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.
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