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What Should Christians Do When Encountering Unfortunate Things?
By Xiaoxiao, United States
Editor’s note: On the path to, it is unavoidable that we Christians will encounter all kinds of misfortunate environments. Many of us think that since we believe in God, God should make sure everything goes smoothly for us. So why do we encounter unfortunate situations? What mysteries are there behind this? And what should we do when these unfortunate things befall us? The following account of a meeting will tell you the answer.
One day, Xiaoxiao, Hao Jing, Xiaoqing, Peter, and several other brothers and sisters were attending a meeting, and they had just finished singing a song of God’s words. However, Xiaoxiao looked very pensive.
When Hao Jing saw this, she said to her softly, “Xiaoxiao, you look as though you have something on your mind. Have you run into any difficulties? Just open up and talk to us about them.”
Xiaoxiao had a worried look on her face and said, “Recently, many unfortunate things have happened to my family. My husband’s long-distance bus breaks down frequently and we are losing money every day. Besides, my two sons have also met with mishaps. My younger son fell over accidentally and hurt his eye. Yesterday, I took my sons out to play, and my elder son was hit on the head by another kid’s bicycle. I just don’t understand this. I have long believed in, so why is my family not being kept safe and at peace?”
“Xiaoxiao, don’t worry,” Xiaoxia said. “In fact, the reason why you have encountered these misfortunes is that Satan is playing tricks in secret. Satan is unwilling to see us return before God, pursue the truth, and be saved by God. Therefore, it disturbs our families to make us develop doubts toward God. So long as we see things by standing on the side of God, and don’t fall for Satan’s tricks, Satan will retreat. When I first accepted Almighty God, I also encountered many unhappy circumstances. During that time, my child got sick frequently, which made me very worried, and I also encountered many troubles at work. But afterward, when I saw through Satan’s schemes, I didn’t complain about God and instead entrusted all my difficulties to Him. Then all things returned back to normal.”
At this time, Peter added: “That’s true. When I had just accepted the work of Almighty God, the pastors, elders, and my relatives and friends took turns to disturb me, and almost every day they used both the carrot and the stick to block me from accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days. At that time, I was also very weak. But later, through reading the words of God and the communications and support of the brothers and sisters, I came to understand that externally it appeared to be human harassment, but behind the scenes it was Satan’s trickery. When I finally made up my mind to follow Almighty God, they did not disturb me anymore.”
Hao Jing said, “From listening to Sister Xiaoxiao and the fellowshiping, we can all identify with their predicaments. After accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days, we all have undergone Satan’s disturbances. Only the things we’ve experienced are different. In fact, everyone who accepts God’s new work will encounter a spiritual battle, that is, all kinds of disturbances from Satan. Let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s words to help clarify this point.”
Xiaoxiao began to read God’s words in earnest: “Almighty God says, ‘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 occupy 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?’”
Hao Jing then fellowshiped this: “God’s words have made things clear. God comes to save us, but Satan is not resigned to see us come before God and follow Him. So it trails along behind God and uses all manners of things, matters, and people to disrupt, obstruct, and prevent us from believing in God. Or it causes us to meet with unfortunate situations, such as our children falling ill, our work not going smoothly, mishaps happening to our family, the pastors and elders disturbing us, or our family members persecuting us. In fact, behind all these things that befall us are spiritual battles. Satan uses these unfortunate things to sow discord between us and God, causing us to doubt God’s work. If we can’t see through Satan’s schemes, we are liable to deny and betray God, and in the end we will lose God’s salvation. So, we shouldand read His words frequently. Only by relying on God can we overcome all of Satan’s tests.”
“Right. Satan is so despicable!” said Xiaoqing. “When I accepted God’s new work, my son suddenly got a skin disorder and there were spots all over his body and head. I took him to see our family doctor and also to a dermatologist, however, he didn’t get better after taking the medicines and rubbing on the ointment they gave him. Seeing my son suffer, I got very weak. Then, at a meeting, Sister Hao Jing read a passage of God’s words for me: ‘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. … When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony.’ Through God’s words and her fellowshiping, I understood that my son’s illness was not only interference from Satan, but also a trial from God, and that when it happened to me it was the time when God required me to stand firm in my testimony to Him. Therefore, I entrusted my son’s illness to God, and resolved that regardless of whether my son got better or not, I wouldn’t complain to God and would resolutely and confidently follow Him. When I stood on the side of God, in less than two weeks my son became much better, and not long after his eczema cleared up entirely. After experiencing this, I gained some discernment of Satan’s evil essence. At the same time, I saw God’s almightiness and had more faith in God.”
Xiaoxiao said: “Thanks be to God! Through the words of Almighty God and all of your communications, I now understand that all of these unfortunate things that happened to my family were actually Satan’s disturbances. Satan was not willing to see me return to God’s presence, so it caused my son to be injured and my husband to lose money to disturb me, attempting to make me lose faith in God so that I would leave God and lose His salvation. Satan is totally despicable and evil! Now I understand that only by reading God’s words more can we see through Satan’s tricks and stand witness for God.”
Then Hao Jing said: “Thank God! Actually, the reason why we become negative when unhappy events befall our families is that on the one hand we don’t know God’s work and are unable to distinguish Satan’s schemes, and on the other hand our perspective about believing in God is incorrect. Let’s take a look at another passage of God’s words.”
At this time, the worried look on Xiaoxiao’s face had disappeared and she read: “Most people believe in God for the sake of peace and other benefits. Unless it is to your benefit, you don’t believe in God, and if you can’t receive God’s graces, you fall into a sulk. How could this be your true stature? When it comes to inevitable family incidents (children falling ill, husbands going into hospital, poor crop yields, persecution of family members, and so on), you can’t even make it through these things that often happen in day-to-day life. When such things happen, you’re thrown into a panic, you don’t know what to do—and most of the time, you complain about God. You complain that God’s words tricked you, that God’s work has messed you around. Do you not have such thoughts? Do you think such things happen among you only rarely? You spend every day living amid such events. You don’t give the slightest thought to the success of your faith in God, and how to satisfy God’s will. Your true stature is too small, even smaller than a little chick’s. When your husband’s business loses money you complain about God, when you find yourself in an environment without God’s protection you still complain about God…. Your belly is stuffed full of complaints, and you sometimes don’t go to assemblies or eat and drink the words of God because of this, you likely become negative for a great length of time.” After that, she said, “God’s words completely speak to my heart. As these words reveal, I believed in God only to receive peace and blessings. So when my desire to receive blessings was not satisfied, I became negative and weak, and even doubted the work of God. I now see that my perspective on faith was indeed wrong.”
The other brothers and sisters all nodded in agreement.
Hao Jing continued to fellowship: “Right. After we were corrupted by Satan, we have been influenced by satanic thoughts and views such as ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ ‘Why get up early if there’s nothing in it for me?’ and so on, thus becoming very selfish. We always only consider our own benefits, and even in our belief in God we try to make deals with God, thinking that since we believe in God we should receive God’s blessings and grace. When we don’t receive them, we become weak and passive, even to the point that we want to betray God and not believe anymore. It can be seen that our relationship with God is exactly one of naked self-interest—we just want to use God to satisfy our own desires. In fact, this type of belief can’t obtain God’s praise at all. For instance, if children show respect for their parents, not to repay them and thank them for bringing them up but to get their property, and when they are unable to get their property they ignore their parents, then don’t these children lack conscience and reason? Aren’t they rebellious? Will their parents say they are filial children? By the same token, God is the Creator, and we are His creatures, and our lives, the air we breathe, the food we eat—all of this comes from God; it is the law of heaven and earth that we believe in God and worship Him. If we believe in God for the sake of gaining blessings, God will not praise our faith. Today God has come to save us, and He hopes that we can experience His work in the environments that He has arranged for us each day, pursue the truth, and achieve knowing Him, instead of believing in Him for peace or grace. If we reverse our incorrect perspective of faith, and no matter whether God gives us grace and blessings we can obey God’s orchestrations and rely on our faith in Him to experience His work, then Satan will have no more schemes to employ on us.”
Peter then added: “I’ll also share a bit of my understanding. Through actual experiences, I have seen that God’s wisdom is carried out in response to Satan’s trickery. God allowing Satan’s testing to befall us is to use practical circumstances to reveal our incorrect perspective in faith, so that we can know our corruption. Without being revealed by these circumstances, we wouldn’t be able to see our deficiencies but would still think that we are loyal to God. It would not be beneficial for our maturity in life. From this, we can see that God’s work is so full of wisdom.”
At this point, Xiaoxiao felt very liberated, and said gratefully: “Thank God! After hearing your fellowshiping I see that I am really selfish and despicable. From when I started to believe in God, I always tried to make demands of God but never thought about how to satisfy Him. Whenever I encountered unfortunate circumstances, I would become negative and even doubt God. I really had no conscience. Now I have confidence to experience God’s work, and from now on, no matter what situations I face, I will rely on God, and resolutely and with confidence follow Him to the very end. Thanks be to God!”
Hao Jing added: “Thank God! When we encounter misfortunate things in the future, we should understand two points. First, it is Satan’s disturbance, but it is also God’s trial. We need to see through Satan’s trickery and stand witness for God. Second, it is right and proper for us human beings to believe in God and worship God; no matter what tribulations we will encounter or whether we can gain God’s blessings, we should persist in believing in God and worshiping God. This is the conscience and reason we should have. As long as we remember these two points, whenever we encounter unfortunate things, we will know how to experience them.”
The brothers and sisters all nodded their heads. The meeting continued …
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