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In the evening, after Lina cleaned up, she coaxed her naughty child into sleep with difficulty. Then she came beside the computer, logged on to Skype and began to chat with two sisters.
Lina: I’m telling you my troubles. Last night, our shop was burglarized. I lost a phone, an umbrella, and some cash. The other members of staff also lost some things. And recently, my child has been naughty. When I speak to him, he doesn’t listen to me carefully. But he wasn’t always like this. Alas! To tell you the truth, I feel very confused now.
Susan: Sister, what’s your confusion? Go ahead and say it.
Lina: I have just received God’s work of the last days for a few days. How come I encountered these unhappy circumstances? Why did God not protect me?
Andy: Sister, it’s normal that we feel anxious for these things. But don’t be sad, or complain against God. Whatever problems we encounter, if we can’t see through or figure it out, we should calm down and make a prayer of submission to God. Never blindly do things or speak out of hand, lest we fall into Satan’s schemes.
Lina: Oh? Fall into Satan’s schemes? What does it mean?
Andy: Let Susan fellowship about it with us.
Susan: Well, thank God! Let’s first read two passages of God’s words together, and then we will be clear.
Saying this, Susan uploaded two passages of God’s words to their chat group.
Linda and Andy: OK!
Susan: God’s words say: “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. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle.” “God works, God cares for a person, looks upon a person, and Satan dogs His every step. Whoever God favors, Satan also watches, trailing along behind. If God wants this person, Satan would do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ways to tempt, harass and wreck the work God does in order to achieve its hidden objective. What is its objective? It does not want God to have anyone; it wants all those that God wants, to possess them, control them, to take charge of them so they worship it, so they commit evil acts alongside it. Is this not Satan’s sinister motive?”
Through God’s words, we can see: The things befalling us are a spiritual war. Because in the spiritual world, Satan sees us investigate and receive God’s work in the last days and be raptured before God’s throne, and it is unwilling to be defeated. Thus, it tries every possible means to carry out its schemes, making us encounter unhappy events such as losing property, our children being naughty, and other things, so as to destroy our relationship with God and make us complain about God, stray away from God, and lose God’s salvation. Let’s see Job’s experience: When his livestock all over the mountains was robbed and calamity befell his children, all these were Satan’s wager with God. Satan attacked Job and accused him of his, and then it put forth its hand to afflict Job in order to make Job abandon God and stray away from God. However, Job didn’t fall for Satan’s tricks but still held on to his integrity and stood testimony for God.
Lina listened carefully, and nodded her head.
Lina: Yes, after listening to God’s words and your fellowship, I understand a bit clearer. All I encountered is Satan’s scheme to destroy my relationship with God. God is saving man, but Satan is always disturbing and hindering us from receiving God’s salvation, attempting to let us return to its reign. How evil and despicable Satan is!
Andy: Yeah, we don’t understand the truths and can’t see through the spiritual struggle, so it is easy for us to fall into Satan’s schemes, live amid the matter and complain about God.
Lina: Hearing what you said, I think I should treat this matter carefully. I should learn from Job, never complain against God nor fall into Satan’s schemes, and stand witness for God.
Andy: Thank God! Good for you! Give you a thumbs up.
Susan: It is good to have such a determination. But we still should know why we doubt God and blame Him for not protecting us when we encounter unhappy circumstances. Does this expose an issue?
Lina felt puzzled and frowned.
Lina: What’s the issue?
Susan: It is about our views of pursuit in believing in God. As for this question, let’s first see why Job didn’t complain against God when he encountered the big disaster.
Andy: I know this. Because he knew everything of man come from God. How much wealth man will possess is decided by God. No matter whether God blesses or takes away, God is still the Creator and deserves man’s praise and worship. We humans shouldn’t have any requirements of Him. Just as what Job said, “shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21).
Susan: Yes! From this we can see: In Job’s belief in God, he didn’t pursue blessings. But our views about faith in God are in order to obtain blessings and peace.
Andy: Your words make me think of God’s words that reveal our views about belief in God. I will send them to our group. God’s words say: “People just regard the attainment of grace and the enjoyment of peace as symbols of belief in God, and the seeking for blessings as the basis for belief in God. Very few people seek to know God or seek a change in their disposition.” “Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest.”
Susan: Yes! Because we have such wrong views of pursuit, we think that since we, God should bestow grace and blessings on us and shouldn’t let us encounter any unhappy circumstances or disasters. Therefore, when calamities befall us, we will be negative, doubt, and complain. If we don’t turn our views around, once we encounter something involving our interests, we will be easily exploited by Satan, complain about God in spite of ourselves, and be unable to stand testimony for God. God’s words tell us: “Having faith in God, you should not solely seek blessings, but seek to love God and know God. Through His enlightenment and your own pursuit, you can eat and drink His word, develop a true understanding of God, and have a true love of God that comes from your heart. In other words, your love for God is most genuine, such that none can destroy or stand in the way of your love for Him. Then you are on the right track of faith in God. It proves that you belong to God, for your heart has been taken possession of by God and you can then be possessed by nothing else. Owing to your experience, the price you paid, and the work of God, you are able to develop an unbidden love for God. Then you are freed from the influence of Satan and live in the light of God’s word. Only when you have broken free from the influence of darkness can you be deemed to have gained God. In your belief of God, you must seek this goal. This is the duty of each of you.”
Therefore, we believers in God should not only seek blessings from God but should pursue to know God, love God and obey God. Just like Job, in his belief in God, he pursued to fear God and shun evil, and obey all God’s arrangements. He praised God not because of gaining God’s blessings, much less did he deny God because of receiving misfortunes. In the end, Satan was at its wits’ end and retreated in humiliation. Here is another example, Abraham, the father of faith. His belief in God was pursuing to obey God but not to gain blessings or grace. So, when he met something against his will, he could obey and accept without condition, willing to offer his only son Isaac, and finally he bore resounding testimony for God. Thus, when we face unfortunate events, if we can put aside our perspective of gaining blessings, pursue to obey and know God, and seek God’s will in all things, we will know God more and more, and gradually have more faith in and love for God. In the future, no matter what tricks Satan plays, we will not fall into them and will easily stand testimony for God.
Hearing that, Andy and Lina both thought for a while.
Andy: Yes, it’s true. If our view of belief in God is not right, we will indeed complain when the things against our will come upon us. So, if we want to make no complaints and stand testimony when we encounter things in future, we must reverse our mistaken views of pursuit and establish a proper perspective of belief in God. This is very important. Just like Job and Abraham, they believed in God not to seek blessings but to pursue to know God and obey God. So, when they encountered something that was not in line with their will, they didn’t complain about God but still were full of confidence in Him, and stood testimony for God.
Lina: Thank God! I again understand a little more. I pondered just now: When I encountered such unhappy circumstances—my property was stolen and my child was naughty, I had doubts and complaints in my heart. On one hand, it is because I didn’t know it was Satan’s temptation; on the other hand, it is because my perspective of believing in God was to gain blessings. Thanks be to God! Through this experience, I know these two aspects; this is my harvest. In future I will read more of God’s words and if I encounter something unfortunate, I will know how to experience it.
Susan: Thank God! …
Susan continued to fellowship with them. Lina made up her mind secretly: No matter how Satan disturbs and tempts me, I must, like Job, not pursue blessings, but pursue to obey God and seek to understand the truth, stand testimony for God, and never fall for Satan’s tricks.
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