Question (1) One of my sisters used to be a district leader. As part of the job she often stayed up late and didn’t eat on time, and later she became anemic and developed stomach problems, which she believed were caused by her performance of her duty. She is a church leader now, and performs well in all aspects of her job, and her brothers and sisters have recommended her as a district sermon-giver. However, she doesn’t want to pay the price, because she worries her health will turn for the worse. How should a state like this be resolved?
Answer: If someone performs his duty well and is mindful of God’s will, the more he fulfills his duty, the heavier the burden will feel, and the more he will feel as though there are too many problems to resolve, that there is too much work to be done on his brothers and sisters. This is extremely tiring. If one does it well it is indeed tiring. If someone always tires himself out, it can cause illness, can’t it? Working too hard absolutely causes illness, because God doesn’t do supernatural things, but remember: No matter what disease you get, you won’t die. You won’t get any of those strange diseases or terminal diseases. You may get common illnesses, but you’ll be able to recover. When people go before God and receive what God entrusts, this is exaltation by God. This is meaningful, because it means God favors you, doesn’t it? If someone truly bears a burden and is willing to be mindful of God’s will and perform his duties well, it’s natural that he will work and suffer exhaustion. If he gets sick, it means a trial has come. When you are sick, it’s impossible to avoid suffering, this suffering is a trial which reveals whether you are loyal to God and whether you truly love God. You have suffered much for God, this is a fact, so when your suffering for God causes you to become ill, can you continue to love God? Can you continue to be loyal to God? Can you submit to God unto death? Is this not a time that reveals whether someone truly has faith? Some people, in the performance of their duties, can suffer a little for God, but after suffering illness, they pull back and no longer want to perform more duties, “I’ll just do a little less and make it passable.” What problem is this? This person has no loyalty and should examine his conscience this way. Aren’t times of illness moments that reveal man? In such situations, it is normal to feel a little weakness, but after reflecting and praying for some time, one will think, “Just a little illness and suffering made me withdraw. I was weak. I am ashamed before God. God suffered so much for me, but I’ve only suffered a little for God. It’s just an illness. Even if I have to sacrifice my life, it is nothing!” If this is how someone examines his conscience before God, will he not have determination? So, these are times that reveal and test man. If you cannot be loyal to God and stand firm in your testimony, Satan will go before God and make its accusation, “You see? Didn’t You say she was loyal to You? She withdrew from her duties after just a little illness. She doesn’t want to be loyal to You or submit to You, she doesn’t want to love You.” Won’t that be Satan’s accusation? During such a time of trials, if you blame, become passive, and withdraw, you lose your testimony. So, when you encounter these trials, when you suffer and undergo illness, don’t blame God, don’t protest the unjustness after your service, don’t say, “Look at this, I performed my duties for You and have to suffer illness, I’m suffering this illness because I fulfilled my duties.” Is it right to say that? Who doesn’t suffer illness in their lives? Don’t the unbelievers also suffer illness? Don’t you sometimes get sick with worry over your children? Don’t you also get sick from working hard for your husband or wife? Don’t people get sick from working to earn money and support their families? If you don’t care when you fall sick because of your own hard work or for your own goals, but falling sick because of suffering for God makes you blame and complain, do you feel no shame before God? How do you explain His being nailed to the cross for you? Wasn’t His suffering far greater than yours? When you think about it like that, when you contemplate God’s love this way, you’ll feel you haven’t suffered enough, and that your suffering isn’t worth mentioning. If you go before God, reflect, and come to know yourself this way, you’ll find determination, “I won’t give up, I will continue to serve God with my all, I will even give my life for God, never mind this stomach condition and anemia.” Also, remember, as we perform our duties, if we are sick, we need to learn to properly take care of our bodies. Think about how to take care of yourself without getting in the way of your duties. The results of your duties will be just as good, and your body will still be able to bear up under normal work. Isn’t that the wise choice? We still need to exercise. Exercise is necessary. If you don’t exercise, you will get sick. Don’t think, “This illness is too much, I have to stop everything and get treatment, I can’t perform my duties.” There is no loyalty in that. Illness can be handled, there is medicine, there are health supplements, and you can adjust your diet or exercise. Also, don’t do useless work. Good steel is used on the blade. Do necessary work, don’t do work that doesn’t matter. Work should be done to resolve problems, it should be necessary tasks, tasks that can’t be ignored. Such work requires you to be more proficient and more efficient, and also not to tire yourself out, so you need to plan appropriately. Don’t think, just because you have an illness, “Oh no, I can’t handle it, I need major treatment, I need to stay in the hospital.” Take some folk remedies and exercise more. Your body will be in much better condition once you start exercising. It’s very effective at treating small problems, it cures all of them. If a leader does his job well enough to solve problems in entry into life for God’s chosen people and lead them onto the right track of belief, isn’t an illness worth it? If he doesn’t do his job well, doesn’t produce good results, and destroys his health in the process, isn’t it a waste? People need to be wise. We should do fundamental and necessary work, which means work in accord with God’s will, substantive work that serves God, and if we pay more of a price and suffer more in necessary work to produce good results, afterward our hearts will be comforted, because it is worth it. If the results of someone’s work are not good, if he always gives sermons for himself, speaks in rote letters and doctrine, blindly indulges his passion or whims with his brothers and sisters, and in the end utterly wears himself out, is it worth it? Do those antichrists suffer illness? Do those false leaders suffer illness? Yes, they do. Does God accept their suffering in illness? Their illness was earned and brought about by wicked deeds; it wasn’t caused because they fulfilled their duties. People must be fair when they speak, and must not blame God. God is righteous, God is truth, God is fair, God treats man fairest of all, and people must have a true understanding of God. Do people who blame God for suffering and illness have a sense of justice? Do they understand fairness? Today many of you pay a price to fulfill your duties. Don’t feel you’ve accomplished something by suffering and tiring yourselves out. Don’t say such things. Instead, assume you haven’t done enough, that you haven’t satisfied God, and that you deserve all the suffering you endure, even punishment, because God’s acts are righteous. Put that way, is this answer easy to understand? It’s best if that’s the understanding you take away.