2 Hidden Reasons Why Christians Suffer

By Lengjing, Burma

Editor’s Note:

What should we do when we encounter unhappy circumstances in real life? Through a gathering, the author found a path to practice and understood that there are good intentions of God hidden behind unfortunate things.

Today, it was the time for a church gathering, and Lengjing went listlessly to the meeting place with her handbag. When she arrived there, the brother and sister saw that she was in a bad situation, so they greeted her solicitously.

young girl walking down the street listlessly

Sister Huixin asked her with concern: “Lengjing, what’s wrong with you? It seems that you are not in a good state today.”

Lengjing sighed and said: “Look at the sores on my body. After a month they still haven’t been healed yet. Besides, yesterday, my money was stolen. Though it is only more than two months since I accepted God’s work of the last days, I have spent for God to the best of my abilities in the Church. But why have these events fallen upon me one after another?”

“So that’s what happened,” Huixin said. “Lengjing, when you encounter these unhappy situations, this is actually Satan’s temptations facing you. Let’s read a passage of God’s words and then communicate together.”

Lengjing nodded her head.

Spiritual Warfare

Then Huixin opened the book of God’s words and read: “God works, God cares for a person, looks upon a person, and Satan dogs His every step. Whoever God favors, Satan also watches, trailing along behind. If God wants this person, Satan would do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ways to tempt, harass and wreck the work God does in order to achieve its hidden objective.” After that, she said, “From God’s words we can see that what has happened to you is in fact a spiritual battle. It is God and Satan battling with each other over man. When we accept God’s work of judgment in the last days, this means that we have started to forsake Satan and return to God. But Satan is hostile to God and it is not resigned to see that we all return before God and gain eternal salvation from God, so it uses all kinds of temptations to disturb us and block us from accepting the true way, attempting to cause us to deny and betray God, once more return under its domain, and ultimately be devoured by it. We must see clearly the dynamics of the spiritual world; only in this way can we see through Satan’s scheme.”

After Lengjing heard her fellowship, the expression on her face relaxed slightly.

At this time, Brother Zhang said: “Right. As our spiritual stature is small and we don’t yet understand the truth, we are liable to fall for Satan’s tricks. So we must rely on and look up to God more. Besides, although Satan is evil and insidious, it is merely a creature of God and a serving object in the work of God’s management. God rules over everything, and His wisdom is carried out in response to Satan’s trickery. As long as we don’t lose faith in God, seek for God’s leadership and guidance, see through Satan’s tricks, and stand on the side of God, Satan will have no more schemes to employ. It’s just like when Satan tempted Job. Satan not only caused sore boils all over Job’s body, but also deprived him of all his sons and daughters and his possessions. In the end, however, Job relied on his faith in God to stand testimony in Satan’s temptations, and God blessed him doubly. Therefore, we should have faith in God. Only by bearing firm witness in trials to satisfy God can we be approved by God.”

Lengjing listened attentively to his fellowship, and her heart was bright.

Then, she nodded in agreement and said: “Mm. The words of God and your fellowship have made me understand that what happened to me was actually Satan’s temptations. Satan wanted to use these unhappy circumstances to cause disruptions for me and make me confused about God, attempting to destroy the relationship I have with God. Satan really is too evil and despicable. I must see through Satan’s tricks and stand witness for God.”

Huixin smiled, saying: “For you to be able to have this understanding, we really need to thank God. Only by understanding the truth can we see through Satan’s trickery, stand witness to God, and avoid being captured and devoured by Satan. So it is really critical for us to read God’s words more, understand the truth within God’s words, and thus see clearly the truth of the spiritual struggle.”

God Uses Trials to Cleanse and Perfect Us

Brother Zhang added: “Right. The various tribulations that we encounter are Satan’s temptations; this is one aspect of the knowledge that we should have. Further, we should also understand that these tribulations are also God’s work coming upon us. God’s intention is to use such environments to cleanse us, and reverse our incorrect perspectives of faith. For example, when unfortunate things have not come, we sacrifice for God with great enthusiasm on the outside; but when unfortunate things fall upon us, all our enthusiasm and confidence disappear at once. Why does this happen? This is mainly because our perspectives of believing in God are incorrect. Let’s read a passage of God’s words, ‘How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? How many believe in Me only so I would use My powers to drive unclean spirits out of their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth, and how many believe in Me just to spend this life in safety and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, yet I acknowledged him not and felt abhorrence for him, man went far away from Me and sought the way of witch doctors and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, they all disappeared without a trace.’ The words of God reveal our incorrect perspectives on faith. Our belief in God is not to seek the truth so that we can submit to God and satisfy God, but to pursue to obtain God’s grace and blessings, and use God to achieve our own ends. Those who have illnesses want to be healed; those who are poor want to get wealth; those who are suffering want to receive peace and joy from God; those who fear death want to use God to avoid the suffering of hell; and so on. When God doesn’t meet our demands, we become negative and weak, living in the midst of our misunderstandings and complaints of God, and even want to deny God, betray God, and leave God. In fact, our entire being and all that we get to enjoy come from God, so even though God does not bless us, we should still pursue the truth and fulfill our duty to repay God’s love. However, we believe in God only to receive blessings and benefits from God. When we come across unfortunate events we begin to complain about God without seeking truth from them. This fully exposes that our perspectives about believing in God are wrong. God permits Satan’s temptations to befall us, through which He reveals our incorrect perspectives on faith. Only in this way can we truly know ourselves, and thus rebel against our wrong motivations and gradually be cleansed and changed.”

Then Huixin continued: “God’s work is so practical. He uses Satan’s temptations that fall upon us to reveal us and at the same time to cleanse and save us. Take me for example. When I had just accepted God’s new work, I had great faith and enthusiasm, and my strength to expend for God was great, as though I would never run out. At that time, I thought I was the one who truly loved God. But not long after that, I encountered illness, and many mishaps happened to my family: My child fought with others at school and got into a scrape, and my husband lost money in business. After this series of unfortunate events fell upon me, my original faith suddenly turned cold as if a bucket of cold water had been poured over it. I seemed to have changed into another person, becoming passive and weak. Later, I saw the words of God say, ‘Right now most people are in this kind of state: “In order to gain blessings I must expend myself for God and pay a price for Him. In order to gain blessings I must abandon everything for God; I must complete what He has entrusted me with and perform my duty well.” This is dominated by the intention to be blessed; it is expending oneself entirely for the purpose of gaining God’s rewards, for gaining the crown.’ God’s words went straight to the heart of the matter, exposing my intention to make a deal with Him. It turned out that my expending for God with great confidence in the beginning of belief was entirely out of my enthusiasm for gaining blessings and the crown; it was not out of true obedience to God. To put it plainly, my sacrificing for God was dominated by Satan’s poison “Why get up early if there’s nothing in it for me?” This could in no way be considered to be practicing the truth or performing the duty of a creature of God. Therefore, when my desire to obtain blessings was shattered, I involuntarily generated notions and misunderstandings about God, living in a condition of negativity. After realizing these, by praying to God and reading God’s words, gradually I reversed my incorrect perspective of faith, and I also set my determination that I would perform my duty only to satisfy God and repay God’s love. After experiencing all this I saw that what unfortunate things brought me was the blessing of life.”

Lengjing said, “After • hearing your fellowship I understand that when something unfortunate happens to me, this is Satan’s temptation facing me, and at the same time, this is also God trying, purifying, and changing me. Now I realize that the reason why I became so negative when encountering unhappy circumstances was because my perspective of faith was incorrect. Thanks be to God! If He did not reveal me like this, I would still not recognize that my believing in God was in fact making deals with God. Turns out that there are always God’s good intentions behind unfortunate things. From now on, I must try my best to experience God’s work of the last days. No matter what painful trials happen to me in the future, I should seek the truth, submit to God, and stand firm and bear witness for God.”

Hearing that, Huixin and Brother Zhang said with a big smile: “Thanks be to God! All glory be to Almighty God!”

Read more on our Spiritual Growth page, or click on the related articles below.

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