20. I’ll Never Again Complain About My Fate

By Chen Xiao, China

Growing up, my family was relatively poor. We were never guaranteed basic necessities. My mother would often have to ask for grain from our neighbor just to keep us fed, and a lot of the clothes I wore had patches. I would often get picked on and discriminated against, the other kids would say I came from poverty. I felt kind of wronged, and thought I must have a bad fate to have not been born into wealth. In school, I studied hard, thinking: “If I work hard now, I’ll test into a university and be able to get a good job, then, surely, my luck will change and I’ll live like an elite?” I’d study late into the night, and I ended up ranking high in my class. I thought maybe this was my ticket to a better life. But during middle school, I was diagnosed with severe near-sightedness, as well as cataracts, lazy eye, and astigmatism. I was unable to look after myself and had to drop out of school. At the time, I was completely devastated, and I thought that my life was over, that my fate was set. In my heart, I complained about Heaven’s unjustness and thought I had a bad fate. Just like that, I became mired in depression.

After accepting God’s last days’ work, and seeing how our leader held gatherings in which he fellowshiped on truth to resolve issues, I became envious. I thought to myself: “What a glorious thing it would be if I could become a deacon or leader someday, and resolve brothers and sisters’ issues and gain their respect and support.” So, I put even more effort into reading God’s words, accepted whatever task the church gave me, and endured hardship and difficult work, hoping that one day I, too, could become a leader or deacon. But after several years, I still hadn’t been selected for any position. A sister that had accepted this stage of God’s work with me was made leader soon after entering the faith. Seeing this sister fellowshiping God’s words in gatherings to resolve issues, I thought to myself: “We accepted this stage of the work together, and not long after coming to God’s house, she is already serving as a leader and has gained everyone’s respect and support. As for me, no matter how hard I try, I still haven’t become a leader. So, I guess I have a bad fate.” Sometimes, when the suggestions I made weren’t implemented, I would think to myself: “Well, I’ll never become a leader anyways, I might as well just follow along in this small group. Be it in my career or God’s house, I’m destined to suffer and I’ll never distinguish myself in this life.” After coming to this conclusion, I gradually became less enthusiastic about reading God’s words and pursuing the truth.

Later on, my leader saw that I had some literary talent and had me fulfill a textual duty, I was indescribably happy, thinking I finally had a chance to distinguish myself. I worked extra hours and got some good results in my duty. Soon after that, I was promoted. I was just so happy and felt even more motivated in my duty. But then I developed a problem in my cervical spine, and it got worse, so I wasn’t able to do my duty properly. I was forced to head back to my original church and just do what duties I could. I was really depressed: “This cervical spine issue is difficult to cure and can relapse if I overtax myself. With that issue, it will be really hard for me to distinguish myself. I am fated to be unable to fulfill important duties. I just have a bad fate, nothing comes easily. I must have been born under a bad sign, because I’m terribly unlucky!” With this thought in my mind, I became negative and slacked off in my duty, and even delimited myself, thinking my future prospects were grim. Later on, I came before God to reflect on myself: Why was it that I always felt that my fate was bad and lived in such agony? In my seeking, I came across a passage of God’s words that gave me some insight on my state.

Almighty God says: “One kind of person’s emotion of depression may arise from their constant belief in their own terrible fate. Is this not one cause? (It is.) When they were young, they lived in the countryside or in a poor region, their family was not prosperous and, apart from some simple furnishings, they had nothing of much value. They had perhaps one or two sets of clothing that they had to wear even though they had some holes in them, and they could never ordinarily eat good quality food, but instead had to wait for New Year or holidays to eat meat. Sometimes they went hungry and hadn’t enough to wear to stay warm and having a big bowl full of meat to eat was a pipedream, and even finding a piece of fruit to eat was difficult. Living in such an environment, they felt different from other people who lived in the big city, whose parents were of means, who could eat anything they wanted and wear anything they wanted, who got everything they wanted right then and there, and who were knowledgeable about things. They’d think, ‘They have such a good fate. Why is my fate so bad?’ They always want to stand out from the crowd and change their destiny. However, it is not so easy to change one’s destiny. When one is born into such a situation, though they may try, how much can they change their fate, and how much better can they make it? After they become an adult, they are stopped by obstacles everywhere they go in society, they are bullied everywhere they go, and so they always feel so unfortunate. They think, ‘Why am I so unlucky? Why do I always meet mean people? Life was hard when I was a kid, and that’s just how it was. Now that I’m grown, it’s still so bad. I always want to show what I can do but I never get a chance. If I never get a chance, then so be it. I just want to work hard and earn enough money to live a good life. Why can’t I even do that? How can living a good life be so difficult? I don’t have to live a life superior to everyone else. I want at least to live the life of a city-dweller and not be looked down on by people, and not be a second- or third-rate citizen. At least when people would call out to me, they wouldn’t shout, “Hey you, come here!” At least they would call me by my name and address me respectfully. But I can’t even enjoy being addressed respectfully. Why is my fate so cruel? When will it end?’ When such a person didn’t believe in God, they considered it cruel. After they have begun to believe in God and to see that this is the true way, they then think, ‘All that suffering before was worth it. It was all orchestrated and done by God, and God did well. If I hadn’t suffered like that, I wouldn’t have come to believe in God. Now that I believe in God, if I can accept the truth then my destiny should change for the better. I can now live an equal life in the church with my brothers and sisters, and people call me “Brother” or “Sister,” and I am addressed respectfully. I now enjoy the feeling of having the respect of others.’ It seems as though their destiny has changed, and it seems that they no longer suffer and they no longer have a bad fate. Once they have begun to believe in God, they set their resolve to perform their duty well in God’s house, they become able to endure hardship and work hard, able to endure more than anyone else in any matter, and they strive to win the approval and esteem of most people. They think they may even be chosen to be a church leader, someone in charge, or a team leader, and won’t they then be honoring their ancestors and their family? Won’t they then have changed their destiny? However, reality does not quite live up to their wishes and they become dejected, and think, ‘I’ve believed in God for years and I get on very well with my brothers and sisters, but how come whenever it’s time to choose a leader, someone in charge, or a team leader, it’s never my turn? Is it because I look so plain, or because I haven’t performed well enough, and no one has noticed me? Every time there is a vote, I may have a slight hope, and I’d be happy even to be selected as a team leader. I’m so filled with enthusiasm to repay God, but I just end up disappointed every time there is a vote and I’m left out of it all. What’s up with that? Could it be that I’m truly only able to be a mediocre person, an ordinary person, someone unremarkable my whole life? When I look back at my childhood, my youth, and my middle-aged years, this path I’ve trodden has always been so mediocre and I haven’t done anything noteworthy. It’s not that I don’t have any ambition, or that my caliber is too lacking, and it’s not that I don’t exert enough effort or that I can’t endure hardship. I have aspirations and goals, and I can even be said to have ambition. So why is it that I can never stand out from the crowd? In the final analysis, I just have a bad fate and am destined for suffering, and this is how God has arranged things for me.’ The more they dwell on it, the worse they think their fate is. In the ordinary course of their duties, if they make some suggestions or express some views and always receive a rebuttal, and no one listens to them or takes them seriously, they become even more depressed, and they think, ‘Oh, my fate is so bad! Every group I’m in there is always some mean person blocking my way forward and oppressing me. No one ever takes me seriously and I can never stand out. When all’s said and done, it comes back to this: I just have a bad fate!’ No matter what happens to them, they always attribute it to them having a bad fate; they constantly put effort into this idea of having a bad fate, they strive to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of it and, as they turn it over in their minds, their emotions become ever more depressed. When they make a minor mistake in the performance of their duty, they think, ‘Oh, how can I do my duty well when I have such a bad fate?’ In gatherings, their brothers and sisters give fellowship and they think things over and over, but they don’t understand, and they think, ‘Oh, how can I understand things when I have such a bad fate?’ Whenever they see someone who speaks better than they do, who discusses their understanding in a clearer and more illuminated way than them, they feel even more depressed. When they see someone who can endure hardships and pay the price, who sees results in the performance of their duty, who receives the approval of their brothers and sisters and gets promoted, they feel unhappy in their heart. When they see someone become a leader or a worker, they feel even more depressed, and even when they see someone who sings and dances better than they do, and they feel inferior to that person, they get depressed. No matter what people, events, or things they encounter, or whatever situations they come across, they always respond to them with this emotion of depression. Even when they see someone wearing clothes that are a little nicer than theirs or whose hairstyle is a little better, they always feel sad, and jealousy and envy arise in their heart until, finally, they go back to that depressed emotion. What are the reasons they come up with? They think, ‘Oh, isn’t this because my fate is bad? If I was a little better looking, if I was as dignified as they are, if I was tall with a nice figure, with good clothes and lots of money, with good parents, then wouldn’t things be different from how they are now? Wouldn’t people then regard me highly, and be envious and jealous of me? At the end of the day, my fate is bad and I can’t blame anyone else for it. With such a bad fate, nothing goes right for me, and I can’t walk anywhere without falling over something. It’s just my bad fate, and there’s nothing I can do about it.’ Similarly, when they are pruned and dealt with or when brothers and sisters reproach or criticize them, or make suggestions to them, they respond to it with their emotion of depression. Anyhow, whether it is something happening to them or everything around them, they always respond with the various negative thoughts, views, attitudes and standpoints that arise from their emotion of depression(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (2)). God’s words reveal my situation perfectly. In the past, I thought that living the life of an elite and gaining the respect and support of others meant one had a good fate, while being from a poor family, living a lowly, destitute life and being disrespected by others meant one had a bad fate. I grew up in poverty, and basic necessities were never guaranteed. I wasn’t regarded highly by others, and was discriminated against and belittled. So I often thought that I had a bad fate. Having come from this background, I resolved to study hard to change my fate and live the life of an elite. But then, during middle school, I was diagnosed with severe near-sightedness and was forced to discontinue my schooling. So I thought I had no hope of realizing my dreams and felt very disappointed. After joining the faith, I was not satisfied with being just a normal believer, and I sought to become a leader or worker. I thought that by attaining status, I would gain everyone’s respect and support and that having status and reputation meant I had a good fate. I worked hard and sought to achieve my goal, but I still hadn’t become a leader or worker after a few years. When a sister who accepted this stage of work with me quickly became a leader, I was even more convinced I had a bad fate. Sometimes, when my suggestions were not implemented and I failed to gain people’s respect, I wouldn’t dare express my views anymore, and would just close myself off, silently cursing my bad fate. Later, when I was promoted in fulfilling a textual duty, I felt really happy. But then I developed a problem in my cervical spine that affected my ability to do my duty, and was forced to return to my original church and just do what duties I could. I felt so down on my luck, and that, ultimately, I just had a bad fate. I thought I’d never have a chance to distinguish myself again, that I would never be promoted, or given a big role, and would never be supported and respected by others. So, I became depressed and wasn’t meticulous in my duty, just going through the motions and getting through the day. I saw that I just sought status and the support and respect of others in all aspects. When things didn’t go as I desired, I would complain I had a bad fate, lose enthusiasm for my duty, stop actively sharing my view in gatherings, fail to accept the situations I faced from God and reflect on myself. As a result, my life entry ground to a halt. Wasn’t my negative state a kind of silent protest against God? In all my years of faith, I always said everything that happens every day is a result of God’s orchestrations and arrangements, but when things didn’t go my way, I didn’t submit and didn’t trust God’s sovereignty. Were these not the views of a nonbeliever?

Later on, I kept seeking: Why did I constantly feel that my fate was bad? What was wrong with my view? Then, I came across two passages of God’s words: “God’s arrangement of what a person’s fate shall be, whether it be good or bad, is not to be viewed or measured with the eyes of man or the eyes of a fortune teller, nor is it to be measured according to how much wealth and glory that person enjoys in their lifetime, or how much suffering they experience, or how successful they are in their pursuit of prospects, fame and fortune. Yet this is precisely the serious mistake made by those who say they have a bad fate, as well as a way of measuring one’s fate used by the majority of people. How do most people measure their own fate? How do worldly people measure whether a person’s fate is good or bad? Primarily, they base it on whether that person’s life goes smoothly or not, whether they can enjoy wealth and glory or not, whether they can live a lifestyle superior to others, how much they suffer and how much they have to enjoy during their lifetime, how long they live for, what career they have, whether their life is full of toil or comfortable and easy—these things and more they use to measure whether a person’s fate is good or bad. Don’t you measure it like this, too? (Yes.) So, when most of you encounter something not to your liking, when times are hard, or you aren’t able to enjoy a superior lifestyle, you will think you have a bad fate too, and you will sink into depression(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (2)). “God long ago predestined people’s fates, and they are immutable. This ‘good fate’ and ‘bad fate’ differ from person to person, and they depend on the environment, on how people feel and what they pursue. That is why one’s fate is neither good nor bad. You may live a very hard life, but you might think, ‘I’m not looking to live a high-end life. I’m just happy with having enough to eat and enough clothes to wear. Everyone suffers during their lifetime. Worldly people say, “You can’t see a rainbow unless it’s raining,” so there’s value in suffering. This isn’t so bad, and my fate isn’t bad. Heaven above has given me some pain, some trials, and tribulations. That’s because He thinks highly of me. This is a good fate!’ Some people think that suffering is a bad thing, that it means they have a bad fate, and only a life of no suffering, of comfort and ease, means they have a good fate. Unbelievers call this ‘a matter of opinion.’ How do believers in God regard this matter of ‘fate’? Do we talk about having a ‘good fate’ or a ‘bad fate’? (No.) We don’t say things like this. Say you have a good fate because you believe in God, then if you don’t follow the right path in your belief, if you are punished, exposed and cast out, then does that mean you have a good fate or a bad fate? If you don’t believe in God, you cannot possibly be exposed or cast out. Unbelievers and religious people don’t talk about exposing people or discerning people, and they don’t talk about people being cleared out or cast out. It should mean people have a good fate when they are able to believe in God, but if they are punished in the end, does that mean then that they have a bad fate? One minute their fate is good, the next their fate is bad—so which is it? Whether someone has a good fate or not is not something that can be judged, people cannot judge this matter. It is all done by God and everything God arranges is good. It is only that the trajectory of every individual’s fate, or their environment, and the people, events, and things they encounter, and the life path they experience during their lives are all different; these things differ from person to person. Every individual’s living environment and the environment in which they grow, both of which are arranged for them by God, are all different. The things every individual experiences during their lives are all different. There is no so-called good fate or bad fate—God arranges it all, and it is all done by God. If we regard the matter from the perspective that it is all done by God, everything God does is good and right; it’s just that from the perspective of people’s predilections, feelings and choices, some people choose to live a comfortable life, choosing to have fame and fortune, a good reputation, to have prosperity in the world and come into their own. They believe that this means they have a good fate, and that a lifetime of mediocrity and being unsuccessful, always living at the bottom of society, is a bad fate. This is how things look from the perspective of unbelievers and worldly people pursuing worldly things and seeking to live in the world, and this is how the idea of good fate and bad fate arise. The idea of good fate and bad fate only arises from human beings’ narrow understanding and superficial perception of fate, and from people’s judgments on how much physical suffering they endure, and how much enjoyment, and fame and fortune they gain, and so on. In fact, if we look at it from the perspective of God’s arrangement of and sovereignty over the fate of man, there are no such interpretations of good fate or bad fate. Isn’t this accurate? (It is.) If you regard the fate of man from the perspective of God’s sovereignty, then everything God does is good, and it is what every individual needs. This is because cause and effect play a part in past and present lives, they are predestined by God, God holds sovereignty over them, and God plans and arranges them—mankind has no choice. If we look at it from this standpoint, people shouldn’t judge their own fate to be good or bad, right?(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (2)). God’s words incisively pointed out the absurdity of people’s viewpoint of “good” and “bad” fate. People judge their fate based on whether their lives go smoothly, whether they attain status and wealth, and whether or not they achieve fame and fortune. Making determinations based on personal preferences is an unbeliever’s view and does not accord with the truth. With God, there is no such thing as a good or bad fate. God determines people’s fate based upon their previous and present life. Their fate is predetermined and arranged by God. I realized that my view was no different from an unbeliever’s. My whole life I sought wealth and status, to stand out and achieve fame and fortune. I thought attaining respect and support was the sign of a good fate, whereas my average, unremarkable life, living in poverty and failing to attain respect and be taken seriously, was marked by a bad fate. I saw, then, that my view was mistaken and derived from Satan. This was a limited understanding of fate espoused by unbelievers. I realized that those who achieve fame and great wealth may have honor, glory and the respect and support of others, and seemingly have a good fate, but they are spiritually empty, they suffer, feel that life is boring, and some even end up doing drugs and committing suicide. Emboldened by their own authority, some people cause trouble, commit evil and break laws, and end up behind bars, their reputations ruined. Do such people really have good fates? I saw that a person’s fate is not based on whether they enjoyed wealth and glory or how much suffering they went through. God determines and arranges how wealthy or poor someone will be. God predetermines our lives based upon our needs and all His arrangements are good. With God, there is no such thing as a good or bad fate. As for me, despite growing up in poverty, going through hardships and setbacks, and suffering quite a bit, my experiences all hardened my resolve in the face of suffering; this is an incredibly valuable ability for me in my life. What’s more, I have too strong of a desire for reputation and status. If I had tested into a university and achieved fame and fortune, I would certainly get swept up in that evil trend. Would I have come before the Creator then and received God’s salvation? God also predetermined that I would not be selected as a leader. I had some ability to comprehend God’s words, and was able to identify certain issues in my brothers and sisters, but I was not that competent, and couldn’t handle larger workloads. Leaders have to handle a lot of work, and if issues aren’t handled well, it will be detrimental to the church’s work. I now fulfill the duties that I am able to do, this is beneficial to me and the church’s work. I have seen the earnest intentions behind the situation God has orchestrated for me. I used to live by these absurd views, desiring to live the life of an elite. Whenever things didn’t go my way and live up to my desires, I would complain about my bad fate, become mired in depression and rebel against God. As a believer, I didn’t go by God’s words, instead adhering to the mistaken views of unbelievers. I was rebelling and resisting against God! Realizing this, I felt a bit horrified at what I’d done, so I came before God in prayer: “O God! I do not understand the truth and have not submitted to Your sovereignty and arrangements. I am truly arrogant and unreasonable. I’m willing to rectify my absurd views, submit to Your sovereignty and arrangements, and no longer resist You.”

Later on, I came across another two passages of God’s words that gave me some understanding of the harmful consequences of negative emotions. God’s words say: “Though these people who think they have a bad fate believe in God, and are able to relinquish things, expend themselves and follow God, yet they are likewise unable to perform their duty in God’s house in a free, liberated and relaxed way. Why can’t they do this? It is because within them they harbor a number of extreme and abnormal thoughts and views which cause extreme emotions to arise in them. These extreme emotions cause the way they judge things, the way they think, and their views on things to come from an extreme, incorrect and fallacious standpoint. They regard issues and people from this extreme and incorrect standpoint, thereby repeatedly living, viewing people and things, and comporting themselves and acting under the effect and influence of this negative emotion. In the end, no matter how they live, they seem so tired that they aren’t able to muster up any enthusiasm for their belief in God and pursuit of the truth. Regardless of how they choose to live their life, they cannot positively or actively perform their duty, and despite having believed in God for many years, yet they never focus on performing their duty with all their heart and soul or performing their duty satisfactorily, much less do they pursue the truth, of course, or practice in accordance with the truth principles. Why is this? In the final analysis, it’s because they always think they have a bad fate, and this leads them to have a profoundly depressed emotion. They become totally dispirited, powerless, like a walking corpse, without any vitality, exhibiting no positive or optimistic behavior, much less any determination or stamina to devote the loyalty they should devote to their duty, their responsibilities, and their obligations. Rather, they struggle reluctantly from day to day with a slipshod attitude, aimlessly and muddle-headedly, even unconsciously getting through the days. They have no idea how long they will muddle along for. In the end, they have no recourse but to admonish themselves, saying, ‘Oh, I’ll just keep muddling along as long as I can! If one day I can’t go on anymore, and the church wants to expel me and cast me out, then they should just cast me out. It’s because I have a bad fate!’ You see, even what they say is so defeated. This emotion of depression isn’t just a simple mood but, more importantly, it has a devastating impact on people’s thoughts, hearts, and on their pursuit. If you cannot turn your emotion of depression around in a timely and speedy manner, it will not only affect your whole life, it will also destroy your life and carry you to your death. Even if you do believe in God, you won’t be able to gain the truth and attain salvation and, in the end, you will perish(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (2)). “This kind of depression is not a simple or momentary rebelliousness, nor is it the temporary outpouring of a corrupt disposition, much less the outpouring of a corrupt state. Rather, it is a silent resistance to God, and a dissatisfied silent resistance to the fate arranged for them by God. Though it may be a simple negative emotion, the consequences it brings to people are more serious than those brought by a corrupt disposition. Not only does it prevent you from adopting a positive, correct attitude to the duty you ought to perform, and to your own daily life and life journey but, more seriously, it can also cause you to perish from depression(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (2)). Through God’s words, I saw that if someone thinks they have a bad fate, when they believe in God, fulfill their duty and treat people or things they encounter with this mistaken and extreme view, they’re liable to descend into negativity and depression, become muddle-headed in their duties, going through the motions, tuning out and lacking the desire to advance. Becoming mired in depression can lead to a downward spiral, ultimately resulting in destroying any chance at salvation. I saw that if I didn’t abandon this view, the consequences would be extremely dire! I thought of how I lived with this idea of having a bad fate. When I had to discontinue my studies due to my eye problems, my dreams of seeking fame and fortune were shattered, and I wouldn’t be able to live the respectable life of a wealthy person, and so I suffered greatly and lost hope for life. After I became a believer and fulfilled my duty, I still sought high status, and when I wasn’t promoted and wasn’t selected as a leader, I didn’t reflect on my deficiencies, didn’t come to know myself, instead, continually complaining about my bad fate and living in a negative state, unwilling to pursue the truth. Later on, when I developed the issue in my cervical spine, I thought I’d never be able to stand out in the future, and so I slacked off in my duties, resigned myself to failure, and slowly grew distant from God. I saw that this view of having a good or bad fate had tightly bound and fettered me, that I couldn’t submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements and was ever more resistant. I thought of those unbelievers who were always saying how bad their fates were. Because they were poor and powerless, lived in society’s underclass, failed to attain the respect of others and were often picked on, they did everything possible to change their fate, but when things didn’t go as they hoped, they would think about ending their life. Other unbelievers spent years studying diligently but failed to gain status or wealth and came to think they had a bad fate, some would even become severely depressed and deranged. I saw that when people do not understand the truth and live by absurd views, they do not treat themselves properly and do not view people, events and things correctly, ultimately leading them to sink into depression. These viewpoints are derived from Satan. Satan uses these absurd views to deceive and harm people, causing them to become depressed, degenerate, to not pursue the truth and, ultimately, to be cast out. Having understood all that, I realized I could no longer see things by this view of there being good and bad fates. If I continued in that way, I’d do myself in. So, I came before God in prayer: “O God! Every situation You orchestrate is done with earnest intentions and I will submit to them. I will resolve my corruption while doing my duty and will seek to improve in my duty.”

In my seeking, I came across this passage of God’s words: “What attitude should people have toward fate? You should comply with the Creator’s arrangements, actively and strenuously seek the Creator’s purpose and meaning in His arrangement of all these things and achieve understanding of the truth, bring into play your greatest functions in this life God has arranged for you, perform the duties, responsibilities, and obligations of a created being, and make your life more meaningful and more of value, until finally the Creator is pleased with you and remembers you. Of course, what would be even better would be to attain salvation through your seeking and strenuous effort—this would be the best outcome. In any case, with regard to fate, the most appropriate attitude created mankind should have is not one of wanton judgment and circumscription, or using extreme methods to deal with it. Of course, much less should people try to resist, choose, or change their fate, but rather they should use their heart to appreciate it, and seek, explore, and comply with it, before facing it positively. Finally, in the living environment and on the journey set for you in life by God, you should seek the way of conduct God teaches you, seek the path God requires you to take, and experience the fate God has arranged for you in this way, and in the end, you will be blessed. When you experience the fate the Creator has arranged for you in this way, what you come to appreciate is not only sorrow, sadness, tears, pain, frustration, and failure but, more importantly, you will experience joy, peace, and comfort, as well as the enlightenment and illumination of the truth which God bestows on you. What’s more, when you become lost along your path through life, when you are faced with frustration and failure, and you have a choice to make, you will experience the Creator’s guidance, and in the end you will attain the understanding, experience and appreciation of how to live the most meaningful life(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (2)). Through God’s words, I comprehended His will and saw how kind is God’s heart. Even though we will face hardships and disappointments in our lives, that does not mean we should try to resist or change our fate. Rather, we must submit to what God has predetermined, learn from the people, events and things God orchestrates for us and gain the truth. Only then will we find true peace and comfort. I thought about how it was with God’s permission that I was not selected as leader. I did not possess good work skills and was more suited to do a single duty, to be a regular follower, that was the best position for me. Now the church has assigned me to a watering duty. Through this duty, I’ve read a lot of God’s words about knowing His work, I’ve come to grasp certain principles regarding gospel spreading and discerning people, I’ve gained some knowledge of my corrupt disposition and I am now able to submit to the situations that God orchestrates for me. These are all real benefits and are the most precious of all riches. Now I realize that our entire lives are arranged and predetermined by God. Only by submitting, pursuing and gaining the truth in all kinds of situations, achieving dispositional transformation and attaining God’s salvation can we truly have a good fate. After that, I acted according to God’s words, fulfilling my duty with loyalty and devotion, and reflecting on myself and learning from setbacks and failures. Practicing in this way brought me peace and joy.

Recently, our leader has asked us to recommend talented brothers and sisters, and I thought to myself: “It would be a proud moment to receive a promotion. I could contribute to the expansion of the kingdom gospel, and the others would certainly envy and look up to me when they heard I’d been promoted.” However, the leader said to me that due to my illness, I wasn’t fit to fulfill a duty that required my going out. I felt a bit depressed and complained to myself: “All my brothers and sisters seem healthy, and they can be promoted and have more chance to practice, while I just have to stay at home and have no chance to stand out or attain glory. I just have a bad fate.” As these thoughts began to crop up, I realized I was living in a bad state again, so I came before God in prayer and seeking. I saw these words of God: “Status is not ordained for people by God; God provides people with the truth, the way, and the life, and ultimately makes them become an acceptable created being, a small and insignificant created being—not someone who has status and prestige and is revered by thousands of people. And so, no matter what perspective it is viewed from, the pursuit of status is a dead end. No matter how reasonable your excuse for pursuing status is, this path is still the wrong one, and is not approved of by God. No matter how hard you try or how great the price you pay, if you desire status, God will not give it to you; if it’s not given by God, you will fail in fighting to obtain it, and if you keep fighting there will only be one outcome: You will be revealed and cast out, which is a dead end. You understand this, yes?(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Three)). “The house of God has cast out many antichrists and evil people, and some who pursue the truth, after seeing the failure of antichrists, reflect on the path that those people took, and also reflect on and know themselves. From this, they gain an understanding of God’s will, resolve to be ordinary followers, and focus on pursuing the truth and doing their duty well. Even if God says they are service-doers or lowly nobodies, it’s fine by them. They will just try to be lowly people, and small, insignificant followers in God’s eyes, who will ultimately end up being called acceptable created beings by God. People like this are the good ones and those that God approves of(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Three)). Through God’s words, I realized that man is just a small and insignificant creature of God that lacks any real status. As a sensible person, I should be practical and stick to my place, seek to gain the truth, and transform my life disposition, as this is what God commends. If I constantly sought reputation and status, I would ultimately be cast out by God. I thought of those that I used to admire and respect as people with good fates, like Zhao Xue, a previous partner of mine. She was gifted, a great speaker, and was promoted to an important position. But while fulfilling her duty, she always sought reputation and status, which severely disrupted the church’s work. When she was replaced, she didn’t repent, and was expelled for doing all kinds of evil. Her failure was a warning to me. I saw that when people don’t pursue the truth and always strive for reputation and status, they will be exposed and cast out. Because I couldn’t do duties that required going out due to my condition, I started complaining to myself; this was my desire for reputation and status rearing its head again. I thought I could stand out by going out to do duties and that this would mean I had a good fate. I was still seeking reputation and status and walking a path in opposition to God. It is God’s will that I exist as His creature; no matter whether I go out or stay at home, I can always fulfill my duty and pursue the truth and dispositional transformation. I knew I should submit to God’s orchestrations and earnestly fulfill my duty, only this would put me at ease.

Through this experience, I gained some knowledge of my mistaken views, and I have seen how my complaining about my supposed bad fate is rebellion against God and a refusal to submit to His sovereignty and arrangements. If I continued like that, I would lose my chance at salvation. Going forward, I’m resolved to put aside my mistaken views, submit and fulfill my duty well.

Previous: 19. Seeing That I Was Sick of the Truth

Next: 21. Escaping Vanity Isn’t Easy

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