Yesterday, I saw a story on the Internet. A young man went home on horseback happily after earning a great deal of money outside. When he got halfway, it rained heavily. He was drenched to the skin, and then complained that the weather was not cooperative. Later, while he walked into the woods, a bandit, with gun in hand, blocked his way and intended to hijack him. Just at this moment, the horse galloped off because it was scared by the thunder. The bandit wanted to shoot at the young man, but because of the rain, the bullet was affected with damp, so that it missed fire. Therefore, the young man escaped. After surviving, he ceaselessly gave thanks to the rain.
After reading it, I thought: Much of the time, we deal with what befall us according to our personal preferences and imaginations as the young man did. We, however, don’t know that, behind what we see as “bad” matters with physical eyes, there is God’s goodwill, and that His good purpose usually is hidden behind them, which is unimaginable to us. Just like Joseph suffered many sorrows after being sold to the Ishmeelites secretly by his brothers and taken to Egypt when he was young. It was a bad thing on the surface, but he finally became the governor in Egypt. When every country would meet with the seven-year famine, he was blessed by God and received His revelation. He put sufficient grains aside in advance. Consequently, he helped his family pass through the hard times during the famine, and preserved all their lives.
For another example, Abraham had a son when he was a hundred years old, but God asked him to sacrifice his only precious son as a burnt offering, that is, give his son back to God. This matter also doesn’t fit our notions. How did Abraham react to it? He didn’t argue with God, or complain to and rebel against Him, but took his son to the mountain in accordance with God’s requirements. After building the altar, he was about to slay his son with the knife, when God stopped his action and then blessed him with progeny as innumerable as the sand on the sea shore and as numerous as the stars of heaven.
God once said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). I saw another passage of God’s word, “… and the work of God transcends the limits of man’s thinking and conception. The more that something is impossible, the more there is the truth to be sought; the more that something is beyond the conception and imagination of man, the more it contains the will of God.”
Considering these words carefully, we are but dust, clay men; how can we fathom the Creator’s wisdom? In many things that do not adhere to our conceptions and imaginations, actually, there is the truth to be sought. We should calm down and figure out God’s intentions—that is the reason and attitude that we should have. If we only cling to our conceptions and imaginations but do not seek God’s intentions, then we will probably play the role of opposing God and do something that offends God’s disposition, resulting in our being punished and cursed by Him. Just like when thecame to work, He did not conform to people’s conceptions and imaginations. They all believed the Messiah would descend in the palace, with a majestic-looking and a kingly style, and that He would lead them to overthrow the rule of the Roman government to have a happy, peaceful life. Only this was the King they had been expecting eagerly. However, as a matter of fact, the Lord Jesus was born in a manger and grew up in an ordinary family. He was filled with mercy and lovingkindness for people, and taught them to confess their sins and repent to God, to love God and enemies, and to be tolerant and patient with others. The purpose of His coming was to express the truth and redeem people from sin. However, at that time people who did not understand God’s kind intentions stubbornly held on to their own conceptions, and refused the truth expressed by the Lord Jesus, resisting and blaspheming Him without compunction. In the end, as they nailed Him to the cross, they received God’s punishment and curse—the nation of Israel was destroyed.
Up to now, most of us are still not clear about this aspect of the truth. We rely on our imaginations and conceptions to look upon things that happen to us and upon God’s work. When seeing what God does is not in line with our mind, we will misunderstand it and complain: “This thing is bad,” “That thing is wrong,” “God shouldn’t do like this,” “God cannot do like that,” and so on. When holding such and such a view, have we ever thought of what God’s intentions are? Do we really know His goodwill behind things? It’s worthwhile to ponder deeply over.
By Li Qing Whenever I see the lovely smile on the face of my sleeping child, I am always grateful for God’s grace from deep within my heart. During the years when I believe in God, Satan entices and interferes me, as well as tries to distance me from God all the time by taking advantage of my weaknesses, so as to achieve its purpose of devouring man. How intense the battle in the spiritual realm is! Looking back on the road I have walked, I thank God for His salvation from the bottom of my heart. It is God who leads me step by step so that I am not devoured by Satan and come before God gradually. When I recall those freeze-frames now, I feel the sweetness of peace in my heart. As we had no child after marriage, my husband and I went to a provincial hospital to have a physical. The expert told us that I had such a slim chance of getting pregnant that we’d better give up and could only rely on science and technology. Later, my mother-in-law preached to me the gospel of Almighty God’s work in the last days and testified the words of Almighty God to me. I thought: “If I believe in God, will He bestow a child on me? God is almighty, isn’t He?” At that time, I merely wanted to gain grace from God and thus I accepted Almighty God’s work. While building up my health by rest and through nourishing food at home, I had meetings with the brothers and sisters. Then I had a very successful operation in the city hospital, and the whole family felt happy for me. I thought: Uh, believing in God is really good! God indeed protects and blesses me! I should do my utmost to believe in God. When all of us were immersed in the joy of my pregnancy, I miscarried two months later. That hit me like a thunderbolt and made me feel unbearable pain as if my heart was hollowed out. I couldn’t help complaining to God: “Doesn’t God protect man? Those who believe in God will receive peace, won’t they? Why have I lost my fetus? I’ve believed in God, why did this happen to me?” My mind was crowded with whys. Seeing that I was weak and passive, my mother-in-law fellowshiped with me and pointed out that there was a battle in the spiritual realm, I should not complain about it. She said that we believers in God should obey His sovereignty and only such a person is a wise man. But I wouldn’t listen to her and thought believing in God did me no good. I even had a thought of betraying God. Afterward, I felt too depressed to stay at home. So, a month later I found a job in the place where my husband worked. I thought that my husband would take more care of me after my miscarriage. But during the several months when we stayed together, we often quarreled with each other over some trivial matters and this brought me more suffering. In my heart, I felt extremely confused about our life in future. As a person who had little faith in God, I also forgot to pray to Him. However, God didn’t have the heart to see me living in suffering, and He arranged people, matters and things around me to touch my heart. There was a church near our lodging, from which I could hear the hymns sometimes. One day, after hearing the hymns again, I suddenly realized that I had accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days. I had listened to the testimony my mother-in-law bore to me and read God’s words. I knew that the stage of work of the Lord Jesus had passed and He has already returned to do the new work, while the people in the religious church don’t know that. Yet God graced me and let me know that. How great a blessing it is! I thought in my heart: Today, God is gracious toward me and lets me hear the gospel of the kingdom and know that Almighty God is the second coming of the Lord Jesus. With such a great salvation coming to me, I should go back home and continue believing in and worshiping God. This idea became stronger and stronger in my heart, so I started on a journey home soon. When I came home, my mother-in-law kept on giving thanks to God and advised me to have meetings. She talked with me about my miscarriage and said behind it there was a battle in the spiritual world. At that time, I felt I was enlightened in her fellowship and could understand somewhat of God’s words. I saw God’s words say, “Everything God has done in humanity has been to make them positive and allow them to grow up in life. Can people not comprehend this? Everything that causes you to be negative is a weak point of yours; it is a vital point of vulnerability, open to Satan’s attacks. Do you understand this?” (“The Interpretation of the Thirty-fifth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”). God’s words awakened me. I realized that Satan’s gaze had been fixed on me since I believed in God. It knew that my biggest weakness was that I had wanted a child. Therefore, by using my intention of wanting to gain blessings through believing in God, Satan attacked and disturbed me and made me have a miscarriage. As a result, I misunderstood and complained to God. It wanted to see whether I would continue my belief in God. It is in this way that Satan fools me. All my suffering is caused by Satan. It disturbs and devours man in every way in order to ultimately make man stray from and betray God. It is too insidious, malicious and hateful. At the same time, I see behind everything that happens is Satan’s wager with God and what God wants is my testimony to Him. When I complained to God and even wanted to leave Him at that time, I just ran into Satan’s cunning schemes. No wonder when I left God and worked away from home, I was disappointed and often quarreled with my husband, living in misery. This was because after I strayed from God, Satan toyed and harmed me as it would like. Nevertheless, God never left me, and He still guided me during those painful days. By making me hear the hymns from the church, He led me to come before Him again. After knowing the bottom of all those things, I saw God’s care, protection, and His grandeur. Although Satan’s gaze was fixed on me, like a tiger eyeing its prey, God was always beside me and kept me. He moved my heart and spirit and led me to continue my path ahead through people, events, and objects around me, protecting me from struggling painfully under Satan’s domain. I once complained to God and misunderstood His heart, yet He did not treat me according to my every action, but still loved me. Thinking of this, I said to God in my heart, “O Almighty God! Thank You for bringing me back to Your family again and let me enjoy the watering and provision of Your words. I won’t leave You anymore, and I am willing to follow You and experience Your work.” Afterward, by constantly reading God’s word, I gradually understood that I always wanted to control my own fate and had my own ambition and desires, which was my weaknesses. If this could not be solved as early as possible, Satan would always exploit my weaknesses and attack me. Then, I consciously tried to equip myself with that aspect of truth. I read that God’s words say: “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable…. But when you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for and decided for you is a great benefit, and is a great protection, then you feel your pain gradually lighten, and the whole of you become relaxed, free, liberated” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). From God’s word, I realized that everyone cannot control his own fate and all matters and all things are dictated and arranged by God. Thinking back to my past, I placed trust in medical science to get a child. Although I was pregnant after the operation, I miscarried two months later and got nothing in vain. I was teased by Satan and suffered untold misery and hardship. “I don’t want to be fooled by Satan any longer. All things are controlled in God’s hand. I am willing to obey, for what God arranges for me is the best. I really had no sense to have my hands outstretched to God for grace and blessings. From now on, I won’t do that.” When I thought in this way, I felt at ease. However, God’s mercy unexpectedly reached me: I got pregnant once more! All our families could not believe that, because my husband and I had not consulted a doctor after my miscarriage. Even the doctor said before that it was hopeless for me to get pregnant normally, but it came true. I could not help crying with excitement and thanking God unceasingly in my heart. I learn from my experience that when we stray far from God, we can only be fooled by Satan and lived in suffering. Only by coming before God and obeying His sovereignty and arrangements, can we break free from Satan’s interference and receive God’s protection and blessing. Recalling what I experienced in the course, I see clearly that when people have their children and what happened at what time are all decreed by God. Now, my child is two years old, growing up in good health day by day. Along my life journey of following God, I feel extremely happy, and this is all because of God’s grace for me. All the glory be to Almighty God! If you have other understanding or new light about this article, you’re welcome to have a chat with us via the online chat window at the bottom of the website or send an email to email@example.com. We Look forward to sharing with more brothers and sisters about your enlightenment from God and growing together in Christ. 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Once saved, we are always saved and then can enter the kingdom of heaven. Is this view correct? Being truly saved is not that simple. Read this article to learn the true meaning of being saved and find the way to true salvation.
By Xiaoju Xinlian wept and complained, “How could I marry you? You are capable of nothing. I can never enjoy a happy life with you in all my life. If …” Her husband sat there in silence, with a helpless look. After her husband went to work, Xinlian sat there and fell into a reverie. Scenes of the past leaped before her eyes, and her thoughts ran back over the past … Xinlian has a gift for singing. When she was in primary school, she won the first place in the school singing contest. Once, a theatrical college came to her school to recruit students. Her teacher specially informed her to take the examination. On the day when she took the examination, she wore new clothes, and walked toward the examination room happily. She was glad to have the chance to show herself. She wished for a good result to reflect credit on her parents and her school. The exam began. She waited outside the room excitedly … “Next one, Xinlian.” When hearing her name called, Xinlian was pleased and nervous. After all, it was the first time for her to encounter such a situation. Meanwhile, it also was an opportunity for her to change her fate. She walked into examination room with vigorous strides. The recruiter asked her, “How old are you?” “Twelve,” answered she. The recruiter said, “Well, only twelve. No, you are too young. It must be thirteen at least.” Immediately, her smile faltered. Her dream ended in smoke in an instant. She then thought, “Alas! If only I had told them I was 13 when entering my name.” She didn’t know how she went back home that day. When Xinlian was in junior high school, her sister couldn’t go to work because she was sick. So their parents wanted Xinlian to replace her sister’s work. However, Xinlian persistently clung to her studies. Her parents had to agree with her. Later, she fell to pass the college entrance examination. Her parents knew she had a good foundation in study, so they repeatedly advised her to cram for the examination. Yet, caring about face, she put an end to her studies, no matter what her parents said. When she started to reach marrying age, her high school classmate Li Bin asked to marry her. He was a city dweller and promised that he would find her a job if they got married. At that time, it was hard for some people to get in with the townsfolk. But Xinlian was conservative: She felt shy to be in love with her classmate. Consequently, she chose her current husband. After she got married, her father-in-law died of illness, and her husband became a laid-off worker. Her husband was supposed to replace his father’s work. However, in order to ease their mother of her burden, they allowed their brother to be the replacement. In her spare time, Xinlian always thought: If I had said I was 13 years old when taking the entrance exam for acting school, then my fate perhaps would have been changed. If I had taken my sister’s place at work that year, maybe … If I had accepted my parents’ suggestions and crammed for the exam, I probably would have gotten in to university. If I had chosen to marry my classmate, maybe … If my husband had been the successor, maybe… Recalling this, she lamented over the setbacks she had suffered, over her changing fortunes, and wondered why she couldn’t control her fate. She often regretted her past wrong choices. For this reason, she looked up to heaven to sigh deeply, and the more she thought about it, the more she suffered, sinking into the scenes of “If … maybe …”, and unable to escape. And these also confused her. One day, Xinlian came across her old classmate Yanmin. They had not seen each other for several years. After greetings, her classmate asked her how things were with her. Xinlian tirelessly told her classmate about her years of ifs and maybes. Seeing Xinlian’s perplexed look, Yanmin tapped her on the shoulder and comforted her, “There are not so many ifs in our life. A common saying goes, ‘Human fate is ordained by Heaven.’ You need not live in pain all day. Here is a book. The word within it is very good. Let me read for you, ‘From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to perform your duty. You assume your role in the plan of God and in the ordination of God. You begin the journey of life. Whatever your background and whatever the journey ahead of you, none can escape the orchestration and arrangement that Heaven has in store, and none are in control of their destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work’ (‘God Is the Source of Man’s Life’). ‘Your temperament, caliber, appearance, stature, family in which you were born, your job and your marriage, the entirety of you, even the color of your hair and your skin, and the time of your birth were all arranged by My hands. Even the things you do and the people you meet every single day are arranged by My hands, not to mention the fact that bringing you into My presence today is actually My arrangement. Do not throw yourself into disorder; you should proceed calmly’” (“The Seventy-fourth Utterance”). Hearing these words with authority, Xinlian nodded her head ceaselessly, as if she found the answer. Indeed, no one can control his fate. Looking back over the past years, she had experienced lots of matters great or small, and so many of them were mistakes, but she was unable to do anything with them, and moreover, she was in control of nothing. … Yanmin saw her thoughtful air, saying, “What roles we play in our life are predestined by God. Everyone has his own duty and mission. Our families in which we were born, our jobs and our marriages all are arranged by God. No one can escape from the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. Because you haven’t come before God, don’t know the Creator, and don’t believe in His orchestrations and arrangements, you have been resisting them all along, with the result that you are living in such pain. If we can defer to the authority of the Creator, then we won’t have so many ifs and we won’t live in pain. Just as this passage of words says, ‘Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life’” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Listening to what Yanmin read, Xinlian felt these words really were good. Later, they usually read these words together, and shared their feelings and understandings with each other. One day, Xinlian saw the words in the book, “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives. … After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Not until she read these words did she realize that the reason why she lived in pain was not because God doesn’t rule well, nor because her fate arranged by God is bad, but because after having been corrupted by Satan, she always relied on the rule of life “The fate of man is controlled by his own hands” to live, wanted to control her fate, and failed to obey the situations orchestrated by God. This is actually the base means by which Satan corrupts and deceives man to stay away from God. For these sakes, she lived in pain. After understanding this, she came before God and prayed to Him. She resolved to bid farewell to her previous lifestyle, leave her all under the control of God, obey the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty in her rest time, and follow God to live a meaningful life. Xinlian then read these words to her husband, and he nodded approvingly. Afterward, with the fellowship of a friend, her husband also accepted God’s work. On one occasion, due to a small thing, she complained about her husband again, “If …” Her husband interrupted her, and said seriously, “Everything has been predetermined by God. You have no way to control yourself, nor do I. Only obeying the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty is the wisest option. …” At his words, she was so ashamed that she could find no words. From then on, she didn’t say, “If …”; rather, she learned to obey the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty in everything. Practicing in this way, she felt more and more relaxed, free, liberated.