I Gained So Much From Experiencing Illness

May 22, 2024

By Violet, Greece

In their belief in God, what people seek is to obtain blessings for the future; this is their goal in their faith. All people have this intent and hope, but the corruption in their nature must be resolved through trials and refinement. In whichever aspects you are not purified and reveal corruption, these are the aspects in which you must be refined—this is God’s arrangement. God creates an environment for you, forcing you to be refined there so that you can know your own corruption. Ultimately, you reach a point at which you would rather die and give up your schemes and desires, and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Therefore, if people do not have several years of refinement, if they do not endure a certain amount of suffering, they will not be able to rid themselves of the constraints of corruption of the flesh in their thoughts and in their hearts. In whichever aspects people are still subject to the constraints of their satanic nature, and in whichever aspects they still have their own desires and their own demands, these are the aspects in which they should suffer. Only through suffering can lessons be learned, which means being able to gain truth, and understand God’s intentions. In fact, many truths are understood by experiencing painful trials. Nobody can understand God’s intentions, recognize God’s almightiness and wisdom, or appreciate God’s righteous disposition when in a comfortable and easy environment or when circumstances are favorable. That would be impossible!(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). Every time I read this passage of God’s words, it reminds me of my own experience with illness. If not for my illness revealing me, I never would have recognized my mistaken view of believing in God only to gain blessings, and I wouldn’t have let go of the anxiety and worry I felt toward my future prospects and destination. Thank God for laying out the circumstances that caused me to experience this illness and gain unexpected rewards.

Ever since I was young, I was prone to illness. When I was 21 years old, I got bronchitis and ran a low fever for three months. I went to lots of hospitals, large and small, but none could cure it. Also, the liquid medicine I was taking as treatment caused rather serious harm to my stomach and blood vessels, and all I could do was go home to recuperate. When I got home, I couldn’t eat, and my health got worse and worse. It felt like I was just waiting to die. Seeing how much pain I was in, my mother spread Almighty God’s gospel of the last days to me. From God’s words, I came to understand the fact that mankind was created by God, the origin of mankind’s corruption, why people’s lives are so painful, how they can break free from this pain, what one should do to live a meaningful life, and so on. At that time, I enjoyed nothing more than reading God’s words every day. It was as if it made me forget about my illness. Later, my health improved a bit, and I began to live the church life. After half a year, I had basically recovered. Having enjoyed God’s grace, I resolved in my heart to offer my whole life and expend myself for Him to repay His love. After that, I proactively threw myself into my duty. No matter whether it was rainy or windy, frigid or sweltering, or whether we were facing the threat of the Communist Party’s arrests and persecution, I kept doing my duty through thick and thin.

Just like that, nine years passed in a flash, and the Communist Party’s persecution was getting increasingly severe. I was lucky enough to escape from China and come to a free, democratic country where I continued believing in God. During those years, I kept doing my duty all along. For a period of time, I was in a different time zone than the newcomers I was watering, and every day I had to stay up late doing my duty. Although I would get rather fatigued sometimes, thinking of the great destination that God had prepared for us, I felt that enduring any amount of suffering was worth it. In 2021, I had frequent chest tightness and heart palpitations, and my heart rate was often fluctuating. On top of that, my whole body was exhausted, and I often felt drowsy. At first, I didn’t pay it any mind, thinking that I’d recover if I just got a little rest. Besides, the newcomers had just accepted Almighty God and did not yet have stable foundations; if I didn’t water them promptly, their lives would suffer losses. However, several months passed, and my symptoms got worse and worse. At times, I would feel a sudden sharp pain in my heart. I was a little worried, fearing that I had some sort of severe illness. But then I thought, “Even though I’ve been in rather poor health since I was young, I’ve never had a major illness before. Maybe these are just normal physical responses to staying up late during this time. It probably isn’t anything serious. Also, during these years I’ve forsaken everything and expended myself for God, so He ought to protect me and not let me have a major illness.”

On one evening in February 2022, I was on my computer doing my duty as usual, when I felt a faint stab of pain in my heart. At first, I wanted to bear it and wait for it to pass, but it got worse and worse, feeling a bit like a cramp. I started to have shortness of breath, and eventually, I couldn’t stay upright and dropped to the floor. As this happened, I was very scared, and I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. The other sister in the house found me and lifted me up onto the bed, and in time, I fell asleep. When I woke up, it was already past 9 p.m., and I stared at the ceiling, recalling what had just happened and thinking, “Did I faint from heart pain? Do I really have a heart disease? Heart diseases are fatal; am I going to die? I forsook everything and did my duty, so why didn’t God protect me?” I couldn’t understand what God’s intention was in having me face this illness. I had to quiet my mind and read God’s words, so I took out my phone and saw these words of God: “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 God-loving heart. 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(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement). God’s words helped me settle down a bit. I realized that I was facing one of God’s trials, and that there was God’s intention in me having this illness; I just didn’t understand it yet. When Job was faced with trials, he didn’t understand God’s intention, but he still didn’t sin with his lips. Instead, he prayed and sought guidance, beautifully bearing witness for God. In the end, God revealed Himself to Job; what a great blessing that was. Now, I had fainted due to a heart problem, and although I still didn’t understand what God’s intention was, I ought to learn from Job and not sin with my lips. Plus, God was also looking at whether I had true faith. In the past, when I was in good health, I was able to expend myself for Him, to suffer and pay a price in my duty without complaints. Now that I was faced with this sickness, I couldn’t complain about God. I needed to seek God’s intention; I couldn’t lose my faith in Him.

During the time after that, my health deteriorated. I had frequent heart palpitations and chest tightness, and my whole body would feel weak. When I spoke, I would often have difficulty breathing and start gasping for air, and I couldn’t even do simple household tasks. Seeing what my condition was like, I felt upset, thinking, “I’m only 30 years old; will I really have to live like a semi-disabled person in the future? I started believing in God when I was 21, expending my youth and forsaking everything. I still didn’t shrink when facing the persecution of the Communist Party. Why didn’t God protect me? Now, everyone is actively doing their duties, but I have this illness. In this crucial moment, I’m unable to do my duty or prepare good deeds. Will I still have a good outcome and destination?” The more I thought, the more upset I got, and I hid on the balcony to cry in private. The more I cried, the more I felt wronged, thinking that my current predicament was really miserable. After I cried, my mind felt a little calmer, and I knelt down and prayed to God, “God, this sickness is making me very upset, and I don’t know what Your intention is. I know I shouldn’t complain or be without reason in making demands of You, but my heart is so weak and my stature is so small. Please guide me to understand Your intention, to know myself and learn lessons amidst these circumstances.” After praying, I thought of a passage of God’s words: “God viewed humans as family members, yet they treated Him as a stranger. However, after a period of God’s work, humans came to understand what He was trying to achieve, and they knew that He was the true God; they also came to know what they could obtain from God. How did people regard God at this time? They saw Him as a lifeline, and hoped to be granted His grace, blessings, and promises. At this time, how did God regard humans? He saw them as targets for His conquest. God wanted to use words to judge them, to test them, and to put them through trials. However, as far as people were concerned back then, God was just an object they could use to achieve their own goals. People saw that the truth issued by God could conquer and save them, that they had an opportunity to obtain the things they wanted from Him, as well as attain the destinations that they wanted. Because of this, a tiny bit of sincerity formed in their hearts, and they became willing to follow this God(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve). Pondering God’s words, I was deeply distressed and upset. God had brought me into His house and treated me as family, giving me the chance to do my duty and enabling me to gain various truths in my duty so that I could ultimately cast off my corrupt disposition and attain God’s salvation. However, I had treated God as a lifeline, only wanting to gain grace and blessings from Him. When faced with this sickness, I calculated how much I had forsaken for God, thinking that since I had forsaken and expended myself for Him, I shouldn’t have fallen ill, and God should have blessed me with good health. When I didn’t get what I wanted, I was discouraged and disappointed. It turned out that I hadn’t forsaken everything and expended myself for God for the sake of repaying His love. Rather, I was making a transaction with Him; I was forsaking and expending to gain grace and blessings. Seeing that I still harbored so many despicable motives in my faith in God, I was very upset and thought I was unworthy of God’s salvation. I thought of how upset God must be to see that I was only doing my duty to gain blessings from Him. If a child was only taking care of their parents so that they could inherit property, the parents would certainly feel hurt. I was just the same as that unfilial child, only toiling and expending myself for the sake of my own interests. This was not what God wanted to see. Understanding this, I prayed to God in repentance. I was willing to let go of my intention to gain blessings and do my duty for the sake of repaying God’s love. After that, I began to adjust my sleep schedule. I would typically focus on resting more often, regulating my diet, and doing my duty normally every day. To my surprise, a week later, my health had gradually begun to improve. I couldn’t help but thank and praise God.

In December of that same year, I was assigned to a new duty. Because I had to get familiar with the work and also check up on the work of the brothers and sisters in the group, there were several days where I went to sleep relatively late. One day, a little after 5 p.m., I felt a faint pain in my heart. It continued for quite a while, getting more and more painful. I got up to go to the bathroom, and when I came back out, it felt like something was seriously wrong with my heart, and it was difficult to breathe. I couldn’t stand up straight, so I put my hand on the door and then slowly dropped to the floor. I lay on the floor for about half an hour. My heart didn’t feel good at all, and my whole body was shaking nonstop. One of the sisters was terrified to find me lying there, and she helped me over to my bed. Later, after 10 p.m., I wanted to sit up and grab the laptop desk on the bed, but I had no strength whatsoever. At that time, my heart was full of anguish, and I thought, “If my health is always poor in the future, what am I going to do?” The next day, I went to the hospital with a sister to get checked out, but the results showed that everything was normal. I didn’t know whether this should make me happy or anxious. It was good that I didn’t have an illness, but there really was something wrong with me, and if the illness couldn’t be identified, there was no way to cure it. Later, considering my health condition, the supervisor reduced my workload. Seeing that my duties were being reduced time and again, I couldn’t help but get worried, and I thought, “My duty is disappearing little by little, so doesn’t that mean I’ll have fewer and fewer opportunities to prepare good deeds? How am I supposed to prepare good deeds and attain salvation in the future?” Thinking of this, I became a bit negative. After that, my health deteriorated further, and I even needed to keep my hand on the wall when I walked from my room to the bathroom. I could usually only sit in bed, and when I couldn’t stay upright, I just leaned against the wall or rested against the desk. I thought to myself, “In the past, as long as I rested for a while, I could recover. Why is it getting worse and worse now? Everyone else is bustling about, doing their duties; if I can’t do my duty because of my illness, won’t I have lost my chance to attain salvation? After this, as long as my health allows it, I’ll persevere with my duty. I can only do limited duties now, but as long as I stick to my duty, maybe God will see that I’m able to persevere and will let me get better faster.” After that, my health remained poor, and my heart pain was getting more and more frequent. I couldn’t handle being frightened by something, and if there was a loud noise, I would get heart discomfort. I thought, “I’ve been doing everything in my power to perform my duty while having this illness, so why is my health deteriorating like this? Why hasn’t God cured me? This illness has already gone on for almost two years. I went to the hospital, but they couldn’t diagnose it, and there’s nothing I can do to cure it. It’s even difficult for me to live self-sufficiently now, and I don’t have enough energy to do my duty. Am I going to be eliminated?” I was growing weaker and weaker inwardly, so I prayed to God and sought guidance.

One day, I read a passage of God’s words: “When normal people get sick, they will always suffer and feel down, and they have a limit to what they can endure. There’s one thing to note, however: If people always thought to depend on their own strength when sick to rid themselves of their sickness and escape it, what would the end result be? As well as their sickness, wouldn’t they suffer and feel down even more? That’s why the more people find themselves enveloped in sickness, the more they should seek the truth, and the more they should seek the way to practice to be in accordance with God’s intentions. The more people are enveloped in sickness, the more they should come before God and know their own corruption and the unreasonable demands they make of God. The more enveloped in sickness you are, the more your true submission is tested. Therefore, when you are sick, your ability to continue to submit to God’s orchestrations and rebel against your own complaints and unreasonable demands shows that you are someone who truly pursues the truth and truly submits to God, that you bear testimony, that your loyalty and submission to God are real and can pass the test, and that your loyalty and submission to God are not just slogans and doctrine. This is what people ought to practice when they get sick. When you get sick, it is to reveal all your unreasonable demands and your unrealistic imaginings and notions about God, and it is also to test your faith in God and submission to Him. If you pass the test with these things, then you have true testimony and real evidence of your faith in God, your loyalty to God, and your submission to Him. This is what God wants, and it is what a created being should possess and live out. Are these things not all positive? (They are.) These are all things which people should pursue. Moreover, if God allows you to get sick, can He not also take your sickness from you at any time and place? (He can.) God can take your sickness from you at any time and place, so can He not also cause your sickness to persist in you and never leave you? (He can.) And if God causes this same sickness to never leave you, can you still perform your duty? Can you keep your faith in God? Is this not a test? (It is.) If you get sick and then recover after several months, then your faith in God, and your loyalty and submission to Him are not tested, and you have no testimony. It’s easy to endure sickness for a few months, but if your sickness persists for two or three years, and your faith and your wish to be submissive and loyal to God do not change, but instead grow more real, does this not show that you have grown in life? Do you not reap this harvest? (Yes.) So, while someone who truly pursues the truth is sick, they undergo and personally experience the myriad benefits brought by their sickness. They do not anxiously try to escape their sickness or worry what the outcome will be if their sickness drags on, what problems it will cause, whether it will get worse, or whether they will die—they don’t worry about such things. As well as not worrying about such things, they are able to enter positively, and to have true faith in God, and be truly submissive and loyal to Him. By practicing in this way, they come to have testimony, and this also greatly benefits their life entry and dispositional change, and it builds a solid foundation for their attainment of salvation. How wonderful that is!(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (4)). God’s words were like a light amidst darkness, comforting me and giving me a path to practice. God knew what I needed most at this moment. He had laid out these circumstances to help me seek the truth from them and understand my corrupt disposition. At the same time, God wanted to test my faith and my submission. It would have been easy for God to take this illness from me, but He didn’t do that. Instead, my symptoms had worsened, and there was certainly His intention in this. These two experiences with illness revealed much of my rebelliousness. Each time I was faced with this illness, my subjective wish at the outset might have been to submit and not complain, but when the illness worsened, I would start to complain and reason with God. For the last two years, I’d constantly been experiencing these circumstances, but I’d never stood firm in my witness, always harboring the intention of making transactions. God had continuously laid out these circumstances for me to experience, and this was Him showing responsibility toward my life and saving me. I couldn’t just have no conscience and complain about God. Facing these circumstances, in one respect, I needed to have true submission and do my duty to the best of my ability. In another respect, I also needed to understand the corrupt dispositions I had revealed and seek the truths I should enter.

One day, I read these words of God: “We just talked about how antichrists are averse to the truth, how they like unrighteous and wicked things, pursue interests and blessings, never let go of their intention and desire to gain blessings, and always try to make deals with God. So, how should this matter be discerned and classified? If we were to call it putting profit before all else, that would be too mild. It’s like how Paul acknowledged that he had a thorn in his flesh, and that he should work in order to atone for his sins, but in the end, still wished to gain a crown of righteousness. What’s the nature of this? (Viciousness.) It is a kind of vicious disposition. But what is the nature of this? (Making deals with God.) It has this nature. He looked for profit in everything he did, treating everything as a transaction. There’s a saying among unbelievers: ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch.’ Antichrists also harbor this logic, thinking, ‘If I work for You, what will You give me in return? What benefits can I obtain?’ How should this nature be summed up? It’s being driven by profits, putting profit before all else, and being selfish and despicable. This is the nature essence of antichrists. They believe in God solely for the purpose of obtaining profit and blessings. Even if they endure some suffering or pay some prices, it’s all in order to make a deal with God. Their intention and desire to obtain blessings and rewards is immense, and they cling to it tightly. They don’t accept any of the many truths that God has expressed, in their hearts they always think that believing in God is all about obtaining blessings and securing a good destination, that this is the highest principle, and that nothing can surpass it. They think that people should not believe in God unless for the sake of gaining blessings, and that if it wasn’t for the sake of blessings, belief in God would have no meaning or value, that it would lose its meaning and value. Were these ideas instilled in antichrists by someone else? Do they derive from someone else’s education or influence? No, they are determined by the inherent nature essence of antichrists, which is something no one can change. Despite God incarnate speaking so many words today, antichrists don’t accept any of them, but instead resist and condemn them. The nature of their being averse to the truth and hating the truth can never change. If they can’t change, what does this indicate? It indicates that their nature is wicked. This is not merely an issue of pursuing or not pursuing the truth; this is a wicked disposition, it is openly clamoring against God and antagonizing God. This is the nature essence of antichrists; it is their true face(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Seven: They Are Wicked, Insidious, and Deceitful (Part Two)). God’s words put me in a state of deep reflection. God exposed that antichrists believe in God to gain blessings and make transactions with God in their duties. They don’t believe in God to pursue the truth and change their life disposition. Always dealing with illness over the past two years revealed my true stature. At the beginning, I could experience it normally, but in the long-term, when my condition worsened, my complaints and misunderstandings would start to show, and I’d begin to use my forsaking and expending myself to reason with God. Everyone experiences sickness and death; these things are normal. Forsaking everything to believe in God and do my duty was my own choice and something I did willingly. Expending myself in my duty and my illness had nothing to do with each other. However, I used expending myself as capital to make unreasonable demands of God. I thought that since I had forsaken everything to follow God and do my duty, God should therefore protect me, not let me have this illness or suffer so much, and give me a good destination in the future. When this didn’t happen, I complained, reasoning and clamoring with God. I thought of Paul, who went around most of Europe spreading the gospel and performing lots of work, doing all of this just to gain a crown and a good destination in the future. Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7–8). In speaking these words, Paul was blatantly making a transaction with God. Doing one’s duty as a created being is perfectly natural, and even more so, it is God lifting up man. But Paul looked at the matter of expending himself for God through a transactional lens, totally distorting the meaning of doing one’s duty. If he was unable to gain God’s rewards, he would reason and clamor with Him, which entirely exposed his vicious and wicked disposition. I saw that the path I walked in my faith in God was the same as Paul’s. If I continued in this way, I would certainly be punished in the end like he was. Recognizing this, I became a bit scared, thinking, “It turns out the nature and consequences of pursuing blessings in one’s faith in God are very serious. I can’t carry on following this mistaken view toward pursuit.”

Although my state reversed course somewhat, my health didn’t improve , and it continued to get steadily worse. I thought my days might be numbered, and I’d occasionally have some negative thoughts, such as, “Is this illness not God’s way of revealing and punishing me? Otherwise, why would it keep heading south instead of improving?” Thinking of this, my heart was in great pain and it was hard to cope. One day, I thought of God’s words that said: “People must frequently examine anything in their heart that is incompatible with God, or is a misunderstanding of Him.” So, I found the full passage of God’s words and read it: “People must frequently examine anything in their heart that is incompatible with God, or is a misunderstanding of Him. How do misunderstandings come about? Why do people misunderstand God? (Because their self-interest is affected.) … In what other ways does God love people other than through mercy, salvation, care, protection, and by listening to their prayers? (With chastening, discipline, pruning, judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement.) That is correct. God shows His love in an abundance of ways: by striking, disciplining, reproaching, and with judgment, chastisement, trials, refinement, and so on. These are all aspects of God’s love. Only this perspective is comprehensive and in line with the truth. If you understand this, when you examine yourself and realize you have misunderstandings about God, are you not then able to recognize your distortions, and to do a good job reflecting on where you went wrong? Can this not help you resolve your misunderstandings about God? (Yes, it can.) In order to accomplish this, you must seek the truth. So long as people seek the truth, they can eliminate their misunderstandings about God, and once they have eliminated their misunderstandings about God, they can submit to all of God’s arrangements. … God can bestow grace and blessings on people, and give them their daily bread, but He can also take all that away. That is God’s authority, essence, and disposition(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Understanding the Truth Can One Know God’s Deeds). God’s words instantly made my heart feel much brighter. It turned out that I had always had an incorrect view: I believed that if God loved someone, He would bless them continuously, making everything smooth sailing for them and keeping them safe and sound, while if He didn’t love someone, He’d make them suffer many painful things in the form of ups and downs, inconveniences, illnesses, and so on. Therefore, when my health kept on getting worse, I thought it might be God’s way of punishing me, and I lived inside my notions and imaginings, negative and in pain. Thinking about it in detail, even though these two years of illness had been painful, I had prayed to and sought guidance from God even more throughout this process, and I felt I’d grown closer to Him. I had also come to recognize that I harbored a very strong intention to pursue blessings. All of this was God’s way of blessing me; it was my privilege. It’s just as God’s words expressed: God’s love is not only mercy and lovingkindness, care and protection. Judgment and chastisement, as well as trials and refinement, are also God’s love; they are His blessing and His grace. This method of showing love might not have been one I liked, but it was what I needed. Without these circumstances, I wouldn’t have come to understand myself. This time, I had experienced firsthand God’s thoughtfulness in saving people. God had been saving me all along, and yet He’d still had to endure my misunderstandings and complaints. Thinking of this, I hated myself, while at the same time being deeply moved by God’s love.

During that time, I often thought of what Peter experienced. I knew that I couldn’t measure up to his humanity or his determination to pursue loving God, but I wanted to know what his experience was like when he suffered judgment and chastisement and trials and refinement, and how he got through his time of extreme pain and weakness. I began watching two video readings of God’s words: “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment,” and “How Peter Came to Know Jesus.” I read these words of God: “Now you should be able to clearly see the precise path that Peter took. If you can clearly see Peter’s path, then you will be certain about the work being done today, so you will not complain or be negative, or long for anything. You should experience Peter’s mood at the time: He was stricken with sorrow; he no longer asked for a future or any blessings. He did not seek profit, happiness, fame, or fortune in the world; he only sought to live the most meaningful life, which was to repay God’s love and dedicate what he held utterly most precious to God. Then he would be satisfied in his heart. He often prayed to Jesus with the words: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, I once loved You, but I never truly loved You. Though I said I had faith in You, I never loved You with a true heart. I only looked up to You, adored You, and missed You, but I never loved You nor truly had faith in You.’ He constantly prayed to make his resolution, and he was always encouraged by the words of Jesus and drew motivation from them. Later, after a period of experience, Jesus tested him, provoking him to yearn for Him further. He said: ‘Lord Jesus Christ! How I miss You, and long to look upon You. I lack too much, and cannot make up for Your love. I beg You to soon take me away. When will You have need of me? When will You take me away? When will I once again look upon Your face? I do not wish to live any longer in this body, to continue becoming corrupted, nor do I wish to rebel any further. I am ready to dedicate all I have to You as soon as I can, and I do not wish to sadden You any further.’ This is how he prayed, but he did not know at the time what Jesus would perfect in him. During the agony of his test, Jesus appeared to him again and said: ‘Peter, I wish to make you perfect, such that you become a piece of fruit, one that is the crystallization of My perfection of you, and which I will enjoy. Can you truly testify for Me? Have you done what I ask you to do? Have you lived out the words I have spoken? You once loved Me, but though you loved Me, have you lived Me out? What have you done for Me? You recognize that you are unworthy of My love, but what have you done for Me?’ Peter saw that he had done nothing for Jesus and remembered his previous oath to give his life to God. And so, he no longer complained, and his prayers from then on grew much better. He prayed, saying: ‘Lord Jesus Christ! I once left You, and You too once left me. We have spent time apart, and time together in company. Yet You love me more than all else. I have repeatedly rebelled against You and repeatedly grieved You. How can I forget such things? I am always bearing in mind and never forget the work You have done on me and what You have entrusted me with. I have done everything that I can for the work You have done on me. You know what I can do, and You further know what role I can play. I wish to put myself at the mercy of Your orchestrations, and I will dedicate everything I have to You. Only You know what I can do for You. Although Satan fooled me so much and I rebelled against You, I believe You do not remember me for those transgressions and that You do not treat me based on them. I wish to dedicate my entire life to You. I ask for nothing, and neither do I have other hopes or plans; I only wish to act according to Your intention and to follow Your will. I will drink from Your bitter cup, and I am Yours to command’(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How Peter Came to Know Jesus). “You must be clear about the path you walk; you must be clear about the path you will take in the future, what it is that God will make perfect, and what has been entrusted to you. One day, perhaps, you will be tested and, when that time comes, if you are able to draw inspiration from Peter’s experiences, it will show that you are truly walking Peter’s path(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How Peter Came to Know Jesus). God’s words moved me very much, and so did Peter’s determination to pursue loving God. After reading about Peter’s experience, I felt humiliated and ashamed. In the midst of trials, Peter always sought as to how he should love God more purely and hated himself when he couldn’t satisfy God. He was always seeking as to how he should offer his most precious things to God. However, during my illness, I’d revealed nothing but rebelliousness and misunderstandings. I was either worrying about what my future destination would be if my illness got worse or fearing that I was going to die. I thought that God had laid out these circumstances in order to reveal and punish me. All I considered were my own interests, and I did nothing at all to satisfy God. My stature was pitifully small, and I couldn’t withstand any hardship whatsoever. Although now my flesh was quite weak, and the duties I could do were quite limited, I couldn’t lose my resolve to pursue the truth. Regardless of the circumstances I found myself in, I was a created being, and pursuing loving and knowing God was the goal that I ought to pursue in this lifetime. If I was alive on this earth, I had to pursue the truth and do well the duty I ought to do.

One day, starting right in the morning my body felt weak. My heart pain was more frequent than it had been, and it was lasting for longer as well. I spent almost the whole day lying in bed. When the evening came, it got worse, and it was difficult to breathe. The sister I lived with called an ambulance, and I prayed to God in my heart, “God, I don’t think I can go on much longer. Have You predetermined that I won’t live past this age? Am I going to die?” Just then, a sentence of God’s words came clearly to my mind: “So long as you still have one breath, God will not let you die(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 6). Like a beam of light, God’s words brightened my heart. Whether or not I could keep breathing was in God’s hands. If He didn’t let me die, then I wouldn’t die. I thought of Peter’s experiences that I’d often read about during this time. Even when facing death, Peter was praying to God, saying that he couldn’t love Him enough. Peter’s experience inspired me, and I silently prayed to God in my heart, “God, regardless of whether I die or not, I trust that everything is in Your hands. If You’ve predetermined that I’ll only live to this age, I have no complaints. Even though I can’t measure up to Peter, I am willing to learn from him and submit to all of Your orchestrations and arrangements. This is what I should do as a created being. God, I am willing to offer You my thanks and praise.” Later, as the ambulance delivered me to the hospital and the doctor performed various checkups, I felt very calm. From the checkups, the doctor still wasn’t certain what kind of illness I had, and there was no way to proceed with treatment. The doctor just sent me home to recuperate. I believed even more firmly that my life was in God’s hands, and that a doctor couldn’t decide whether I lived or died. If I was meant to die, there was no way for a doctor to save me, and if I wasn’t meant to die, then it wouldn’t happen. When I got home, I was still very weak, and I lay down to sleep. Upon waking up, I unconsciously made a fist with my hands. Unexpectedly, my hands felt stronger than they did before. I put on my slippers and got out of bed, realizing that somehow, I could walk normally without holding anything for support. I couldn’t believe it; had I really gotten better just like that? After that, I went a week without having any symptoms of feeling weak and lacking strength, and later, I started doing my duty normally. Now, a year has already passed. My body is gradually recovering, and I’m able to do my duty normally.

After experiencing this, I truly understand firsthand that God’s trials and refinements are meant to purify and save man. Although I suffered a bit during the course of this illness, the gains I received greatly exceeded the pain I felt. This is something I wouldn’t exchange for anything. It’s brought wealth to my life.

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