How to Pursue the Truth (3) Part Two

Then there are those who are in poor health, who have a weak constitution and lack energy, who are often sick with major or minor illnesses, who cannot even do the basic things necessary in daily life, who cannot live or get about like normal people. Such people often feel uncomfortable and unwell while performing their duties; some are physically weak, some have real illnesses, and of course there are some who have known and potential diseases of some kind or other. Because they have such practical physical difficulties, such people often sink into negative emotions and feel distress, anxiety, and worry. What are they feeling distressed, anxious, and worried about? They worry that if they keep performing their duty like this, expending themselves and running around for God like this, and always feeling this tired, then will their health deteriorate more and more? When they reach 40 or 50, will they be confined to their beds? Do these worries hold up? Will anyone provide a concrete way of dealing with this? Who will take responsibility for this? Who will be answerable? People with poor health and who are physically unfit feel distressed, anxious, and worried about such things. People with an illness will often think, “Oh, I’m determined to perform my duty well, but I’ve got this illness. I ask God to keep me from harm, and with God’s protection I need not be afraid. But if I get exhausted when performing my duties, will my condition flare up? What will I do if my condition really flares up? If I need to be admitted to hospital to undergo an operation, I have no money to pay for it, so if I don’t borrow the money to pay for my treatment, will my condition get even worse? And if it gets really bad, will I die? Could such a death be considered a normal death? If I really do die, will God remember the duties I’ve performed? Will I be considered to have done good deeds? Will I attain salvation?” There are also some who know they are sick, that is, they know they have some real illness or other, for example stomach diseases, lower back and leg pain, arthritis, rheumatism, as well as skin diseases, gynecological diseases, liver disease, hypertension, heart disease, and so on. They think, “If I keep performing my duty, will God’s house pay for treatment for my illness? If my illness gets worse and it affects the performance of my duty, will God heal me? Other people have been cured after believing in God, so will I be cured too? Will God cure me, just as He shows kindness to others? If I loyally perform my duty, God should heal me, but if only I wish God to heal me and He doesn’t, then what am I going to do?” Whenever they think of these things, they get a profound feeling of anxiety rising up in their hearts. Even though they never stop performing their duty and they always do what they’re supposed to, they think constantly about their illness, their health, their future, and about their life and death. Finally, they reach the conclusion of wishfully thinking, “God will heal me, God will keep me safe. God won’t abandon me, and God won’t stand by and do nothing if He sees me getting sick.” There is no basis at all for such thoughts, and they can even be said to be a kind of notion. People will never be able to resolve their practical difficulties with such notions and imaginings as these, and in their innermost hearts, they feel vaguely distressed, anxious, and worried about their health and their illnesses; they have no idea who will take responsibility for these things, or whether anyone will take responsibility for them at all.

There are also some who, although they don’t actually feel sick and have not been diagnosed with anything, know they have some latent disease. What latent disease? For example, it could be a hereditary disease like heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension, or it could be Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or some kind of cancer—these are all latent diseases. Some people know that since they’re born into such a family, this genetic disease will afflict them sooner or later. They wonder,[a] if they believe in God and pursue the truth, perform their duty well, perform sufficient good deeds, and can please God, will this latent disease pass them by and not come upon them? God, however, never made such a promise to them, and they never had this kind of faith in God, and never dared to make any guarantees or have any unrealistic ideas. Because they cannot have any guarantee or assurance, they expend a lot of energy and exert great effort in the performance of their duties, they focus on suffering and paying the price, and they will always do more than others and stand out more than others, thinking, “I will be the first to suffer and the last to take my enjoyment.” They always motivate themselves with this kind of motto, yet the fear and worry deep inside them about their latent disease cannot be driven away, and this worry, this distress, is always with them. Even though they may be able to endure suffering and hard work and are willing to pay the price in the performance of their duties, they still feel that they are unable to obtain God’s promise or an accurate word from God on the subject, and so they continue to be filled with distress, anxiety, and worry concerning this matter. Even though they try their best not to do anything about their latent disease, they still occasionally and subconsciously go looking for all manner of folk remedies to prevent this latent disease from suddenly befalling them on a certain day, at a certain hour, or without them being aware of it. Some people may from time to time prepare some Chinese medicinal herbs to take, some people occasionally go asking about folk remedy preparations they can take when needed, while some people from time to time go online searching for exercise tips so that they can exercise and experiment. Although it may be only a latent disease, still it is at the forefront in their minds; although these people may not feel unwell or have any symptoms at all, they are still filled with worry and anxiety about it, and deep inside them they feel distressed and depressed about it, always hoping to ameliorate or dispel these negative emotions from inside them through prayer or performing their duties. These people who really have an illness or who have a latent disease, along with those who worry about getting sick in the future, and those who were born with poor health, who have no major illness but who are constantly suffering from minor ailments, they constantly feel distressed and worried about the sicknesses and the various difficulties of the flesh. They wish to escape them, flee them, but they have no way to do it; they wish to let them go but they cannot; they want to ask God to take these sicknesses and difficulties from them, but they cannot say the words and feel embarrassed, because they feel that there is no justification for this kind of request. They know well that God is not to be beseeched regarding these matters, but they feel powerless in their hearts; they wonder,[b] if they place all their hopes on God, will they feel more at ease, and will their conscience be comforted? Therefore, from time to time they pray silently on this matter in their innermost hearts. If they receive some additional or unexpected favor or grace from God, they feel a little joy or comfort; if they receive no special care from God’s house at all, and feel no kindness from God at all, then they unknowingly slide once again down into the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry. Even though birth, old age, sickness and death are constants among mankind and are unavoidable in life, there are those with a certain physical constitution or special illness who, whether they’re performing their duties or not, fall into distress, anxiety, and worry over the difficulties and diseases of the flesh; they worry about their illness, they worry about the many hardships their illness may cause them, whether their illness will become serious, what the consequences will be if it does become serious, and whether they will die from it. In special situations and certain contexts, this series of questions causes them to become mired in distress, anxiety, and worry and unable to extricate themselves; some people even live in a state of distress, anxiety, and worry because of the serious disease they already know they have or a latent disease they can do nothing to avoid, and they are influenced, impacted, and controlled by these negative emotions. Once they fall under the control of these negative emotions, some people utterly give up all chances and hope of attaining salvation; they choose to give up performing their duty and even any chance of receiving God’s kindness. Instead, they choose to face and handle their own illness without asking for anyone else’s help and without waiting for any opportunity. They dedicate themselves to treating their illness, they perform no duty anymore, and even if they are physically able to perform their duty, they still don’t do it. What is the reason for this? They worry, “If my illness carries on like this and God doesn’t cure me, I could keep performing my duty the way I’m doing now and still die in the end. If I stop performing my duty and seek treatment, I could live a couple more years, and maybe it could even be cured. If I continue performing my duty and God hasn’t said He will cure me, my health might get even worse. I don’t want to perform my duty for another 10 or 20 years and then die. I want to live a few more years, I don’t want to die so soon, so early!” So, they perform their duty in God’s house for a time, observe for a time and, we could say, they watch to see what happens for a time, and then they begin to wonder, “I’ve been performing my duty, but my illness hasn’t gotten any better and hasn’t been alleviated. It looks as if there’s no hope of getting better. Back then I had a plan, thinking that if I abandoned everything and performed my duty faithfully, perhaps God would take this disease from me. But nothing has turned out the way I planned, figured, and wished. My illness is just the same as it was. All these years have gone by, and this disease still hasn’t let up any. It looks as if I must treat this illness myself. I can’t rely on anyone else, no one else can be relied upon. I have to seize my fate in my own hands. Science and technology are now so developed, as is medicine, effective medicines are available to treat all manner of diseases, and there are advanced treatment methods for everything. I’m sure this disease can be treated.” Having made such plans, they begin searching online or asking around and making inquiries, until finally they find some solutions. In the end, they decide what medicine to take, how to treat their illness, how to exercise, and how to take care of their own health. They think, “If I don’t perform my duty and focus on treating this disease, then there’s hope of being cured. There are so many instances of this kind of disease being cured.” After planning and scheming like this for a while, they finally decide not to perform their duty anymore and treating their illness becomes their number one priority—nothing to them is more important than living. Their distress, anxiety, and worry turn into a kind of practical action; their anxiety and worry turn from mere thoughts into a kind of action. Unbelievers have a saying which goes: “Action is better than thought, and even better than action is immediate action.” Such people think and then act, and they act fast. One day they think about treating their disease, and the next morning they have their things packed and are ready to leave. A few short months later, the bad news arrives that they died without being cured of their illness. Did they recover from their illness? (No.) It’s not necessarily possible to cure a disease by yourself, but is it for certain that you won’t get sick when performing your duty in God’s house? No one will make you such a promise. So, how should you choose, and how should you approach the matter of becoming ill? It’s very simple, and there is one path to follow: Pursue the truth. Pursue the truth and regard the matter according to God’s words and according to the truth principles—this is the understanding people should have. And how should you practice? You take all these experiences and put into practice the understanding you have gained and the truth principles you have understood according to the truth and God’s words, and you make them your reality and your life—this is one aspect. The other aspect is that you must not abandon your duty. Whether you are sick or in pain, as long as you have a single breath left, as long as you are still living, as long as you can still speak and walk, then you have the energy to perform your duty, and you should be well-behaved in the performance of your duty with your feet planted firmly on the ground. You must not abandon the duty of a created being or the responsibility given to you by the Creator. As long as you are not yet dead, you should fulfill your duty and fulfill it well. Some people say, “These things You say are not very considerate. I’m sick and it’s hard for me to bear!” When it’s hard for you, you can take a rest, and you can take care of yourself and receive treatment. If you still wish to perform your duty, you can reduce your workload and perform some suitable duty, one that doesn’t impact your recovery. This will prove that you have not abandoned your duty in your heart, that your heart has not strayed from God, that you have not denied God’s name in your heart, and that you have not abandoned the desire to be a proper created being in your heart. Some people say, “I’ve done all of that, so will God take this sickness from me?” Will He? (Not necessarily.) Whether God takes that sickness from you or not, whether God cures you or not, what you do is what a created being ought to do. Whether you are physically capable of performing your duty or not, whether you can take on any work or not, whether your health permits you to perform your duty or not, your heart must not stray from God, and you must not abandon your duty in your heart. In this way, you will fulfill your responsibilities, your obligations, and your duty—this is the faithfulness you should hold to. Just because you cannot do things with your hands or you’re not able to speak anymore, or your eyes no longer see, or you cannot move your body anymore, you must not think that God ought to heal you, and if He doesn’t heal you then you want to deny Him in your innermost heart, abandon your duty, and leave God behind. What is the nature of such an act? (It is a betrayal of God.) It is a betrayal! When they’re not sick, some people will often come before God to pray, and when they’re sick and they hope that God will heal them, placing all their hopes on God, they will still come before God and not abandon Him. However, after some time has passed and God has still not cured them, they become disappointed in God, they abandon God deep in their hearts and they abandon their duties. When their illness isn’t so bad and God does not cure them, some people do not abandon God; when their illness becomes serious, however, and they are facing death, they know then for certain that God really hasn’t cured them, that they have waited all this time only to have waited for death, and so they abandon and deny God in their hearts. They believe that if God hasn’t cured them, then God must not exist; that if God hasn’t cured them, then God must not be God at all, and is not worth believing in. Because God hasn’t cured them, they regret ever having believed in God, and they stop believing in Him. Is this not a betrayal of God? This is a serious betrayal of God. Therefore, you absolutely must not go that way—only those who obey God until death have true faith.

When sickness comes calling, what path should people follow? How should they choose? People should not sink into distress, anxiety, and worry, and contemplate their own future prospects and paths. Rather, the more people find themselves in times like these and in such special situations and contexts, and the more they find themselves in such immediate difficulties, the more they should seek the truth and pursue the truth. Only by doing this will the sermons you have heard in the past and the truths you have understood not be in vain and will take effect. The more you find yourself in such difficulties as these, the more you should relinquish your own desires and submit to God’s orchestrations. God’s purpose in setting up this kind of situation and arranging these conditions for you is not to make you sink into the emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry, and it is not so that you can test God to see if He will cure you when sickness befalls, or sound out the truth of the matter; God sets up these special situations and conditions for you so that you can learn the practical lessons in such situations and conditions, to attain deeper entry into the truth and into submission to God, and so that you know more clearly and accurately how God orchestrates all people, events, and things. The fates of man are in God’s hands and, whether people can sense it or not, whether they are truly aware of it or not, they should obey and not resist, not reject, and certainly not test God. You may die in any case, and if you resist, reject, and test God, then it goes without saying what your end will be. Conversely, if in the same situations and conditions you are able to seek how a created being ought to submit to the Creator’s orchestrations, seek what lessons you are to learn and what corrupt dispositions you are to know in the situations God brings about for you, and understand God’s will in such situations, and bear your testimony well to meet God’s demands, then this is what you should do. When God arranges for someone to get an illness, whether major or minor, His purpose in doing so is not to make you appreciate the ins and outs of being sick, the harm the illness does to you, the hardships and difficulties the illness causes you, and all the myriad feelings the illness causes you to feel—His purpose is not for you to appreciate sickness through being sick. Rather, His purpose is for you to learn the lessons from sickness, to learn how to feel for God’s will, to know the corrupt dispositions you reveal and the wrong attitudes you adopt toward God when you’re sick, and to learn how to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, so that you can achieve true obedience to God and be able to stand firm in your testimony—this is absolutely key. God wishes to save you and cleanse you through sickness. What about you does He wish to cleanse? He wishes to cleanse all your extravagant desires and demands toward God, and even cleanse the various plans, judgments, and schemes you make at all costs to survive and live. God does not ask you to make plans, He does not ask you to judge, and He does not allow you to have any extravagant desires toward Him; He requires only that you submit to Him and, in your practice and experience of submitting, to know your own attitude toward sickness, and to know your attitude toward these bodily conditions He gives to you, as well as your own personal wishes. When you come to know these things, you can then appreciate how beneficial it is for you that God has arranged the circumstances of the illness for you or that He has given you these bodily conditions; and you can appreciate just how helpful they are to changing your disposition, to you attaining salvation, and to your life entry. That is why, when illness comes calling, you must not always be wondering how you can escape it or flee from it or reject it. Some people say, “You say that I mustn’t flee from it or reject it, and that I mustn’t try to escape it, so what You mean is, I mustn’t go and get treatment for it!” I never said that; that is your incorrect understanding. I support you in actively treating your illnesses, but I don’t want you to live in your illness or to fall into distress, anxiety, and worry because of the impact caused by your illness, until finally you stray from and abandon God because of all the pain caused by your illness. If your illness causes you great suffering and you wish to receive treatment and for your illness to go away, then that’s fine, of course. It is your right; you have the right to choose to get treatment, and no one has the right to stop you. However, you must not live in your illness and refuse to perform your duty, or abandon your duty, or reject God’s orchestrations and arrangements because you are receiving treatment. If your illness cannot be cured, you will fall into distress, anxiety, and worry, and will therefore be filled with complaints and doubt concerning God, and will even lose faith in God, lose hope, and some will choose to abandon their duties—this is something you really should not do. When facing illness, you may actively seek treatment, but you should also approach it with a positive attitude. As to how much your illness can be treated and whether it can be cured, and whatever may happen in the end, you should always submit and not complain. This is the attitude you should adopt, for you are a created being and you have no other option. You cannot say, “If I’m cured of this disease, then I’ll believe it is God’s great power, but if I’m not cured, then I’ll not be happy with God. Why did God give me this disease? Why does He not cure this disease? Why did I get this disease and not someone else? I don’t want it! Why do I have to die so early at such a young age? How come other people get to keep on living? Why?” Don’t ask why, it is God’s orchestration. There is no reason, and you shouldn’t ask why. Asking why is rebellious talk, and this is not a question a created being should ask. Don’t ask why, there is no why. God has arranged things and planned things like this. If you ask why, then it can only be said that you are too rebellious, too intransigent. When something dissatisfies you, or God does not do as you wish or let you have your way, you become unhappy, you’re disgruntled, and you always ask why. So, God asks you, “As a created being, why haven’t you done your duty well? Why haven’t you faithfully performed your duty?” And how will you respond? You say, “There is no why, this is just how I am.” Is that acceptable? (No.) It’s acceptable for God to speak to you that way, but it’s not acceptable for you to speak to God in that way. Your standpoint is wrong, and you are too senseless. No matter what difficulties a created being encounters, it is perfectly natural and justified that you should submit to the arrangements and orchestrations of the Creator. For example, your parents begat you, raised you, and you call them mother and father—this is perfectly natural and justified, and this is how it should be; there is no why. So, God orchestrates all these things for you and, whether you enjoy blessings or suffer hardships, this is also perfectly natural and justified, and you have no choice in the matter. If you can submit until the very end, then you will attain salvation like Peter did. However, if you blame God, abandon God, and betray God because of some temporary illness, then all the relinquishing, the expending, the performing of your duty, and the paying the price you have done before will have been for nothing. This is because all your past hard work will not have laid any foundation for you to perform the duty of a created being well or take your proper place as a created being, and it will not have changed anything about you. This will then cause you to betray God because of your illness, and your end will be as Paul’s, to be punished in the end. The reason for this determination is that everything you have done before was so that you can obtain a crown and for the sake of receiving blessings. If, when you finally face illness and death, you are still able to submit without any complaints, it proves that all you did before was done sincerely and willingly for God. You are obedient to God, and ultimately your obedience will mark a perfect end to your life of faith in God, and this is commended by God. Therefore, an illness can cause you to have a good end, or it can cause you to have a bad end; the kind of end you come to depends on the path you follow and what your attitude toward God is.

Has the problem of people falling into negative emotions because of illness now been resolved? (It has.) Do you now have the correct ideas and views about how to face illness? (Yes.) Do you know how to practice this? If not, I’ll give you the trump card, the best thing to do. Do you know what it is? If illness befalls you, and no matter how much doctrine you understand you’re still unable to overcome it, your heart will still become distressed, anxious, and worried, and not only will you be unable to face the matter calmly, but your heart will also be filled with complaints. You will be constantly wondering, “Why isn’t anyone else sick with this disease? Why make me get this disease? How did this happen to me? It’s because I’m unlucky and I have a bad fate. I’ve never offended anyone, nor have I committed any sin, so why has this happened to me? God is treating me so unfairly!” You see, besides distress, anxiety, and worry, you fall into depression as well, with one negative emotion following another and without any way to escape them no matter how much you might want to. Because it is a real illness, it is not easily taken from you or cured, so what should you do? You want to submit but you can’t, and if you submit one day, the next day your condition worsens and it hurts so much, and then you don’t want to submit anymore, and you start complaining again. You go back and forth like this all the time, so what should you do? Let Me tell you the secret of success. Whether you encounter a major illness or a minor one, the moment your illness gets serious or you’re facing death, just remember one thing: Do not fear death. Even if you’re in the final stages of cancer, even if the death rate for your particular illness is very high, do not fear death. Regardless of how great your suffering is, if you fear death then you will not submit. Some people say, “Hearing You say this, I feel inspired and have an even better idea. Not only will I not fear death, but I’ll beg for it. Won’t that make it easier to get through?” Why beg for death? Begging for death is an extreme idea, whereas not fearing death is a reasonable attitude to adopt. Isn’t that right? (Right.) What is the right attitude you should adopt to not fear death? If your illness gets so serious that you may die, and the death rate for it is high regardless of how old the person is who contracts the illness, and the time from when people contract the illness to when they die is very short, what should you think in your heart? “I must not fear death, everyone dies in the end. Submitting to God, however, is something most people can’t do, and I can use this illness to practice submitting to God. I should have the thinking and the attitude of submitting to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and I must not fear death.” Dying is easy, much easier than living. You can be in extreme pain and you won’t be aware of it, and as soon as your eyes close, your breath ceases, your soul leaves the body, and your life ends. This is how death goes; it is this simple. Not fearing death is one attitude to adopt. Besides this, you mustn’t worry about whether your illness will get worse or not, or whether you will die if you cannot be cured, or how long it will be until you die, or what pain you will be in when it comes time to die. You mustn’t worry about these things; these are not things you should be worrying about. This is because the day must come, and it must come in some year, some month, and on some particular day. You cannot hide from it and you cannot escape it—it is your fate. Your so-called fate has been predestined by God and already arranged by Him. The span of your years and the age and time at which you die are already set by God, so what are you worried about? You can worry about it but that won’t change anything; you can worry about it, but you cannot prevent it from happening; you can worry about it, but you cannot stop that day from arriving. Therefore, your worry is superfluous, and all it does is make the burden of your illness even heavier. One aspect is to not worry, and another is to not fear death. Another aspect is to not feel anxious, saying, “After I’m dead, will my husband (or wife) remarry? Who will look after my child? Who will take over my duty? Who will remember me? After I’m dead, what will God determine my end to be?” Such matters as these are nothing you should be worrying about. People who die all have their proper place to go to and God has made the arrangements. Those who are living will keep on living; the existence of any one person will not affect the normal activity and survival of mankind, nor will the disappearance of any one person change anything, and so these things are nothing you should be worrying about. It is unnecessary to worry about your various relatives, and it is even more unnecessary to worry about whether anyone will remember you after you’re dead. What would be the point in anyone remembering you? If you were like Peter, then there would be some value to remembering you; if you were like Paul, then all you would bring to people would be calamity, and so why would anyone want to remember you? There is another matter for worry which is a most realistic thought people have. They say, “Once I’m dead, I’ll never lay eyes on this world again, and I’ll never again be able to enjoy the material life of all these things. Once I’m dead, nothing in this world will concern me anymore, and the feeling of living will be gone. Once I’m dead, where will I go?” Where you go is not something you should worry about, nor is it something you should feel anxious about. You won’t be a living person anymore, and you’re worrying about never again being able to sense all the people, events, things, environments, and so on of the material world. This is even more so something you shouldn’t be worrying about, and even if you can’t let these things go, it’ll be no use. What can bring you a little comfort, however, is that perhaps your death or your departure could be a new beginning for your next incarnation, a better beginning, a healthy beginning, a completely well beginning, a beginning for your soul to return again. It will not necessarily be a bad thing, as you could perhaps return to exist in a different way and in a different form. As to what form it will take exactly depends on the arrangements of God and of the Creator. On this point, it can be said that everyone should just wait and see. If you choose to live in a better way and in a better form after you die in this life, then regardless of how bad your illness gets, the most important thing is how you face it and what good deeds you should prepare, and not your pointless distress, anxiety, and worry. When you think in this way, doesn’t the level of your fear, terror, and rejection of death decrease? (Yes.) How many aspects did we just talk about? One was not fearing death. What others were there? (We’re not to worry about whether our illnesses will get worse or not, and we’re not to feel anxious about our spouses or children, or about our own ends and destinations, and so on.) Leave all of this in God’s hands. What else? (We’re not to worry about where we go after we die.) It’s useless to worry about these things. Live in the present and do the things you should be doing here and now well. You don’t know how things will go in the future, so you should leave all of this in God’s hands. What else? (We should hurry to prepare good deeds for our future destination.) That’s right, people should prepare more good deeds for the future, and they should pursue the truth and be people who understand the truth and are in possession of the truth reality. Some people say, “You’re talking about death now, so do You mean that everyone will have to face death in the future? Is this a bad omen?” This is not a bad omen, nor is it giving you a preventive inoculation, much less is it cursing anyone to death—these words are not curses. So, what are they? (They are a path of practice for people.) Correct, they are what people should practice, they are the correct views and attitudes people should hold to, and they are the truths people should understand. Even people who don’t have any kind of illness should also adopt this kind of attitude to face death. So, some people say, “If we don’t fear death, does that mean death will not come upon us?” Is this the truth? (No.) Then what is it? (It is a notion and their imagining.) It is absurd, it is logical reasoning, and satanic philosophy—it is not the truth. It is not the case that if you don’t fear or worry about death then death will not come upon you and you won’t die—this is not the truth. What I’m talking about is the attitude people should have toward death and illness. When you adopt this kind of attitude, you can then leave the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry behind you. You will then not be caught up in your illness, and your thinking and the world of your spirit will not be harmed or disturbed by the fact of your illness. One of the personal difficulties people face is their future prospects, and another is sickness and death. Future prospects and mortality can take control of people’s hearts, but if you can correctly face these two problems and overcome your negative emotions, then commonplace difficulties will not defeat you.


a. The original text does not contain the phrase “They wonder.”

b. The original text does not contain the phrase “they wonder.”

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