Words on How to Experience Failures, Falls, Trials, and Refinement (Excerpt 60)

Some people have experienced some failures in the past, such as being dismissed for not doing any real work as a leader or for coveting the benefits of status. After being dismissed several times, some of them do undergo a bit of true change, so is being dismissed a good thing or a bad thing for people? (It’s a good thing.) When they are dismissed for the first time, people feel like the sky is falling. It is as if their hearts have simply been broken. They cannot hold themselves up anymore and they do not know which direction to go in. But after the experience, they think, “That wasn’t such a big deal. Why was my stature so small before? How could I have been so immature?” This proves that they have made progress in life, and that they have understood a little about God’s intentions, the truth, and the purpose of God’s salvation of man. This is the process of experiencing God’s work. You must admit and accept these methods that God uses in His work, that is, constantly pruning you, or passing verdicts on you, saying that you are hopeless, saying that you are not someone who will be saved, and even condemning and cursing you. You may feel negative, but by seeking the truth and by reflecting on yourself and knowing yourself, you will soon be able to climb back up, and follow God and perform your duties normally. This is what it means to grow in life. So, is experiencing more dismissals good or bad? Is this method that God uses in His work correct? (It is.) However, people sometimes don’t recognize this, and cannot accept it. Particularly when they first experience being dismissed, they feel like they are being treated unfairly, they are always reasoning with and complaining about God, unable to overcome this hurdle. Why can’t they overcome it? Is it because they are looking for trouble with God and the truth? It is because people do not understand the truth, do not know how to reflect on themselves, and do not look for problems within themselves. They always refuse to obey in their hearts, and when they are dismissed, they start challenging God. They are unable to accept the fact of their dismissal and are full of resentment. At this time, their corrupt dispositions are so severe, but when they look back on the matter later, they can see that it was right for them to be dismissed—it turned out to be a good thing, which enabled them to make some progress in life. When they are faced with dismissal again in the future, will they still challenge it in this way? (Less and less each time.) It’s normal for this to improve progressively. If nothing changes, this proves that they do not accept the truth at all and that they are disbelievers. Then they are thoroughly revealed and eliminated, and have no way to attain salvation.

Failures, stumbles, and dismissals are things that all people must experience during the process of attaining salvation and of being made perfect, so do not make a big fuss over them. When you see people who have been dismissed suffering and becoming negative, do not make fun of them, because someday you may be dismissed, and be worse off than they are. If one day you are faced with dismissal, will you become negative and cry bitterly? Will you complain? Will you want to give up on your faith? It depends on whether you have accepted the truth during the time that you have believed in God, how many truths you have actually understood, and whether the truths you think you understand are your reality. If these truths have become your reality, then you will have the stature to overcome this trial and refinement; if you do not possess the truth reality, this dismissal will be a disaster for you, and if it ends badly, you will be knocked down and unable to get back up. Some people have a little bit of conscience, and they say, “I have enjoyed so much of God’s grace, I have listened to sermons for so many years, and God has given me a lot of love. I can’t forget it. At the very least, I must repay God’s love.” Then they perform their duties negatively and passively, not striving toward the truth, without any life entry at all. If you can hold to your duty, you can be considered as having some conscience; this is the very least that you should achieve. But if you are always perfunctory in your duty, not following the principles, having no life entry, and not getting any results in your duty, then is this performing your duty? If you are always performing your duty in a perfunctory manner, will you be able to stand firm in the disasters? Can you guarantee that you will not betray God? Therefore, to perform your duty, you must at least have conscience and reason; real results can only be achieved by performing one’s duty in true accordance with one’s conscience and reason. This is the minimum standard. If you cannot even meet this standard, then you are being perfunctory, you are able to deceive and betray God, and you are not even laboring adequately. Even if you do not leave God’s house, you will have already been eliminated by God long ago. Such a person is unsalvageable. This is caused by a lack of conscience and reason and from consistently performing one’s duty in a perfunctory manner. The blisters on your feet are caused by the path that you have walked and cannot be blamed on others. If, ultimately, you are not saved but cursed, and you end up like Paul, then you cannot blame anyone else. That is your own path and your own choice. Therefore, the bottom line in whether or not people can be saved is chiefly whether they have conscience and reason. If people can hold to this line, then they are possessed of conscience and reason. Such people have hope of salvation. If they cross this line, they will be eliminated. What is your red line? You say, “Even if God beats and scolds me, and rejects me, and won’t save me, I won’t have any complaints. I will be like an ox or a horse: I will keep laboring to the very end, repaying God’s love.” All that sounds nice, but are you truly capable of achieving this? If you really are possessed of such character and resolve, then I tell you plainly: You have hope of salvation. If you do not have this character, if you are without this conscience and reason, then even if you want to labor, you will be unable to hold firm until the very end. Do you know how God will act toward you? You do not. Do you know how God will test you? You don’t know this, either. If you lack a baseline of conscience and reason by which to conduct yourself, do not possess the correct approach of pursuit, and your views on life and values are not in line with the truth, then when you encounter setbacks and failures, or trials and refinements, you will not be able to stand firm—in which case you will be in danger. What role do conscience and reason play? If you say, “I’ve heard so many sermons, and I do actually understand some truth. But I haven’t put it into practice, I have not satisfied God, God does not endorse me—and if, ultimately, God abandons me, and no longer wants me, this will be the righteousness of God. Even if God punishes and curses me, I will not leave God. Wherever I go, I am a created being of God, I will forever believe in God, and even if I have to work like an ox or a horse, I will never stop following God, and I don’t care what my outcome is”—if you truly have this resolve and this conscience and reason, then you will be able to stand firm. If you lack this resolve, and have never thought about these things, then there is undoubtedly a problem with your character, with your conscience and reason. That is because, in your heart, you have never wanted to fulfill your duty to God. All you ever do is demand blessings from God. You are always calculating, in your mind, what blessings you will receive for making an effort or suffering hardship in God’s house. If all you do is calculate these things, it will be very difficult for you to stand firm. Whether or not you can be saved depends on just whether or not you have conscience and reason. If you are not possessed of conscience and reason, you are not fit to be saved, for God does not save demons and beasts. If you choose to walk the path of pursuing the truth, and walk the path of Peter, the Holy Spirit will enlighten you and guide you in understanding the truth, and will create situations for you that cause you to experience many trials and refinements to be made perfect. If you do not choose the path of pursuing the truth, but walk the path of Paul the antichrist, then sorry—God will still test and examine you. But there is no denying that you will not stand up to God’s examination; when something happens to you, you will complain about God, and when you are tested, you will forsake God. At that moment your conscience and reason will be of no use, and you will be eliminated. God does not save people who have no conscience or reason; this is the minimum standard.

You must at least meet the standard of conscience and reason. That is, if God no longer wants you, how should you treat Him? You should say, “God gave me this breath. God chose me. Today I came to know the Creator and understand so many truths, but I haven’t put them into practice. It is in my nature to dislike the truth, and I have no conscience. But regardless of whether or not I can practice the truth in the future or be saved, I will always acknowledge God and that the Creator is righteous. This fact cannot be changed. One should not stop acknowledging God and the Creator just because there is no hope of one’s own salvation or that one has no outcome or destination. This would be a rebellious thought. If I think this way, I should be cursed. No matter what God does, one should submit; this is what it means to have reason. My stature is too small to submit, and I should be punished if I rebel against or betray God. However, no matter how God treats me, my determination to follow God will not change. I will always be a created being of God. Regardless of whether God accepts me or not, I am willing to be a pawn, service-doer, and foil under God’s sovereignty. I must have this determination.” No matter whether or not you have this thought now, have ever thought this way, or have made this determination, you must have this reason anyway. If you don’t have this reason or this kind of humanity, then salvation for you is just empty talk. Is this not a fact? This is how it is. You have been informed of the bare minimum standard. When you face problems, you should think more about this aspect. This is good for you and is a way to protect yourself. If you really do not possess this aspect of humanity, then you are in great danger. You must pray, “God, I have never treated You as God. I’ve only treated You like air, as something vague and invisible. Facing this issue today, I feel that I have been eliminated and have no good destination. Regardless of how You determine my outcome, I am willing to submit to You. I must follow You and cannot leave You. Those who leave You and live under Satan’s power are not human. They are devils. I don’t want to be a devil. I want to be human. I want to follow God, not Satan.” If you can pray for this matter every day and climb higher, your heart will become clearer and clearer, and you will have a path of practice. When facing difficulties, if a person has a rebellious disposition, then their heart becomes intransigent, and they are not willing to strive toward the truth. Even if they make a mistake, they don’t care. They do whatever they want. They start to become willful and dissolute and don’t want to pray anymore. What should be done at this point? There is one most basic principle that can protect you. That is, when you are most negative and weak, if you have words in your heart that rebel against God, resist God, blaspheme God, or judge God, do not say them out loud, nor do anything that would incite others to resist God. That way, when you pray to God and ask for His protection, you can overcome difficulties. This is what is most important. When you have a normal rationality, when you come out of negative, depraved, indulgent, or resistant states, you may think to yourself, “Luckily, I didn’t do that at the beginning. If I had, I would have been a sinner condemned through the ages and guilty of unforgivable evil.” How is this path? (It is good.) Where is the good in it? (It can keep people from offending God’s disposition.) Don’t offend God’s disposition. Once you say out loud something that offends God’s disposition, can you take it back? Once a word is uttered, it becomes a fait accompli. It is condemned by God. Once God condemns you, you are in trouble. When a person believes in God, no matter how much suffering they endure, how they expend themselves, or how they choose to believe, the purpose is not to be cursed or condemned by God, but to hear the Creator say, “You are approved of by God. You can survive, and are the object of God’s salvation.” This is hard to come by. It is not easy, so people must cooperate. Never say anything that is detrimental to your own salvation. You must restrain yourself at critical times and not do anything to cause trouble. Let Me tell you, once you cause trouble and are condemned by God, if you offend God’s disposition, you will never be able to undo it. Don’t do or say things indiscriminately. You must restrain yourself and must not indulge. When you have restrained yourself, it proves that you have a bottom line. If you restrain yourself, admit the existence of God, believe in God’s sovereignty, and have a God-fearing heart until the very end, God will see this. You have not said anything that offended God, nor done anything sinful. God can scrutinize the thoughts within your heart. Since you have somewhat of a God-fearing heart, even though you have absurd thoughts, you have not said these out loud, nor done anything to resist God. God will find this behavior of yours acceptable. How will God treat you? God will continue to guide you out of such predicaments. So, don’t you still have hope of salvation? This is such a rare thing to possess. What should be done when facing problems? Restrain yourself and never indulge. When you indulge, it is a result of impulsive emotions. Your arrogant nature is on the verge of erupting and you feel full of grievances and justifications. You become too resentful and feel compelled to speak out. At this moment, it is impossible to restrain yourself. As a result, the ugly side of your satanic disposition is revealed, and God’s disposition is most likely offended at this time. What is the purpose of restraint? Being cautious about one’s words, deeds, and footsteps so as to protect oneself, to not offend God’s disposition, and to leave oneself with a last ray of hope for salvation. Therefore, it is necessary to restrain yourself. No matter how greatly you feel you have been wronged, no matter how much pain and sadness you feel in your heart, you should restrain yourself. This is a most worthwhile endeavor! After restraining yourself, there is no way you will regret it. Practicing in this way is beneficial to people overall, whether it is done as a means to believe in God or as a secret trick to protect oneself. People with a corrupt disposition sometimes exhibit a certain level of insanity, with no rationality and no principles in their actions. You don’t even know when your corrupt disposition will flare up. When you burst out and say something that denies and condemns God, it is entirely too late and regretting it will be of no use. The consequences will be unimaginable. You may be eliminated and the Holy Spirit will no longer work on you. Does that not mean everything is over? You will have absolutely no hope of salvation.

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