Chapter 88. Paying the Price to Gain the Truth Is So Meaningful
It’s not easy for young people to make a career; most of them won’t stay the course. Your heart must be calm, you must be able to stay the course and be willing to spend time on it. Others have fun or flirt around with others, but you say, “I can’t manage it, I don’t have the time. My business is very busy. You go and have fun. I must get my own business in order.” Only by being completely absorbed and devoted to your business can you succeed. In fact, you’re not lacking in energy now, nor are you lacking in professional know-how. To improve your professional aspect, you can do some research and learn. What’s more, you have this basis, this mind, these special skills; what you lack is actually putting in time and energy. Young people learn a little about professional things and understand some skills, so is it easier for them to succeed than it is for adults? When countries elect a president, is there any 20- or 30-year-old who gets elected? (No.) Why is that? They are not qualified enough in any field. They do not have enough experience, their minds are not mature, they don’t see the big picture; things such as their courage, insight, wisdom or capabilities are not mature yet. Moreover, there is a key reason why this is the case which is that, when people are young, they are impulsive about a great many things. And another reason is that, when people are young, there are many things in the world that they have not yet experienced or come across before, therefore many things will be tempting and seductive to them. That is to say, it is very difficult for young people to succeed at anything. No matter what you have studied, or what you took as your major, it is very difficult to succeed at anything good or important, to make a career, and the temptations are too great. Generally, people in their 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s have a lot of experience of the affairs of the world and, on the whole, their outlook on the world is fixed. They have experienced things in the outside world such as marriage, failures and setbacks, and all manner of temptations and seductions, and they have gotten through them. As for people of your age, around 20 years old, there are many things in the outside world that are a mystery to you; you want to experience everything, everything feels new to you and you are very curious about everything. You have no experience of it, so it’s always on your mind, you feel that the outside world in all its fascination isn’t necessarily that bad, and isn’t necessarily so terrible. In particular, within this environment in society, the people in your age group are not able to accurately discern the things they hear and see, and they don’t know which things are temptations, or which things will bring them woe or seduce them. Therefore, young people are, relatively speaking, much more fragile than adults and are in much greater danger. There’re few things people in this age group know in their minds, few things their hearts can see through and which their hearts are equipped with, and many things in this world are an unknown quantity and are unfamiliar to them, so there are many things they can never see through before they have experience of or have come cross them, and they can never know what these things are truly about. Therefore, if young people are in an ordinary environment, then they will find it very difficult to stand firm. If you are influenced for several years in the church, in this environment that has the truth, for at least 8 or 10 years, then your heart will have settled down and you will have taken root in the family of God. If you are not able to settle your heart down in this kind of environment, however, you will find yourself then in great trouble and danger.
Believing in God and performing one’s duty is the right path in life, it is the correct one to choose and, by the kindness of God, people have this opportunity to perform the duty of a created being. For people at such a young age as you who, it can be said, are in the prime of your youth, to be able to perform your duty is the kindness of God, and you are also trying to cooperate in this. But if you accidentally come to be controlled and restricted by some small matter, if you cannot continue to perform your duty and this small matter affects your duty, or it perhaps disturbs your duty or even brings your duty to an end—wouldn’t this be such a shame? This would be such a pity, such a shame. Therefore, you must pray together regularly and often quieten down; don’t think about those problems that have nothing to do with you or that you shouldn’t be thinking about right now, and close off that aspect of your heart. You are still young and are of few years, so don’t be too anxious to think about these things. The big things in life are not merely marriage, work and future prospects, or settling down and living peacefully. Neither is being impatient to find your place in society the only thing there is. These are not the most important things. What are the most important things? In the past, marriages and funerals were the big things; are these the biggest things now? (No.) What are the biggest things? (First, honor God’s trust in us, and perform the duties and functions that a created being should perform.) This is the resolution you should have. You now believe in God and you perform your duties, so your lives have started out in the right direction. This is great, and it is correct. So, what should you do next? Do you know? (Lay down foundations on the way of entry into life.) This is correct. Lay down foundations on the way of seeking the truth, ascertain the goal and direction of your life, allow the truth to lay foundations in your heart and, in this way, you will truly be someone whom God chooses, someone whom God has predestined. You must first lay the foundations. Your foundations now are not yet stable. Never mind a great storm, a little puff of wind could shake you at any moment, so it can be said that you have not yet laid foundations, and this is very dangerous. Establish your life goal, establish the direction in which you seek, and establish the path you must walk in this life. Set this goal and the big thing in life, settle down over the years, and work hard, expend, make effort and pay the price for the matter at hand and for this goal; don’t think now about anything else. Why shouldn’t you think about anything else? If you continue to think about those other things, then the matter at hand will not be your main concern, but instead it will become secondary. If you still keep thinking about finding a job, making a lot of money, getting rich, gaining a firm foothold in society, finding your own position, as well as thinking about getting married and finding a husband or wife, how many big things are these? And then you want to think about acquiring skills and abilities in the future, how to be an outstanding person, and you want to support and raise a family in the future and give your parents a good life. Won’t you be exhausted? How big is your heart? How much energy does someone have in a lifetime? For how many years are people at their most energetic, and how many years can be considered their best years? In someone’s whole life, the simplest time, the time when their energy is at its most exuberant, is when they’re in their twenties, at most up to 40 years old. During this time, you must grasp the truth you should understand in your belief in God, and then enter into the reality of the truth, accept God’s judgment and chastisement and accept God’s refinement and trials—what must you achieve by doing this? You won’t deny God no matter the circumstances—this is most fundamental; besides this, no matter who pulls or drags you, or if you later get married and find a husband or wife, you won’t give up on your duties and give up on the things a created being is supposed to do; and moreover, if at some point in the future God doesn’t want you, you will still be able to seek the truth and seek to walk the way of fearing God and shunning evil. You must work hard on these aspects; if you do, then these years will not be lived in vain.
And some people are still so befuddled, dreaming all day long. They say, “There’s still plenty of time before God’s work ends. It’s normal to eat, drink, marry and give in marriage, and with or without me, it makes no difference.” It’s right that it makes no difference with or without them. But there are times when God saves man, and when it’s time for God’s work to end, there is only one person that can be saved; He just takes that one person away and destroys all the others—this is God’s disposition. Man cannot discern it and they cannot see through it. How many people died during Noah’s time? Noah was building the ark for over 100 years, and all those people were unrepentant. In the end, God saved only Noah and his family of eight, and after these eight people had embarked upon the ark, what then happened to all those who were left? (They were utterly destroyed.) Those of mankind who are unable to be saved are bugs and ants in the eyes of God. While God is saving man, His disposition is merciful, loving and tolerant; but when God’s work of saving man is complete, He is no longer tolerant and He withdraws His tolerance, and only His wrath and majesty remain. This time you are currently living in is actually a very good time. At this time when God’s work is most crucial, you are just at the right age, you happen to come across it and you can all do your duties. No matter what profession you’ve studied, what you’ve mastered or what special skills you have, by means of your own special skills you have come to the house of God to do your duties. This is the kindness of God and it is an opportunity that does not come around every day. God’s actions favor no one. He is kind to you and allows you to enjoy this blessing, not so that you can satisfy your flesh and not so that you can live a life of comfort and make no attempt to progress. No matter what kind of opening God gives to you, no matter how kind He is to you, in the end He has only one will, which is for you to understand the truth, for you to understand His will and understand the truth within this environment which is conducive to your growth. God’s words and God’s truth are wrought into you and they become your life, and you are able to obey God and fear God. Despite your young age, your resolution is great, as is your life, your enthusiasm and your God-fearing heart. Then this is great, and God is satisfied. God would say that His kindness to you is not in vain. God reaps a harvest, bears fruit and sees results with you; the price He pays is not paid in vain. God is happy and joyful to see that. This is God’s sovereignty and arrangement, so is it something man can choose?
The price God pays for each and every one of you has not been just the decades since you were born. It has not been just those decades. As God sees it, you have come to this world many times and have been reincarnated many times. Who is in charge of this matter? (God.) God is in charge of it, so what do you know about it? You don’t know anything about it. Every time you come to the world, God arranges it all Himself. He arranges how many years you live, what kind of family you are born into, when you marry and settle down, what you do in the world, what you rely on to live, and God provides for you an opening so that you may complete your mission in this life without a hitch. The next time you are assigned to the world, God fulfills His arrangements for your life in accordance with the arrangements you should have and which He ought to make for you. Just like this, He arranges things for you so many times and, finally, you are born in this age of the last days and are born into this kind of family, and God allows you to keep pace with His work, listen to Him speak and hear His voice, and so you have lived until now. You have no idea how many times you have come to the world, how many times your appearance has changed, how many families you have lived in, how many ages and how many dynasties you have experienced. God’s hand has always held you and God has always looked after you. How much effort God has to make on a person! Some people say, “I’m 60 years old, so God has spent 60 years on me, He has looked after and protected me for 60 years and controlled my destiny for 60 years.” Isn’t this a foolish thing to say? It’s not a matter of just one lifetime that God controls someone’s destiny and looks after and protects them. If it were a matter of just one lifetime, of just one life, then God wouldn’t be God and He would not possess this kind of authority or power, and it could not be said that God rules all things, that He rules everything. The effort God makes with you and the price He pays for you is not just to arrange the things you do in this life. He acts with heart and acts using His own life as the price, leading every single person and arranging the entire lifetime of every single person. So, considering the effort God makes and the price He pays on man’s behalf, as well as all the truth and life which He bestows on man, if people don’t do the duty of a created being in these final times and if they don’t return before the Creator, then no matter how many lives or how many ages they live through, won’t they be the losers? Won’t they be unworthy of the price God pays for them? They are so unworthy of the price God pays. Therefore, in this life—I’m not talking about any former life, but in this life—if for the sake of your own mission you are unable to give up the things you love or if you can’t give up these external things—these material pleasures and family life—if you are unable to give these things up for the sake of the price God pays for you or to repay God’s love, then there is nothing good about you at all! Actually any price you pay is worth it. Compared with the price God pays on your behalf, what does that tiny amount that you dedicate or expend amount to? What does the little you suffer amount to? Do you know how much God has suffered? The little suffering you endure doesn’t amount to anything. Moreover, you now perform your duty and you gain the truth, so you will be the one left in the end. During this time, no matter whether you suffer or pay a price, you are actually cooperating with God, and you do whatever He asks you to do in obedience to His words; practice in accordance with His words, do not rebel against God, and do nothing that causes Him grief. When you cooperate with Him, you must suffer somewhat and abandon some things, relinquish and give up some things—give up fame and gain, status, wealth and the pleasures of the world, even marriage, jobs and your worldly future prospects. Does God know when you give up these things? Can He see it? (Yes.) And when He sees this, what will He do? (God is gratified. God is happy.) God doesn’t just adopt an attitude, He takes action, otherwise His requirements of man would be meaningless. He doesn’t just feel happy, saying, “The price I have paid is showing results. This person is willing to cooperate with Me and they have this resolution. I have gained this person.” Whether God is happy, joyful, satisfied or feels comforted, He does not just adopt one type of attitude—He takes action. God’s kindness to man, His love for man, His mercy for man are not each just a kind of attitude; they are a fact. What fact? God puts His words within you so that you may be enlightened within, so that you may see God’s loveliness, so that you may see exactly what this world is like, so that your heart may be brightened and so that you may understand God’s words and understand the truth. Then have you not gained that which you are supposed to gain? This isn’t just a kind of attitude of God, is it? What have you gained? (The truth.) You have gained that which is most precious. When God sees that it is good, He adopts a certain attitude. At the same time as adopting an attitude, He also takes action, just like people say, “You can’t just adopt an attitude, you must also take some practical action.” People say, “I don’t want it. I don’t want anything. I require nothing of God.” And God says, “Unacceptable. I must reward you—this is what you deserve.” So you make gains. What do you gain? You gain the truth, you gain life, you gain knowledge of the Creator—are you then still empty within? Are you then not enriched within? And once you are enriched within, do you not then live a life of value?
Did Job pray for herds and flocks of animals that covered all the hills, or for enormous family wealth? (No.) What did he pray for? Fearing God and shunning evil. As far as God was concerned, God said He saw that it was good, and then what did He do in the end? Did He just say those few words and then that was it? God took action; what action did He take? God sent Satan to tempt Job, and to take away Job’s herds and flocks that covered all the hills, his wealth and property, his children and his servants, and this was God’s trial of Job. What did God want by putting Job through this trial? God wanted Job’s testimony. And what did God bestow on Job at that time? People are thinking, “What did God bestow on Job? His herds and flocks were all taken away. He didn’t bestow anything on Job.” Something was bestowed on Job here, and there was a reward, and yet no one is able to see clearly what God rewarded Job with. God wanted Job’s testimony so God rewarded Job with an opportunity; what opportunity was this? It was for Job to bear testimony for God before Satan and before all mankind, to bear witness to the reality that Job feared God and shunned evil, to bear witness to the fact that Job feared God and shunned evil, and to bear witness that Job was perfect and upright. Was this something God bestowed on Job? If God hadn’t bestowed this kind of opportunity on Job, would Satan have dared to move against him? Satan certainly wouldn’t have dared, and this is 100 percent certain! And if Satan hadn’t dared to tempt him, would Job still have had this opportunity? He wouldn’t have had this opportunity. Therefore, God bestowed this kind of opportunity on Job to attest to the multitudes that the path Job walked—the way of fearing God and shunning evil—was the correct path, that it was acceptable to God and that Job was an upright and perfect man. The multitudes saw all this, God saw this, and Job took this opportunity and did not disappoint God; he bore testimony for God, he struck back at Satan, defeated Satan and God saw that it was good. So, in the end, did God reward Job with anything? (Yes.) What was Job’s second reward from God? God said that Job feared God and shunned evil and he was acceptable to God, that Job bore testimony for God before Satan, and that everything He beheld was good, and God was gratified and happy, and He adopted this kind of attitude. Did God take no more action after adopting this attitude? What did God do? You’re not too familiar with the Book of Job. In what circumstances did Job say, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you” (Job 42:5)? (After God had spoken to him.) God spoke to him and revealed His back to Job. Wasn’t this Job’s reward from God? Had anyone ever seen God before Job? No one had ever seen God’s real person before, including God’s back. Job saw God’s back and heard God’s voice, and isn’t this something a created being most yearns to attain? Job attained this, so do you envy him? (Yes.) This is difficult to attain, isn’t it? So how can one attain this opportunity, this kindness and this reward? You must bear testimony for God; you must bear testimony for God amidst the temptations of Satan, you must walk the way of fearing God and shunning evil and you must stand before God and make Him say that what He sees is good and make Him gratified and happy. When He sees that everything you do and your testimony is good, when He says you are perfect, that you are someone who seeks the truth, then you will gain all this. After Job had seen Jehovah’s back, did God’s reward end there? What did God do afterward? He blessed Job with much more than he’d had before, right? That is, he was wealthier than before. Say he had originally been like a millionaire, so now he was perhaps more like a billionaire. You see, for someone who fears God and shuns evil, it’s a piece of cake to become a billionaire. This is the kindness of God!
That which God gives to man surpasses what they ask for or desire, but if you wish to have rewards that surpass what you ask for or desire, then you must follow the way of God. It’s not a simple matter to follow the way of God—you must pay the price. However, this price is not paid in vain—you are compensated in return. People always think that God only adopts a kind of attitude toward them, that He doesn’t do anything, but just always stays in one place, always observing and watching. Is this how it really is? No, it isn’t. God is like a parent to man. You listen to your parents, you behave well, you do your proper duties, and you suffer a lot to walk the right path. So how does that make your parents feel? Their hearts ache with love, and they would give their lives for your sake so as to reduce your suffering, get you to eat well, wear nice clothes and enjoy yourself. They don’t want you to suffer any poverty. This is the heart your parents have. And compared to this, God’s heart can only be even better, more beautiful, more good. God’s heart cannot be less than this. As for your age group, can you not appreciate some of the good things your parents do for you? So above all, use your parents’ care for you to appreciate God’s heart. Like when you’re sick and lying in bed, how do your parents feel? They don’t feel like going into work, and if you cannot eat then neither can they. Before you could walk or crawl, they held you every night. When you couldn’t eat even a morsel of food, they fed you from their own mouths; this is the kind of heart they have. When you grew up and could walk, they were always afraid that you would knock into things. When you did, their hearts ached with love, and they would rub your knocks and pat the floor and coax you. If you cried, their hearts broke. If you suffered any wrong, they would be straight off to fight your battles. When you grow up and they see you suffer, or they see you exhausted from work, they’re anxious to be with you all day, not eating or drinking anything themselves, being near you and cooking for you, washing your clothes, waiting on you, being your maid, easing your suffering, and they even wish they could suffer on your behalf; this is the heart they have. And if parents can be like this to their children, then how much more is God to mankind? God can only be more profound, more real. He cannot be less than how parents are to their children, for there will always be things with people that other people cannot take care of, whereas God takes care of people in every possible way. Your parents gave birth to you and regard you as their own flesh and blood. They love you, cherish you and protect you so much. So tell Me, what is man to God, when man was created by His own hands? Man is God’s own flesh and blood. Although it is not like man’s situation whereby children are linked to their parents through birth by flesh and blood and that God uses His hand to create man, it is that God breathes His breath into man, and He places His expectations onto man. That is, man is entrusted with God’s hopes, God has requirements of man and He places His trust in them. It is not so simple a matter as God creates man and breathes His breath into man, and in any case God is so powerful, so if He didn’t want this mankind, then He could just create another. After He created mankind, He kept them in His heart. Mankind is His flesh and blood and they are His companions; they are also the entrusted ones and the bearers of all God’s hopes in His management plan, and in the end He wants to see hope and obtain results from mankind. Based on this idea, try to appreciate God’s wishes and God’s will, and will you not then have a deeper appreciation? Let’s take an example. In order to put their child through school and distinguish themselves, as their child studies, their parents are right next to them fanning them, then giving them syrup, then steamed egg custard, then scratching their itches, then massaging them. They don’t know what to do for the best. Their hearts are always with them, and their world revolves around them. Your parents’ world revolves around you, and don’t they place expectations on you and entrust you with their hopes? If you don’t listen to them and are always disobedient, do they not feel grieved? Are they not saddened? So then, using this idea, think about God’s heart. God sees mankind and, no matter how old you are, you are all children in God’s eyes. You say you’re 80 and God says you’re still a child. You say you’re 20, and you’re even more a child. God does not differentiate between ages; in His eyes mankind are all infants, all children, and this is how He regards mankind. Therefore, in His eyes, you are His flesh and blood, His companions. So how can you be qualified to become His flesh and blood, His companions, be people after His own heart and satisfy Him? Is it not a question worth mankind considering and pondering?
God regards mankind as His flesh and blood, as His companions, as the bearers of the painstaking price that God pays, so what heart does God have? What state of mind does God have and what kind of attitude does God have toward these people so that He can have this level of relationship with them? What heart does God have when He has this level of relationship? Can people appreciate it at all? Someone may say, “I haven’t seen God, and I can’t perceive anything God has done with me in my past few lifetimes.” But you are living now, so are you able to perceive God’s guidance and the price He pays for you now? Can you comprehend this? (Yes.) It’s okay if you can comprehend this, and this proves that you are not dull-witted. It’s enough to be able to comprehend this much, and it is well worth abandoning everything and following God.