Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement (Part One)
If you believe in God, then you must obey God, put the truth into practice, and fulfill all of your duties. Additionally, you must understand the things you should experience. If you only experience being dealt with, being disciplined, and being judged, if you are only able to enjoy God but remain unable to feel when God is disciplining you or dealing with you—this is unacceptable. Perhaps in this instance of refinement, you are able to stand your ground, but this is still not enough; you must still keep marching forward. The lesson of loving God never stops and has no end. People see believing in God as something that is extremely simple, but once they gain some practical experience, they then realize that belief in God is not as simple as people imagine. 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. One day, when you are spreading the gospel abroad and someone asks you: “How is your faith in God going?” you will be able to say: “God’s actions are so marvelous!” They will feel that your words speak of real experiences. This is truly bearing witness. You will say that God’s work is full of wisdom, and His work in you has truly convinced you and conquered your heart. You will always love Him because He is more than worthy of mankind’s love! If you can speak to these things, then you can move people’s hearts. All of this is bearing witness. If you are able to bear resounding witness, to move people to tears, that shows that you truly are one who loves God, for you are able to testify to loving God, and through you, God’s actions can be borne out in testimony. By your testimony, others are made to seek out God’s work, to experience God’s work, and in any environment they experience, they will be able to stand firm. This is the only genuine way of bearing witness, and this is exactly what is required of you now. You should see that God’s work is extremely valuable and worthy of being treasured by people, that God is so precious and so abundant; He can not only speak, but also judge people, refine their hearts, bring them enjoyment, gain them, conquer them, and perfect them. From your experience you will see that God is very lovable. So how much do you love God now? Can you really say these things from your heart? When you are able to express these words from the depths of your heart, then you will be able to bear witness. Once your experience has reached this level you will be capable of being a witness for God, and you will be qualified. If you do not reach this level in your experience, then you will still be too far off. It is normal for people to show weaknesses during the process of refinement, but after refinement you should be able to say: “God is so wise in His work!” If you are truly able to attain a practical understanding of these words, then it will become something you cherish, and your experience will have value.
What should you pursue now? Whether or not you are capable of bearing witness for God’s work, whether or not you are able to become a testimony and a manifestation of God, and whether or not you are fit to be used by Him—these are the things you should seek. How much work has God really done in you? How much have you seen, how much have you touched? How much have you experienced, and tasted? Regardless of whether God has tested you, dealt with you, or disciplined you, His actions and His work have been carried out on you. But as a believer in God and as someone who is willing to pursue being perfected by Him, are you able to bear witness for God’s work on the basis of your practical experience? Can you live out God’s word through your practical experience? Are you able to provide for others through your own practical experience, and expend your whole life to bear witness for God’s work? To bear witness to God’s work, you must rely on your experience, knowledge, and the price you have paid. Only thus can you satisfy His will. Are you someone who bears witness to God’s work? Do you have this aspiration? If you are able to bear witness to His name, and even more, to His work, and if you can live out the image that He requires of His people, then you are a witness for God. How do you actually bear witness for God? You do it by seeking and longing to live out God’s word, and, by bearing witness with your words, allowing people to know His work and to see His actions. If you truly seek all of this, then God will perfect you. If all you seek is to be perfected by God and be blessed in the very end, then the perspective of your faith in God is not pure. You should be pursuing how to see God’s deeds in real life, how to satisfy Him when He reveals His will to you, and seeking how you ought to bear witness to His wondrousness and wisdom, and how to bear witness for how He disciplines and deals with you. All of these are things you should now be pondering. If your love for God is solely so that you can share in God’s glory after He perfects you, then it is still inadequate and cannot meet God’s requirements. You need to be able to bear witness to God’s work, satisfy His demands, and experience the work He has done on people in a practical way. Whether pain, tears, or sadness, you must experience all of these things in your practice. They are meant to perfect you as one who bears witness for God. What is it, exactly, that now compels you to suffer and seek perfection? Is your present suffering truly for the sake of loving God and bearing witness for Him? Or is it for the sake of blessings of the flesh, for your future prospects and fate? All of your intentions, motivations, and the goals that you pursue must be rectified and cannot be guided by your own will. If one person seeks perfection to receive blessings and to reign in power, while another person pursues perfection to satisfy God, to bear practical witness to God’s work, which of the two means of pursuit would you choose? If you were to choose the first, then you would still be too far away from God’s standards. I once said that My actions would be openly known across the entire universe and that I would reign as King in the universe. On the other hand, what you have been entrusted with is to go out to bear witness to God’s work, not to become kings and appear to the whole universe. Let God’s deeds fill the cosmos and the firmament. Let everyone see them and acknowledge them. These words are spoken in relation to God Himself, and what human beings should do is to bear witness for God. How much of God do you know now? How much of God can you bear witness to? What is the purpose of God perfecting man? Once you understand God’s will, how should you show consideration toward His will? If you are willing to be perfected and to bear witness to God’s work through what you live out, if you have this driving force, then nothing is too difficult. What people need now is faith. If you have this driving force, then it is easy to let go of any negativity, passiveness, laziness and notions of the flesh, philosophies for living, rebellious disposition, emotions, and so forth.
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.
In the past, people would all come before God to make their resolutions, and they would say: “Even if no one else loves God, I must love Him.” But now, refinement comes upon you, and since this does not align with your notions, you lose faith in God. Is this genuine love? You have read many times about the deeds of Job—have you forgotten about them? True love can only take shape from within faith. You develop real love for God through the refinements you undergo, and it is through your faith that you are able to be considerate of God’s will in your practical experiences, and it is also through faith that you forsake your own flesh and pursue life; this is what people should do. If you do this, then you will be able to see God’s actions, but if you lack faith, then you will be unable to see God’s actions or to experience His work. If you want to be used and perfected by God, then you must be possessed of everything: the will to suffer, faith, endurance, obedience, and the ability to experience the work of God, grasp His will, be considerate of His sorrow, and so forth. Perfecting a person is not easy, and every single refinement that you experience requires your faith and love. If you want to be perfected by God, it is not enough to merely rush ahead on the path, nor is it enough to merely expend yourself for God. You must possess many things to be able to become someone who is perfected by God. When you face suffering, you must be able to lay aside concern for the flesh and to not make complaints against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or dissipate. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design and be prepared to curse your own flesh rather than make complaints against Him. When you are faced with trials, you must satisfy God, though you may weep bitterly or feel reluctant to part with some beloved object. Only this is true love and faith. No matter what your actual stature is, you must first possess both the will to suffer hardship and true faith, and you must also have the will to forsake the flesh. You should be willing to endure personal hardships and suffer losses to your personal interests in order to satisfy God’s will. You must also be capable of feeling regret about yourself in your heart: In the past, you were unable to satisfy God, and now, you can regret yourself. You must not be lacking in any of these regards—it is through these things that God will perfect you. If you cannot meet these criteria, then you cannot be perfected.