Getting Covid Revealed Me

May 22, 2024

By Jiang Ping, China

These last few years, as the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, more and more people got infected with the virus, many of them dying from it. I thought to myself, “The end of God’s work will be followed by the great calamity, and all who do evil and resist God will sink into disaster and be destroyed. Only those who accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words and are purified can receive God’s protection and enter God’s kingdom. I’ve got to step up my spreading of the gospel and performance of my duty and prepare more good deeds. Only then will I have a good outcome and destination.” I also thought, “After I accepted God’s work of the last days, I gave up my work to spread the gospel. I was arrested several times, and I never sold out the brothers and sisters or the church. Afterward, I kept spreading the gospel as I did before, and I’ve gained quite a few people in these years. Even though I’m already 70 years old, I’m still in charge of the gospel work of several churches, and their results aren’t bad. I trust that as long as I persist in doing my duty properly, God will definitely save me in the future!” Thinking of this, I rejoiced in my heart, and I was very active in my duty.

One day in December 2022, when I got up in the morning, I felt a bit feverish, with a scratchy throat and a cough. I had recently been in contact with someone who had Covid, so I suspected that I’d been infected as well. However, my symptoms weren’t too serious at the time, and I could still tolerate them, so I didn’t take it too seriously. After resting at home for a couple days, I was feeling a little better. At the time, I was quite happy, thinking that since I had been believing in God and always doing my duty in the church over these years, God had allowed me to recover quickly, so I especially ought to spread the gospel and prepare more good deeds. But unexpectedly, my illness grew more serious later on. One day, I had returned home after spreading the gospel when suddenly my whole body felt weak, and I was running a high fever and feeling dizzy. The next day, I still had a high fever that wouldn’t let up. At that time, I panicked a bit, thinking, “When I got sick, I didn’t complain and kept doing my duty as usual. I should have received God’s protection, so why am I suddenly feeling worse? Since the coronavirus outbreak, a lot of people around the world have died, many of them elderly. If I keep getting worse, am I going to die too?” During those few days, I took some medicine to lower my fever, but it remained on the high side. I felt fatigued and was coughing constantly. Especially when I heard about older people I knew dying from Covid, I got a bit scared and anxious, thinking, “God’s work will be over soon. If I die now, can I still be saved? Will all I’ve expended over these years be wasted? There are some people in the church who don’t do any duties; how have they not been infected yet? Meanwhile, I’ve given up my family and career and always performed my duty, and I’ve suffered a lot and paid quite a price. Why hasn’t God protected me?” Thinking of this, I couldn’t help but feel depressed. Although I didn’t say anything and continued doing my duty, my heart had lost its vigor, and I didn’t want to suffer or pay a price in my duty. When the leader talked to me about putting me in charge of the gospel work of a few other churches, I was somewhat unhappy about it. I thought it was more important to keep myself in good health. If I had to worry about too many things, my body couldn’t tolerate it. Plus, I still hadn’t completely recovered from my last bout with Covid. If I was infected again, I might really not make it. In doing my duty after that, whenever I got chills and coughed, I feared that things would get worse, and I was often worried and afraid. I realized that my state was incorrect, and I prayed to God, “God! You have permitted me to have this illness, but I’m making demands of You and am never able to submit. Please guide me to submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements and to seek the truth and learn lessons from it!”

After praying, I read some of God’s words: “When people are unable to see through to, understand, accept, or submit to the environments that God orchestrates and His sovereignty, and when people face various difficulties in their daily lives, or when these difficulties exceed what normal people can bear, they subconsciously feel all kinds of worry and anxiety, and even distress. They don’t know what tomorrow will be like, or the day after, or how things will be in a few years’ time, or what their future will be like, and so they feel distressed, anxious, and worried about all manner of things. What is the context in which people feel distressed, anxious, and worried about all manner of things? It is that they don’t believe in the sovereignty of God—that is, they are unable to believe in and see through to God’s sovereignty. Even if they saw it with their own eyes, they wouldn’t understand it, or believe it. They don’t believe that God holds sovereignty over their fate, they don’t believe that their lives are in God’s hands, and so distrust arises in their hearts toward God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and then blame arises, and they are unable to submit(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (3)). “People with an illness will often think, ‘Oh, I’m determined to perform my duty well, but I’ve got this illness. I ask God to keep me from harm, and with God’s protection I need not be afraid. But if I get exhausted when performing my duties, will my condition flare up? What will I do if my condition really flares up? If I need to be admitted to hospital to undergo an operation, I have no money to pay for it, so if I don’t borrow the money to pay for my treatment, will my condition get even worse? And if it gets really bad, will I die? Could such a death be considered a normal death? If I really do die, will God remember the duties I’ve performed? Will I be considered to have done good deeds? Will I attain salvation?’ … Whenever they think of these things, they get a profound feeling of anxiety rising up in their hearts. Even though they never stop performing their duty and they always do what they’re supposed to, they think constantly about their illness, their health, their future, and about their life and death. Finally, they reach the conclusion of wishfully thinking, ‘God will heal me, God will keep me safe. God won’t abandon me, and God won’t stand by and do nothing if He sees me getting sick.’ There is no basis at all for such thoughts, and they can even be said to be a kind of notion. People will never be able to resolve their practical difficulties with such notions and imaginings as these, and in their innermost hearts, they feel vaguely distressed, anxious, and worried about their health and their illnesses; they have no idea who will take responsibility for these things, or whether anyone will take responsibility for them at all(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (3)). God exposed that people do not truly understand God’s almightiness and sovereignty and are always fearing death. Because of this, they live in negative emotions of worrying and being concerned. My state was exactly the kind that God exposed. After getting Covid, I got better quickly at first, so I was happy and thanked God for His care and protection. Later, when my condition became serious and I had a high fever, I became scared, worrying that since I was old, I could die from this virus if my illness got worse. I lived in depression, having no energy when doing my duty. In particular, when the leader wanted to put me in charge of the gospel work of several other churches, I feared that if my duty was too strenuous, my condition would worsen, and I’d end up dying from Covid, and so I didn’t dare to accept it. I often lived in anxiety and fear amidst this illness, not even in the right frame of mind to do the duty I ought to do. God is the Creator who holds sovereignty over and controls everything. When I fall ill, when I recover, when my life ends—these things are all in God’s hands, and I ought to submit to His orchestrations and arrangements. However, I didn’t have faith in God’s sovereignty or believe that it is He who controls everything, always living in concern and fear. I was so foolish! God had permitted me to suffer this illness, and I ought to seek the truth and learn lessons from it. If I always lived in this emotion of negativity, when I truly stared death in the face one day, I would still complain, misunderstanding and blaming God while even speaking words that resisted Him, which He would detest and condemn. Thinking of this, I became scared, and I also felt a sense of urgency, wanting to seek the truth and resolve this state.

While seeking, I read a passage of God’s words: “Upon what basis do you—a created being—make demands of God? People are not qualified to make demands of God. There is nothing more unreasonable than making demands of God. He will do what He ought to do, and His disposition is righteous. Righteousness is by no means fairness or reasonableness; it is not egalitarianism, or a matter of allocating to you what you deserve in accordance with how much work you have completed, or paying you for whatever work you have done, or giving you your due according to what effort you expend. This is not righteousness, it is merely being fair and reasonable. Very few people are capable of knowing God’s righteous disposition. Suppose God had eliminated Job after Job bore witness for Him: Would this be righteous? In fact, it would be. Why is this called righteousness? How do people view righteousness? If something is in line with people’s notions, it is then very easy for them to say that God is righteous; however, if they do not see that thing as being in line with their notions—if it is something that they are incapable of comprehending—then it would be difficult for them to say that God is righteous. If God had destroyed Job back then, people would not have said He was righteous. Actually, though, whether people have been corrupted or not, and whether they have been profoundly corrupted or not, does God have to justify Himself when He destroys them? Should He have to explain to people upon what basis it is that He does so? Must God tell people the rules He has ordained? There is no need. In God’s eyes, someone who is corrupt, and who is liable to oppose God, is without any worth; however God handles them will be appropriate, and all are the arrangements of God. If you were displeasing to God’s eyes, and if He said that He had no use for you after your testimony and therefore destroyed you, would this, too, be His righteousness? It would. … Everything that God does is righteous. Though humans may not be able to perceive God’s righteousness, they should not make judgments at will. If something He does appears to humans as unreasonable, or if they have any notions about it, and that leads them to say that He is not righteous, then they are being most unreasonable(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). Pondering God’s words, I realized that in the past, I hadn’t truly understood God’s righteous disposition. I had always thought that since I’d expended myself for God when doing my duty, I should receive His care and protection and shouldn’t be faced with illness or even death. I thought that this was God’s righteousness. Under the influence of this mistaken view, I always thought that since I had believed in God for many years, suffered a lot and paid quite a price, and even persevered with my duty after getting Covid, God should therefore keep me safe or help me recover from illness as quickly as possible. However, when things didn’t go as I expected, I misunderstood and complained about God, having no energy when doing my duty. Especially when I saw that some brothers and sisters who didn’t do any duty hadn’t gotten Covid while I always expended myself enthusiastically and did my duty but got infected, I felt this was unfair and thought that God was unrighteous, no longer devoting myself to my duty and even being unwilling to supervise a few more churches’ work. Originally, I thought that after believing in God for years and always persevering in my duty, I’d gained a bit of submission toward God, but once I was staring death in the face, my rebelliousness and resistance were revealed, and I had no submission whatsoever. I had enjoyed so much watering and provision from God’s words; performing my duty and expending myself a bit were things I was supposed to do. However, I went so far as to use them as capital to drive bargains and make transactions with God, complaining about Him when my desires weren’t satisfied. I was truly so unreasonable! God is the Creator; whatever God does and however He treats people, all of it is righteous and all of it has His intention in it. I mustn’t judge the things God does based on my notions and imaginings. I thought of a passage of God’s words: “Is it not foolish to feel distressed, anxious, and worried about things you cannot decide for yourself? (Yes.) People should set about resolving the things they can resolve themselves, and for those things they cannot do themselves, they should wait for God; people should submit silently and ask God to protect them—this is the mindset people should have. When illness really does strike and death really is near, then people should submit and not complain or rebel against God or say things that blaspheme against God or things that attack Him. Instead, people should stand as created beings and experience and appreciate all that comes from God—they should not try to choose things for themselves(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (4)). Pondering God’s words, I felt even more self-reproachful and humiliated. I was so far away from meeting God’s demands. My health, my death, and everything else of mine were all orchestrated by God. If Covid took my life, this would be something God permitted, and whether I lived or died, I ought to submit to His sovereignty and arrangements. This was the minimum amount of reason that a created being should possess. So, I knelt down and prayed to God, “God, I am so rebellious! Whether or not my illness gets better, I’m willing to submit to Your arrangements. I won’t complain about You any longer, and I won’t make unreasonable demands of You.”

Later, I reflected on myself, thinking, “When I’m not facing illness or disaster, I can be active in my duty and frequently fellowship with brothers and sisters that no matter what happens to us, we must always submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. So why did I misunderstand and complain about God when my illness got worse, even losing the energy to do my duty? Why have I revealed this rebelliousness and resistance?” While seeking, I read some of God’s words: “Before deciding to perform their duty, antichrists are brimming with expectations and harbor the utmost confidence deep in their hearts toward their prospects, blessings, a good destination, and even a crown. They come to the house of God to perform their duty with such intentions and aspirations. So, does their performance of duty contain the sincerity, genuine faith and loyalty that God requires? At this point, one cannot yet see their genuine loyalty, faith, or sincerity, because they harbor an entirely transactional mindset before they perform their duty, and they make the decision to perform their duty driven by interests, and also based on the precondition of their overflowing ambitions and desires. What is the antichrists’ intention in performing their duty? It’s to make a deal, to make an exchange. It could be said that these are the conditions they set for performing duty: ‘If I do my duty, then I must obtain blessings and have a good destination. I must obtain all the blessings and benefits that God has said are prepared for humankind. If I can’t obtain them, then I won’t do this duty.’ They come to the house of God to perform their duty with such intentions, ambitions, and desires. It seems like they do have some sincerity, and of course for those who are new believers and are just starting to perform their duty, it can also be called enthusiasm. But there is no genuine faith or loyalty in this; there’s only that degree of enthusiasm. It can’t be called sincerity. Judging from this attitude antichrists have toward performing their duty, it is wholly transactional and filled with their desires for benefits like receiving blessings, entering the kingdom of heaven, obtaining a crown, and receiving rewards. So, it appears from the outside that many antichrists, before being expelled, are performing their duty and have even forsaken more and suffered more than the average person. What they expend, the price they pay and the path they travel is on par with Paul. This is something everyone can see. In terms of their behavior and their will to suffer and pay the price, they ought not to receive nothing. However, God does not regard a person based on their outward behavior, but based on their essence, their disposition, what they reveal, and the nature and essence of every single thing that they do. When people judge and regard others, they determine who they are based solely on their external behavior, how much they suffer, and how much of a price they pay, and this is a grave mistake(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Seven)). Through what God exposed, I finally understood that when I was doing my duty and enthusiastically expending myself during these years, I was not truly being considerate of God’s intentions and doing my duty as a created being, nor did it come from my sincerity or loyalty toward God. Rather, I had turned doing my duty into a tool and a bargaining chip used to satisfy my desire to gain blessings, doing it so I could survive in the future and enjoy eternal blessings. Seeing that disasters were occurring one after another and that God’s work was almost over, I congratulated myself, thinking that since I had forsaken and expended myself for God and performed my duty, I would definitely receive His protection and end up surviving. However, when I got Covid and my condition worsened, I worried that since I was old, I might die from this virus, so I became disheartened and disappointed and lost my faith. I even started using my so-called capital to reason with God, thinking that because I’d suffered so much in my duty and produced results when spreading the gospel, God should therefore protect me. When my extravagant desires were not satisfied, I thought that God wasn’t protecting me and was treating me unfairly, and I had no energy when doing my duty. When the facts were revealed, I finally saw that ever since I started believing in God, I’d been doing it to gain blessings. I said again and again that I believed in God, that performing my duty was perfectly natural and justified, but in reality, I was using and cheating God. I was truly so selfish and deceitful! I thought of Paul, who went all over Europe spreading the gospel during the Age of Grace, enduring much suffering and converting many people. However, his expending and suffering was all so he could enter the kingdom of heaven and gain rewards. It was transactional and cheating, and not only did God disapprove of his expending, He greatly detested it. In the end, instead of being blessed by God, Paul was punished. God’s disposition is righteous and holy, and when He determines our outcome and destination, He does not judge based on how much we suffer and work on the surface, or how much good behavior we show. Rather, it is based on whether we have gained the truth and whether our disposition has changed. If I always wanted to get a good outcome and destination in exchange for running about and expending myself, not pursuing the truth or having my corruption cleansed, then my outcome would be the same as Paul’s; I’d get eliminated by God and be punished. Paul’s failure serves as a reminder and a warning for me! Then, I thought of how God puts His whole heart into saving mankind, expending all His effort and paying all prices, all while never requiring or demanding anything from us. God is so selfless! Meanwhile, I had enjoyed everything God bestowed upon me without ever considering His intentions. I’d even made transactions with God when doing my duty for the purpose of receiving a good destination. I was truly so selfish and despicable! I regarded God as someone to be used and cheated. Given the way I’d expended myself, how could God not detest and hate it? Understanding this, I felt self-reproachful and indebted to God, and I prayed to God in my heart, saying that I no longer wanted to make transactions with Him in order to gain blessings, and that instead I wanted to properly pursue the truth, do my duty as a created being, and satisfy Him.

Later, I read another passage of God’s words that I found quite moving. Almighty God says: “Regardless of what duty one performs, it is the most proper thing they could do, the most beautiful and just thing among humankind. As created beings, people ought to perform their duty, and only then can they receive the approval of the Creator. Created beings live under the Creator’s dominion, and they accept all that is provided by God and everything that comes from God, so they should fulfill their responsibilities and obligations. This is perfectly natural and justified, and was ordained by God. From this it can be seen that, for people to perform the duty of a created being is more just, beautiful, and noble than anything else done while living on earth; nothing among humankind is more meaningful or worthy, and nothing brings greater meaning and worth to the life of a created person, than performing the duty of a created being. On earth, only the group of people who truly and sincerely perform the duty of a created being are those who submit to the Creator. This group does not follow worldly trends; they submit to the leadership and guidance of God, only listen to the words of the Creator, accept the truths expressed by the Creator, and live by the words of the Creator. This is the truest, most resounding testimony, and it is the best testimony of faith in God. For a created being to be able to perform the duty of a created being, to be able to satisfy the Creator, is the most beautiful thing among humankind, and is something that should be spread as a tale to be praised by all people. Anything the Creator entrusts to created beings should be unconditionally accepted by them; for humankind, this is a matter of both happiness and privilege, and for all those who are capable of performing the duty of a created being, nothing is more beautiful or worthy of commemoration—it is something positive. … As a created being, when one comes before the Creator, they ought to perform their duty. This is a very proper thing to do, and they should fulfill this responsibility. On the basis that created beings perform their duties, the Creator has done even greater work among humankind, and He has carried out a further stage of work on people. And what work is that? He provides humankind with the truth, allowing them to gain the truth from Him as they perform their duties and thereby to cast off their corrupt dispositions and be purified. Thus, they come to satisfy God’s intentions and embark on the right path in life, and, ultimately, they are able to fear God and shun evil, attain complete salvation, and no longer be subjected to Satan’s afflictions. This is the effect that God would have humankind achieve in the end by performing their duty(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Seven)). After reading God’s words, I understood that created beings taking up their duties before the Creator is the most meaningful and the finest thing there is. It’s the same as children being filial to their parents; it’s a responsibility and obligation that people should fulfill without any transactions or demands whatsoever. More importantly, in the course of doing our duties, God lays out various circumstances that reveal our corruptions and shortcomings, allowing us to seek the truth, understand ourselves, resolve our corrupt dispositions, judge people and things based on His words, no longer suffer the corruption and harm of Satan, and ultimately attain salvation; this is God’s intention. Over the years, I’d been arrested by the police several times, and in the midst of my pain, it was God’s words that enlightened and guided me, giving me faith and strength and allowing me to overcome the cruelty of those demons. Also, when I exalted myself and showed off in my duty, revealing an arrogant disposition, God gave rise to the circumstances to chasten and discipline me. Through what His words exposed, I gained some understanding of myself and was able to repent to Him promptly. All of this was God’s salvation! God had expended so much effort on me, and yet I didn’t pursue the truth or repay His love, only setting my mind on blessings when doing my duty. I truly had no conscience whatsoever. When I fell ill this time, after seeking the truth and self-reflecting, I finally saw clearly my despicable motive of only doing my duty to gain blessings all these years, also gaining some understanding of my corrupt disposition. All of this was God saving me. Now, God had given me breath and let me live, and this was His mercy and grace. I had to let go of my intention to gain blessings and do my duty well.

Later on, I read more of God’s words: “For any person born into this world, birth is necessary and death inevitable; no one can rise above this course of things. If one wishes to depart from this world painlessly, if one wants to be able to face life’s final juncture with no reluctance or worry, the only way is to leave no regrets. And the only way to depart without regrets is to know the Creator’s sovereignty, to know His authority, and to submit to them. Only in this way can one stay far from human strife, from evil, from Satan’s bondage, and only in this way can one live a life like Job’s, guided and blessed by the Creator, a life that is free and liberated, a life with value and meaning, a life that is honest and openhearted. Only in this way can one submit, like Job, to the trials and deprivation of the Creator, to the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. Only in this way can one worship the Creator all one’s life and win His commendation, as Job did, and hear His voice, see Him appear. Only in this way can one live and die happily, like Job, with no pain, no worry, no regrets. Only in this way can one live in light, like Job, and pass every one of life’s junctures in light, smoothly complete one’s journey in light, successfully complete one’s mission—to experience, learn, and come to know, as a created being, the Creator’s sovereignty—and pass away in the light, and for ever after stand at the Creator’s side as a created human being, commended by Him(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III). After reading God’s words, my heart was much brighter. Before, I’d always thought that since I was old and my illness was getting more and more serious, I was in danger of losing my life at any time, and that if I died from Covid, I wouldn’t have a good outcome or destination. From God’s words, I understood that in fact, each person is going to die, but people’s deaths have different natures. Some people’s deaths show that they have been revealed and eliminated by God, while others’ bodies may be dead on the surface, but their souls have been saved. Take Job, for instance, who had true faith in God and was able to extol God’s name even amidst trials and have true testimony before Him, completing his mission as a created being. When Job died, he had no anxieties or fears, and instead he was satisfied and grateful when he left the world. His body died, but his soul was saved. There was also Peter, who pursued loving and satisfying God his whole life and was able to submit until death in the face of trials and tribulations. In the end, he nailed himself upside down to the cross for God, bearing a good testimony and gaining God’s approval. Now, I understood that the death of one’s body does not mean they will have a bad outcome and destination. What’s important is whether they’re able to pursue the truth and fulfill their duty as a created being during their lifetime. This is the real key to determining whether someone ultimately has a good outcome and destination. What I ought to do was stand firm in my position as a created being and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements. As long as I was alive, I had to rely on God and do my duty well, pursuing the truth and doing things according to the principles in the course of my duty, thereby doing my duty adequately and comforting God’s heart. Understanding this, I felt much calmer, and I was no longer constrained by my illness. What I didn’t expect was that several days later, my condition improved.

This experience of getting Covid helped me see that I had incorrect views in my belief, that I was doing everything for the sake of gaining blessings and making transactions with God. That I’ve been able to let go of some of my desire to gain blessings and straighten out my motives for doing my duty is all God’s way of saving me.

Would you like to learn God’s words and rely on God to receive His blessing and solve the difficulties on your way? Click the button to contact us.

Related Content

The Word Conquers All Lies

By Ye Qiu, China This June, I was elected to be the deacon of watering. One day, Sister Cheng Lin and I went to hold a newcomers’...

Reflections After Getting Lost

By Xinzhi, China One day in August 2019, my leader sent a letter asking me to pick up a sister from out of town. I saw that the sister’s...

Leave a Reply

Connect with us on Messenger