30. The Principles of Undergoing Trials and Refinement

(1) Trials and refinement are all part of God’s plan. They are His love, and within them are His will and His demands. This is the greatest lesson;

(2) When undergoing trials, no matter how much corruption is exposed in a person, and no matter how many times they fail and fall down, they must never resent God, but should know themselves and repent sincerely;

(3) Trials and refinement are the greatest lesson in changing one’s disposition. If one can pray to God and rely on Him, seek the truth, and undergo hardship willingly, they will assuredly be able to stand firm;

(4) Seek the truth and try to grasp God’s will in all matters amidst trials, and you will not fall into darkness, but will assuredly be guided by God’s word and see the path of light.

Relevant Words of God:

In their belief in God, what people seek is to obtain blessings for the future; this is their goal in their faith. All people have this intent and hope, but the corruption in their nature must be resolved through trials. In whichever aspects you are not purified, these are the aspects in which you must be refined—this is God’s arrangement. God creates an environment for you, forcing you to be refined there so that you can know your own corruption. Ultimately, you reach a point at which you would rather die and give up your schemes and desires, and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Therefore, if people do not have several years of refinement, if they do not endure a certain amount of suffering, they will not be able to rid themselves of the bondage of corruption of the flesh in their thoughts and in their hearts. In whichever aspects you are still subject to Satan’s bondage, and in whichever aspects you still have your own desires and your own demands, these are the aspects in which you should suffer. Only through suffering can lessons be learned, which means being able to gain truth, and understand God’s will. In fact, many truths are understood by experiencing painful trials. Nobody can comprehend God’s will, recognize God’s almightiness and wisdom, or appreciate God’s righteous disposition when in a comfortable and easy environment or when circumstances are favorable. That would be impossible!

Excerpted from “How One Should Satisfy God Amidst Trials” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Faced with man’s state and man’s attitude toward God, God has done new work, allowing man to possess both knowledge of and obedience toward Him, and both love and testimony. Thus, man must experience God’s refinement of him, as well as His judgment, dealing and pruning of him, without which man would never know God and would never be capable of truly loving and bearing witness to Him. God’s refinement of man is not merely for the sake of a one-sided effect, but for the sake of a multi-faceted effect. Only in this way does God do the work of refinement in those who are willing to seek the truth, in order that their resolve and love be made perfect by God. To those who are willing to seek the truth and who yearn for God, nothing is more meaningful, or of greater assistance, than refinement such as this. God’s disposition is not so easily known or understood by man, for God, in the end, is God. Ultimately, it is impossible for God to have the same disposition as man, and thus it is not easy for man to know His disposition. The truth is not inherently possessed by man, and is not easily understood by those who have been corrupted by Satan; man is devoid of the truth, and of the resolve to put the truth into practice, and if he does not suffer and is not refined or judged, then his resolve will never be made perfect. For all people, refinement is excruciating, and very difficult to accept—yet it is during refinement that God makes plain His righteous disposition to man, and makes public His requirements for man, and provides more enlightenment, and more actual pruning and dealing; through the comparison between the facts and the truth, He gives man a greater knowledge of himself and the truth, and gives man a greater understanding of God’s will, thus allowing man to have a truer and purer love of God. Such are God’s aims in carrying out refinement. All the work that God does in man has its own aims and significance; God does not do meaningless work, and nor does He do work that is without benefit to man. Refinement does not mean removing people from before God, and nor does it mean destroying them in hell. Rather, it means changing man’s disposition during refinement, changing his intentions, his old views, changing his love for God, and changing his whole life. Refinement is a real test of man, and a form of real training, and only during refinement can his love serve its inherent function.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Possess True Love” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

When God works to refine man, man suffers. The greater a person’s refinement, the greater their love of God will be, and the more of God’s might will be revealed in them. Conversely, the less refinement a person receives, the less their love of God will grow, and the less God’s might will be revealed in them. The greater such a person’s refinement and pain and the more torment they experience, the deeper their love of God will grow, the more genuine their faith in God will become, and the more profound their knowledge of God will be. In your experiences, you will see people who suffer greatly as they are refined, who are dealt with and disciplined much, and you will see that it is those people who have a deep love for God and a more profound and penetrating knowledge of God. Those who have not experienced being dealt with have but a superficial knowledge, and they can only say: “God is so good, He bestows grace upon people so that they can enjoy Him.” If people have experienced being dealt with and disciplined, then they are able to speak about the true knowledge of God. So the more wondrous God’s work in man is, the more valuable and significant it is. The more impenetrable it is to you and the more incompatible it is with your notions, the more God’s work is able to conquer you, gain you, and make you perfect. How great is the significance of God’s work! If God did not refine man in this way, if He did not work according to this method, then His work would be ineffectual and without significance. It was said in the past that God would select and gain this group, and make them complete in the last days; in this, there is extraordinary significance. The greater the work He carries out within you, the deeper and purer your love for God. The greater the work of God, the more man is able to grasp something of His wisdom and the deeper is man’s knowledge of Him. During the last days, six thousand years of God’s plan for management will come to an end. Can it really end easily? Once He conquers mankind, will His work be over? Can it be so simple? People indeed imagine that it is as simple as this, but what God does is not so simple. No matter what part of God’s work you care to mention, it all is unfathomable to man. If you were able to fathom it, then God’s work would be without significance or value. The work done by God is unfathomable; it is completely counter to your notions, and the more irreconcilable it is with your notions, the more it shows that God’s work is meaningful; if it were compatible with your notions, then it would be meaningless. Today, you feel that God’s work is so wondrous, and the more wondrous you feel it is, the more you feel that God is unfathomable, and you see how great God’s deeds are. If He only did some superficial, perfunctory work to conquer man and did nothing else afterward, then man would be incapable of beholding the significance of God’s work. Although you are receiving a little refinement now, it is of great benefit to your growth in life; so it is of the utmost necessity for you to undergo such hardship. Today, you are receiving a little refinement, but afterward you will truly be able to behold the deeds of God, and ultimately you will say: “God’s deeds are so wondrous!” These will be the words in your heart. Having experienced God’s refinement for a while (the trial of the service-doers and the time of chastisement), some people ultimately said: “Believing in God is really difficult!” The fact that they used the words, “really difficult,” shows that God’s deeds are unfathomable, that God’s work is possessed of great significance and value, and that His work is highly worthy of being treasured by man. If, after I have done so much work, you had not the slightest knowledge, then could My work still have value? It will make you say: “Service to God is really difficult, the deeds of God are so wondrous, and God truly is wise! God is so lovely!” If, after undergoing a period of experience, you are able to say such words, then this proves that you have gained God’s work in you.

Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Whenever you encounter things that do not fit with your notions and that require you to put yourself aside, those things are your trials. Before God’s will is revealed, everyone goes through a rigorous test and an immense trial. Can you fathom this? When God wants to try people, He always allows them to make their choices before the actual truth has been revealed. This means that when God is subjecting man to trials, He will never tell you the truth; this is the manner in which people are exposed. This is one way that God carries out His work, to see whether you know the God of today, as well as whether you possess any reality.

Excerpted from “Only Putting the Truth Into Practice Is Possessing Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

While undergoing trials, it is normal for people to be weak, or to have negativity within them, or to lack clarity on God’s will or their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, just like Job. Although Job was weak and cursed the day of his own birth, he did not deny that all things in human life were bestowed by Jehovah, and that Jehovah is also the One to take them all away. No matter how he was tested, he maintained this belief. In your experience, no matter what refinement you undergo through God’s words, what God requires of mankind, in brief, is their faith and their love for Him. What He perfects by working in this way is people’s faith, love, and aspirations. God does the work of perfection on people, and they cannot see it, cannot feel it; under such circumstances, your faith is required. People’s faith is required when something cannot be seen by the naked eye, and your faith is required when you cannot let go of your own notions. When you do not have clarity about God’s work, what is required of you is to have faith and to take a firm stance and stand witness. When Job reached this point, God appeared to him and spoke to him. That is, it is only from within your faith that you will be able to see God, and when you have faith God will perfect you. Without faith, He cannot do this. God will bestow upon you whatever you hope to gain. If you do not have faith, then you cannot be perfected and you will be unable to see God’s actions, much less His omnipotence. When you have faith that you will see His actions in your practical experience, then God will appear to you, and He will enlighten and guide you from within. Without that faith, God will be unable to do that. If you have lost hope in God, how will you be able to experience His work? Therefore, only when you have faith and you do not harbor doubts toward God, only when you have true faith in Him no matter what He does, will He enlighten and illuminate you through your experiences, and only then will you be able to see His actions. These things are all achieved through faith. Faith comes only through refinement, and in the absence of refinement, faith cannot develop. What does this word, “faith,” refer to? Faith is the genuine belief and the sincere heart that humans should possess when they cannot see or touch something, when God’s work does not align with human notions, when it is beyond human reach. This is the faith that I speak of. People are in need of faith during times of hardship and refinement, and faith is something that is followed by refinement; refinement and faith cannot be separated. No matter how God works, and no matter your environment, you are able to pursue life and seek the truth, and seek knowledge of God’s work, and have an understanding of His actions, and you are able to act according to the truth. Doing so is what it is to have true faith, and doing so shows that you have not lost faith in God. You can only have true faith in God if you are able to persist in pursuing the truth through refinement, if you are able to truly love God and do not develop doubts about Him, if no matter what He does you still practice the truth to satisfy Him, and if you are able to seek in the depths for His will and be considerate of His will. In the past, when God said that you would reign as a king, you loved Him, and when He openly showed Himself to you, you pursued Him. But now God is hidden, you cannot see Him, and troubles have come upon you—do you then now lose hope in God? So, you must at all times pursue life and seek to satisfy God’s will. This is called genuine faith, and this is the truest and most beautiful kind of love.

Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

For every step of God’s work, there is a way that people should cooperate. God refines people so that they have confidence as they undergo refinements. God perfects people so that they have confidence to be perfected by God and are willing to accept His refinements and to be dealt with and pruned by God. The Spirit of God works within people to bring them enlightenment and illumination, and to have them cooperate with Him and practice. God does not speak during refinements. He does not utter His voice, but still, there is work that people should do. You should uphold what you already have, you should still be able to pray to God, be close to God, and stand witness before God; in this way you will fulfill your own duty. All of you should see clearly from God’s work that His trials of people’s confidence and love require that they pray more to God, and that they more often savor God’s words before Him. If God enlightens you and has you understand His will, and yet you do not put any of this into practice, you will gain nothing. When you put God’s words into practice, you should still be able to pray to Him, and when you savor His words you should come before Him and seek and be full of confidence in Him, with no trace of feeling disheartened or cold. Those who do not put God’s words into practice are full of energy during gatherings, but fall into darkness when they return home. There are some who do not even want to gather together. So, you must clearly see what duty it is that people should fulfill. You may not know what God’s will actually is, but you can perform your duty, you can pray when you should, you can put the truth into practice when you should, and you can do what people ought to do. You can uphold your original vision. In this way, you will be more able to accept God’s next step of work. When God works in a hidden way, it is a problem if you do not seek. When He speaks and preaches during assemblies, you listen with enthusiasm, but when He does not speak you lack energy and draw back. What kind of person acts in this way? This is someone who just follows wherever the herd goes. They have no stance, no testimony, and no vision! Most people are like this. If you continue on that way, one day when you come upon a great trial, you will fall into punishment. Having a stance is very important in God’s process of perfecting people. If you do not doubt a single step of God’s work, if you fulfill man’s duty, if you sincerely uphold what God has you put into practice, that is, you remember God’s exhortations, and no matter what He does in the present day you do not forget His exhortations, if you have no doubt about His work, maintain your stance, uphold your testimony, and are victorious every step of the way, then in the end you will be perfected by God and be made into an overcomer. If you are able to stand firm through every step of God’s trials, and if you can still stand firm at the very end, then you are an overcomer, you are someone who has been perfected by God.

Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The purpose of the work of refinement is primarily to perfect people’s faith. In the end, what is achieved is that you want to leave but, at the same time, you cannot; some people are still able to have faith even when they are bereft of the tiniest shred of hope; and people no longer have hope at all regarding their own future prospects. Only at this time will God’s refinement be finished. Man still has not reached the stage of hovering between life and death, and they have not tasted death, so the process of refinement is not yet finished. Even those who were at the step of the service-doers were not refined to the utmost. Job underwent extreme refinement, and he had nothing to rely on. People must undergo refinements to the point that they have no hope and nothing to rely on—only this is true refinement. During the time of the service-doers, if your heart was always quiet before God, and if no matter what He did and no matter what His will for you was, you always obeyed His arrangements, then at the end of the road you would understand everything that God had done. You undergo the trials of Job, and at the same time you undergo the trials of Peter. When Job was tested, he stood witness, and in the end, Jehovah was revealed to him. Only after he stood witness was he worthy of seeing the face of God. Why is it said: “I hide from the land of filth but show Myself to the holy kingdom”? That means that only when you are holy and stand witness can you have the dignity to see the face of God. If you cannot stand witness for Him, you do not have the dignity to see His face. If you retreat or make complaints against God in the face of refinements, thus failing to stand witness for Him and becoming Satan’s laughing stock, then you will not gain the appearance of God. If you are like Job, who in the midst of trials cursed his own flesh and did not complain against God, and was able to detest his own flesh without complaining or sinning through his words, then you will be standing witness. When you undergo refinements to a certain degree and can still be like Job, utterly obedient in front of God and without other requirements of Him or your own notions, then God will appear to you. Now God does not appear to you because you have so many of your own notions, personal prejudices, selfish thoughts, individual requirements and fleshly interests, and you are not worthy of seeing His face. Were you to see God, you would measure Him through your own notions and, in so doing, He would be nailed to the cross by you. If many things come upon you that do not align with your notions but yet you are able to put them aside and gain knowledge of God’s actions from these things, and if in the midst of refinements you reveal your heart of love for God, then this is standing witness. If your home is peaceful, you enjoy comforts of the flesh, no one is persecuting you, and your brothers and sisters in the church obey you, can you display your heart of love for God? Can this situation refine you? It is only through refinement that your love for God can be shown, and it is only through things occurring that do not align with your notions that you can be perfected. With the service of many contrary and negative things, and by employing all sorts of Satan’s manifestations—its actions, its accusations, its disturbances and deceptions—God shows you Satan’s hideous face clearly, and thereby perfects your ability to distinguish Satan, that you may hate Satan and forsake it.

Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Belief in God requires obedience to Him and experience of His work. God has done so much work—it could be said that for people it is all perfection, refinement, and even more, chastisement. There has not been a single step of God’s work that has been in line with human notions; what people have enjoyed is God’s stern words. When God comes, people should enjoy His majesty and His wrath. However, no matter how stern His words may be, He comes to save and perfect mankind. As creatures, people should fulfill the duties that they ought to, and stand witness for God in the midst of refinement. In every trial they should uphold the witness that they should bear, and do so resoundingly for the sake of God. A person who does this is an overcomer. No matter how God refines you, you remain full of confidence and never lose confidence in Him. You do what man should do. This is what God requires of man, and man’s heart should be able to fully return to Him and turn toward Him in every passing moment. This is an overcomer. Those whom God refers to as “overcomers” are those who are still able to stand witness and maintain their confidence and devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and while being laid siege to by Satan, that is, when they find themselves amidst the forces of darkness. If you are still able to keep a pure heart before God and maintain your genuine love for God no matter what, then you are standing witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an “overcomer.”

Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If you do not know God’s disposition, then you will inevitably fall during trials, because you are unaware of how God makes people perfect, by what means He makes them perfect, and when God’s trials come upon you and they do not match your notions, you will be unable to stand firm. God’s true love is His entire disposition, and when God’s entire disposition is shown to people, what does this bring to your flesh? When God’s righteous disposition is shown to people, their flesh will inevitably suffer much pain. If you do not suffer this pain, then you cannot be made perfect by God, nor will you be able to devote true love to God. If God makes you perfect, He will surely show His entire disposition to you. From the time of creation until today, God has never shown His entire disposition to man—but during the last days He reveals it to this group of people whom He has predestined and selected, and by making people perfect, He lays bare His dispositions, through which He makes complete a group of people. Such is God’s true love for people. Experiencing God’s true love requires that people endure extreme pain, and pay a high price. Only after this will they be gained by God and be able to give their true love back to God, and only then will God’s heart be satisfied. If people wish to be made perfect by God, and if they wish to do His will, and fully give their true love to God, then they must experience much suffering and many torments from their circumstances, to suffer pain worse than death. Ultimately they will be forced to give their true heart back to God. Whether or not someone truly loves God is revealed during hardship and refinement. God purifies people’s love, and this is also only achieved amid hardship and refinement.

Excerpted from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

How should man love God during refinement? By using the resolve to love God to accept His refinement: During refinement you are tormented inside, as if a knife were being twisted in your heart, yet you are willing to satisfy God using your heart, which loves Him, and you are unwilling to care for the flesh. This is what is meant by practicing the love of God. You hurt inside, and your suffering has reached a certain point, yet you are still willing to come before God and pray, saying: “O God! I cannot leave You. Although there is darkness within me, I wish to satisfy You; You know my heart, and I would that You invest more of Your love within me.” This is practice during refinement. If you use the love of God as the foundation, refinement can bring you closer to God and make you more intimate with God. Since you believe in God, you must hand over your heart before God. If you offer up and lay your heart before God, then during refinement it will be impossible for you to deny God, or leave God. In this way your relationship with God will become ever closer and ever more normal, and your communion with God will become ever more frequent. If you always practice in this way, then you will spend more time in God’s light and more time under the guidance of His words. There will also be more and more changes in your disposition, and your knowledge will increase day by day. When the day comes that God’s trials suddenly befall you, you will not only be able to stand by God’s side, but will also be able to bear testimony to God. At that time, you will be like Job, and like Peter. Having borne testimony to God you will truly love Him, and will gladly lay down your life for Him; you will be God’s witness, and one who is beloved by God. Love that has experienced refinement is strong, not weak. Regardless of when or how God subjects you to His trials, you are able to lay down your concerns about whether you live or die, to gladly cast aside everything for God, and to happily endure anything for God—thus your love will be pure and your faith real. Only then will you be someone who is truly loved by God, and who has truly been made perfect by God.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Possess True Love” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The greater God’s refinement, the more people’s hearts are able to love God. The torment in their hearts is of benefit to their lives, they are more able to be at peace before God, their relationship with God is closer, and they are better able to see God’s supreme love and His supreme salvation. Peter experienced refinement hundreds of times, and Job underwent several trials. If you wish to be made perfect by God, you too must undergo refinement hundreds of times; only if you go through this process and rely upon this step will you be able to satisfy God’s will and be made perfect by God. Refinement is the best means by which God makes people perfect; only refinement and bitter trials can bring out the true love for God in people’s hearts. Without hardship, people lack true love for God; if they are not tested within, if they are not truly subjected to refinement, then their hearts will always be floating around outside. Having been refined to a certain point, you will see your own weaknesses and difficulties, you will see how much you are lacking and that you are unable to overcome the many problems you encounter, and you will see how great is your disobedience. Only during trials are people able to truly know their real states; trials make people better able to be perfected.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Possess True Love” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Possess True Love” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Previous: 29. The Principles of Accepting Being Pruned and Dealt With

Next: 31. The Principles of Undergoing Persecution and Tribulations

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Verse 1The past is long gone, you must not cling on to it.You stood your ground yesterday.Now give God your loyalty.Pre-chorusThis is what...

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