicycle and walked forward. After passing him, I rode my bicycle to go forward again. But before I rode further, I had found there was a piece of wood blocking my way forward. I had no choice but to stop and remove the wood, and then carried forward. At last, I arrived at my friend’s home at the agreed time. Thinking of the things which happened on the path, I couldn’t help but sigh: During such a short journey from my home to my friend’s, I should meet with these setbacks. Similarly, is the path of life not bumpy like this? Many of us want to walk along a smooth path, and hope that we will live peaceful and smooth lives and that there will be no hindrance or obstacle in our studies, careers, future prospects and family lives. However, who can control all of this? Many events are often beyond our expectations, and also make us feel that we cannot control all these occurrences and ramifications at all. It’s just like I couldn’t imagine that the path, which had been always smooth, would be under construction and that there would be some barriers blocking my way forward on this path. However, when we meet these difficulties, many of us will hesitate, not knowing whether to advance or go back, and there are also many times when we don’t know how to face these things. For example, students all want to succeed academically and be famous and successful. However, when falling to pass the examination unexpectedly, they will hesitate over whether to continue to study in the school or not. Many of them will even become dispirited and mired in defeat after failing the college entrance examination. For another example, those who undertake a career all want to realize their ambitions and enjoy the happiness from fame and fortune. However, when unexpectedly running up against a wall in their careers, they will also hesitate over whether to give up or continue their struggle. In the meantime, some of them will become frustrated and hang a leg for they can’t undergo failure. And still for another example, some people only wish to have conjugal affection and a happy family. However, what they wish often can’t be fulfilled because of some unforeseen things. … It’s just as a hymn of God’s word says, “In their lifetime, no person knows what kind of setbacks they’re going to encounter, nor do they know what kind of refinement they will be subject to. For some it’s in their work, for some it’s in their future prospects, for some it’s in their family of origin, and for some it’s in their marriage.” So, when these unexpected things happen, with what kind of attitude will it be correct for us to face these things? God’s words say: “These daily vicissitudes and the ways they unfold, or the patterns by which they play out, are constant reminders to humanity that nothing happens at random, that these things’ ramifications, and their inevitability, cannot be shifted by human will. … From these daily vicissitudes to the fates of entire human lives, there is nothing that does not reveal the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty; there is nothing that does not send the message that ‘the Creator’s authority cannot be exceeded,’ that does not convey the eternal truth that ‘the Creator’s authority is supreme.’” “When confronting real-life problems, how should you know and understand God’s authority and His sovereignty? When you do not know how to understand, handle, and experience these problems, what attitude should you adopt to show your intention, your desire, and your reality of submitting to God’s sovereignty and arrangements? First you must learn to wait; then you must learn to seek; then you must learn to submit. ‘Waiting’ means waiting for the time of God, awaiting the people, events, and things that He has arranged for you, waiting for His will to gradually reveal itself to you. ‘Seeking’ means observing and understanding God’s thoughtful intentions for you through the people, events, and things that He has laid out, understanding the truth through them, understanding what humans must accomplish and the ways they must keep, understanding what results God means to achieve in humans and what accomplishments He means to attain in them. ‘Submitting,’ of course, refers to accepting the people, events, and things that God has orchestrated, accepting His sovereignty and, through it, coming to know how the Creator dictates man’s fate, how He supplies man with His life, how He works the truth into man. All things under God’s arrangements and sovereignty obey natural laws, and if you resolve to let…