252 Only by Undergoing the Pain of Refinement Can Man’s Love Become Pure
1. During his lifetime, Peter experienced refinement hundreds of times and underwent many painful ordeals. This refinement became the foundation of his supreme love of God, and became the most significant experience of his entire life. That he was able to possess a supreme love of God was, in one sense, because of his resolve to love God; more importantly, however, it was because of the refinement and suffering that he underwent. This suffering became his guide on the path of loving God, and became the thing that was most memorable to him. This suffering became his guide on the path of loving God, and became the thing that was most memorable to him. If people do not undergo the pain of refinement when loving God, then their love is full of naturalness and their preferences; love such as this is full of the ideas of Satan, and simply incapable of satisfying God’s will.
2. Having the resolve to love God is not the same as truly loving God. Even though all that they think of in their hearts is for the sake of loving God, and satisfying God, as if their thoughts are without any human ideas, as if they are all for the sake of God, when their thoughts are brought before God, such thoughts are not commended or blessed by God, or blessed by God. Even when people have fully understood all truths—when they have come to know them all—this cannot be said to be a sign of loving God, it cannot be said that these people actually love God.
3. Despite having understood many truths without undergoing refinement, people are incapable of putting these truths into practice; only during refinement can people understand the real meaning of these truths, only then can people genuinely appreciate their inner meaning. At that time, when they try again, they are able to put the truths into practice properly, and in accordance with God’s will, in accordance with God’s will; at that time, their human ideas are lessened, their human naturalness is reduced, and their human emotions are diminished; only at that time is their practice a true manifestation of the love of God. The effect of the truth of the love of God is not achieved through spoken knowledge or mental willingness, nor can it be achieved simply by being understood. It requires that people pay a price, and that they undergo much bitterness during refinement, and only then will their love become pure, and after God’s own heart, after God’s own heart.
from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh