Daily Words of God | "How to Discern the Nature Essence of Paul" | Excerpt 472
God causes you to experience all manner of tempests, hardships, difficulties, and numerous failures and setbacks, so that, ultimately, in the course of experiencing these things, you come to discover that everything God says is correct, and that your beliefs, notions, imaginings, knowledge, philosophic theories, philosophies, what you have learned in the world and been taught by your parents are all wrong. They cannot lead you onto the right path in life, they cannot lead you to understand the truth and come before God, and the path you walk is the path of failure. This is what God will make you ultimately realize. For you, this is a necessary process, and what you should gain during the process of experiencing salvation. Yet it also saddens God: Because people are rebellious, and are possessed of corrupt dispositions, they must undergo this process and experience these setbacks. But if someone truly loves the truth, if they are truly willing to be saved by God, if they are willing to accept the various methods of God’s salvation—for example trials, discipline, judgment and chastisement—if they are determined to suffer thus, if they are willing to pay this price, God does not in fact wish for them to suffer so much hardship, nor does He wish them to undergo so many setbacks and failures. But people are too rebellious. They want to take the crooked path, they are willing to suffer these hardships. That is just the kind of thing man is, and God has no choice but to hand people over to Satan, and put them in various situations to constantly temper them, so that they gain all kinds of experiences and learn various lessons from these situations, and recognize the essence of all kinds of evil things. Afterward, they look back and discover that God’s words are the truth, they acknowledge that God’s words are the truth, that only God is the reality of all positive things, and that only God is the One who truly loves man, and no one is better to man than God, or more caring. To what extent are people tempered, ultimately? To the extent that you say, “I have experienced every kind of situation, and there is not a single situation, a single person, matter or object that can make me understand the truth, that can make me enjoy the truth, that can make me enter truth reality. I can only obediently practice according to God’s words, obediently stay in man’s place, abide by the status and duty of a created being, obediently accept the sovereignty and arrangements of God, and come before the Creator without any complaint or any choice, and without my own demands or desires.” When they have reached this level, people truly bow before God, and God need not create any more situations for them to experience. So which path do you wish to take? No one, in their subjective desires, wishes to suffer hardship, and no one wants to experience setbacks, failure, adversity, frustrations, and tempests. But there is no other way. The things inside man—his nature essence, his rebelliousness, his thoughts and perspectives—are too complicated; each day, they become mixed up and entwined inside you, and they roil within you. You enter little of the truth reality, you understand little of the truth, and you lack the power to overcome the essence of your corrupt disposition, your notions, and imaginings. You therefore have no choice but to accept the other approach: to constantly experience failure and frustration, and to constantly fall down, tossed around by hardship, roiling in the muck, until a day comes when you say, “I’m tired, I’m fed up, I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want to undergo these failures, I want to come before the Creator with obedience. I shall listen to God’s words, I shall do what He says. Only this is the right path in life.” Only on the day you fully admit defeat will you come before God. Do you come to know something of God’s disposition from this? What is God’s attitude toward man? No matter what God does, He wishes the best for man. No matter what environment He sets out or what He asks you to do, He always wishes to see the best outcome. Say you go through something and encounter setbacks and failure. God does not wish to see you fail and then think yourself finished, that you have been snatched by Satan, from which point you never find your feet again, and are plunged into dejection—God does not wish to see this outcome. What does God wish to see? You may have failed in this matter but you are able to seek the truth, to find the reason for your failure; you accept the fact of this failure and take something from it, you learn a lesson, you realize it was wrong to act that way, that only acting according to God’s words is right. You realize, “I am bad and I have corrupt satanic dispositions. There is rebelliousness in me, I am some way from the righteous people of whom God speaks, and I do not have a heart that fears God.” You realize a phenomenon, a true fact of the matter, and you understand things and grow up through this setback and failure. This is what God wishes to see. What does it mean to “grow up”? It means God is able to gain you, and you are able to attain salvation. It means you are able to enter truth reality, that you have come a step closer to setting foot on the path of fearing God and shunning evil. This is what God wishes to see. God acts with good intention, and His acts all contain His hidden love, which people often cannot appreciate. Man is narrow-minded and petty, and his heart is as narrow as the eye of a needle; when God does not acknowledge him or has no grace or blessings for him, he blames God. Yet God does not bicker with man; He lays out environments that let man know how grace and benefit are obtained, what grace means to man, and what man can draw from it. Say you liked to eat some good thing that God says is bad for your health when eaten in excess. You do not listen, but insist on eating it, and God allows you to make that choice freely. As a result, you get sick. After experiencing this several times, you come to understand that it is God’s words that are right, that all He says is true, and that you must practice according to His words. This is the correct path. And so what do these setbacks, failures and sorrows that people go through become? You appreciate God’s painstaking intention, and you also believe and are sure that God’s words are right; your faith in God grows. There is something else, too: Through experiencing this period of failure, you come to realize the veracity and accuracy of God’s words, you see that God’s words are the truth, and you understand the principle of practicing the truth. And so, it is good for people to experience failure—though it is also something painful, something that tempers them. But if being tempered thus ultimately makes you return before God, accept His words, and take them as the truth, then such tempering, setbacks and failures have not been experienced in vain. This is what God wishes to see.
Excerpted from Records of Christ’s Talks