Bible Reading Made Easy

Spiritual Warfare: God Perfected My Faith Through the Trial of Illness

By Li Mei, South Korea

Editor’s Note: We all know the road to the heavenly kingdom is tortuous, and is fraught with Satan’s many temptations and deceptions. Particularly when some Christians have just accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days, they encounter Satan’s temptations, such as losing their property, illness, and so forth, which undoubtedly pose challenges to their faith. How should we experience these adverse environments when faced with them? The author, Li Mei, once experienced this conundrum, and I hope her experience can be of help to you.

Seeing Through the Intentions Behind Satan’s Disturbances

In February 2018, I was fortunate enough to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days. In the beginning, my faith was very strong, and I enjoyed reading God’s words and watching the various videos and movies produced by the church. However, when I started to go to church meetings, Satan’s temptations and attacks came upon me one after another.

On one particular day, my older sister took me to the church, where I started to read a book of God’s words. However, before long, my eyes began to hurt. At first I ignored it, but soon they hurt so much that I even couldn’t make out the words on the page. My head began to ache and the pain got worse, which made it impossible to sit still. I couldn’t help but mutter to myself, “That’s strange. I’ve never felt like this, even when I work very hard. Why do my eyes and head hurt so much when I read God’s words?” Then I asked Sister Cao what was going on.

Two Christians are reading the Word of God

Seeing me in so much pain, she rubbed my temples and fellowshiped this to me, “Sister, when we suffer pain, we should understand that Satan’s schemes are behind it. So, we mustn’t blame God. Let’s read some of God’s words: ‘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. What is its objective? It does not want God to have anyone; it wants all those that God wants, to occupy them, control them, to take charge of them so they worship it, so they commit evil acts alongside it. Is this not Satan’s sinister motive?’”

She continued, “From God’s words, we can see that God works to save mankind, but Satan isn’t content to watch us be saved by God, so it follows along at each step of God’s work and uses various means to disturb us, make us doubt God’s might and dominance, lose faith in God, and misunderstand and blame Him. If we can’t see the spiritual war that is happening, we will fall prey to Satan’s treachery, return to its power, and ultimately lose God’s salvation. This is Satan’s despicable objective. But, God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s schemes. God uses Satan’s disturbances to allow us to clearly see its treachery and evil, while at the same time perfecting our faith in Him. As long as we rely on God and look to God, we will overcome Satan’s temptations and see God’s omnipotence and sovereignty.”

After hearing God’s words and Sister Cao’s fellowship, I realized that Satan was using this illness to attack me and sow discord between me and God, so as to make me blame God. I knew I couldn’t fall for Satan’s tricks. The more Satan disturbed me, the more I must attend church meetings and read God’s words.

How to Stand Firm and Testify Amidst the Spiritual Battle

Then Sister Cao read another passage of God’s words to me: “Through mankind’s cries God gives them what they need, but He does not ‘reside’ within them at first. He just constantly gives them aid because of their cries and people gain hardiness from that internal strength so that Satan dare not come here to ‘play’ at its will. This way, if people constantly connect with God’s Spirit, Satan dare not come to disrupt.

She continued her fellowship, saying, “On the road of following God, we often face attacks from Satan. It’s impossible to fight back against Satan by ourselves. We need to pray to God and rely on Him, so that He will give us the faith and strength we need to overcome Satan’s temptations and attacks.”

So I prayed to God, “Almighty God! Satan is making my eyes and head hurt so much that I can’t read Your words. God! Please give me faith, so that no matter how Satan disturbs me, I can stand firm and testify for You and not leave You.” After praying, I felt the pain in my head and eyes ease greatly.

However, my head and eyes started to hurt again as I walked home from the church. Even worse, I felt so much discomfort in my heart that I could hardly breathe. I said to my sister, “Why am I in pain again? If I’m still in pain tomorrow, I won’t go to the church meeting.” As soon as I said that, I realized I had lost my testimony, and I felt some regret. After we got home, my sister played a hymn, “God’s Love Brings Us Close Together.” I heard these lines: “In negativity and weakness, we support each other. We are together in adversity. Standing witness, we defeat Satan. We escape the darkness and live in the light. …” As I listened, I became relaxed, my heart no longer felt uncomfortable, and my eyes and head didn’t feel as painful. After a while, Sister Cao called me and asked me how my head was. I then told her about what had just happened. She said, “The more we are attacked by Satan, the more we should pray to God and have faith in Him.” I said with a sigh, “Just now, the pain was so bad that I even forgot to pray to God. My faith in Him is really too small.”

Hearing what I said, Sister Cao read me a passage of God’s words, “While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or 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, 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 it all away. No matter how he was tested, he maintained this belief. … 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 don’t have faith, you cannot be perfected and you will be unable to see God’s actions, much less see His omnipotence. When you have faith and you can touch His actions in your practical experience, God will appear to you, and He will enlighten and guide you from within. Without that faith, God will be unable to do that.

Then she fellowshiped this with me, “Satan’s disturbances are allowed by God, and they are God’s trials, so experiencing these situations is meaningful. Just like when Satan tempted Job, which was also sanctioned by God. On the surface, Job was stripped of all his wealth and his children by Satan, and even ended up covered with boils. However, within this was God’s good intention—to perfect Job’s faith. From Job’s experience, we can see that though he was in pain, he still held to his integrity and relied on his faith in God to stand firm and give resounding testimony to God. Finally, Satan could do nothing to Job, and had to flee in a panic. After experiencing these trials, Job obtained God’s blessings anew: He had another seven sons and three daughters, and double his original fortune. Most importantly, he had more faith in God, and his faith received God’s praise, making him a role model for later generations. Today, when we are faced with illness, we should imitate Job and rely on faith to battle with Satan, and stand firm and testify for God. If we lose our faith in God, we won’t be able to experience His work, and ultimately we won’t see His deeds.”

What she fellowshiped gave me great strength and courage. Compared with Job’s experience, the illness I suffered was nothing. But I had wanted to shrink away from it just because of some fleshly pain. My spiritual stature was really too small. After realizing this, I felt very ashamed. So, I said this prayer to God, “Dear God! I ask that You grant me enough faith and power to fight Satan to the end. Even if my eyes and head hurt, I will keep attending meetings and reading Your words. Even if I can’t read, I will persist in listening to Your words.

A Christian is Praying to God

Refusing to Bow to Satan and Seeing God’s Deeds

The next day, when I was going out to the church, when I found that I couldn’t get my feet into my shoes as they had become swollen without me realizing it, I realized that Satan was still attacking me. But then I remembered my experience the night before, and I didn’t withdraw in negativity. Instead, I went to church in a pair of loose shoes for the elderly. All the way, I prayed silently to God, asking Him to protect me, and keep me from blaming Him. After reaching the church, I watched a video of recitation of God’s words together with my sisters. But, less than five minutes later, my head started to hurt again, so I stood up, and soon, my feet were so badly swollen that I could hardly keep my balance, and my eyes ached more and more as I watched the video. But, once I stopped watching the video, my eyes didn’t hurt a bit. I quickly prayed to God in my heart, “God! Time and again Satan attacks and disturbs me, because it doesn’t want me to believe in You. The previous two times I didn’t stand firm and testify for You due to my lack of faith, but this time I have to do it. Please guide me.” After I prayed, I continued to watch the video. When my headache got severe, I stood up; when I couldn’t stand on my feet, I sat down and continued watching it; when my eyes hurt, I listened to the recitation. But before long, my heart felt uncomfortable, so my sisters and I prayed to God together. After that, a sister played the movie A Battle for me. When I saw these words of God in this movie, “If, on the road to loving God, you are able to stand on the side of God when He does battle with Satan, and you do not turn back to Satan, then you will have achieved the love of God, and you will have stood firm in your testimony,” I felt even more confident, so I persisted in watching the movie. Slowly, I surprisingly felt the pain in my head and eyes disappear, and my heart was no longer uncomfortable. When my sisters saw that I had stood firm and testified by relying on God’s words, they all happily thanked God, and I also thanked and praised God. At that moment, I felt particularly relieved, peaceful, and secure, as if a tightly locked door in my heart had been opened.

What I Gained From This Experience

After this spiritual battle, my faith in God increased much. Although Satan used illness to attack me and disturb my belief in God, God sent my sisters to continuously fellowship His words to me, so that I could see through the tricks of Satan and understand God’s will, and then gain faith and power to overcome Satan’s temptations and stand witness. Thanks be to God! At the same time, I gained some discernment of Satan’s sinister and vile motivations. It used all sorts of means to disturb me, make me misunderstand God, and ultimately lose His salvation. Satan really is evil. Also, I truly experienced the love of God, as well as the authority and power of His words. In spiritual battles, only by depending on God’s words can we overcome and defeat Satan, and feel liberated and at peace. All the glory and praise be to Almighty God! Amen!

Editor’s Conclusion: I believe that after reading Li Mei’s experience, everyone can understand that on the path to believing in God, behind every adversity that befalls us, there is actually an intense spiritual battle, as well as God’s trials of us. So, it is necessary for us to maintain our faith in God and stand firm and testify for Him. If you are now experiencing a spiritual battle, and don’t know the way ahead, rely on your faith in God to experience it, and you will see God’s deeds.

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