Bible Reading Made Easy

Since I Have Accepted the True Way, Why Do I Encounter Misfortunes

Brothers and Sisters of Grow in Christ:

Some time ago, I confirmed that Almighty God is the appearance of the Lord Jesus through examining Almighty God’s work of the last days and reading some Almighty God’s words. But after I accepted it, some misfortunes happened in my life, so I have a little doubt in my heart: Since I have accepted the true way, why do I still encounter adversities and misfortunes? This question has plagued me recently, but I don’t know how I should experience them. I’m in dire need of your help.

Sincerely yours,

Xuanli

Sister Xuanli:

Thank God! This is a most commonly encountered question when we first believe in God, and it is also a crucial question. Actually, on our path of faith in God, nothing will go smoothly and there are many bumps accompanying us. Because we don’t understand the truth, once we meet some adversities, we may misunderstand and complain against God, and even doubt God’s work. We may think: Since we believe in the true way, why do we still encounter these misfortunes? In fact, there is truth we should seek from these things. If we don’t seek the truth to solve our notions and confusion in time, we are likely to fall into Satan’s schemes so that we doubt, deny and betray God, thus losing the opportunity of being saved by God. So, when encountering these things, how should we experience them?

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We Should See Through the Spiritual Battle

According to the Bible, Job, in God’s eyes, was a perfect and upright man who feared God and shunned evil. Yet at that time, when God gave Job this evaluation, Satan wasn’t convinced. It neither believed Job’s perfection and uprightness nor believed that there was such a person who could fear God and shun evil on earth. Then it began to carry out its cunning schemes, making Job’s flocks and herds all over the hills be carried off by the robbers, making him lose all his children, and finally making him be covered in sores head-to-toe. It used every possible scheme to try to destroy Job’s faith in God. On the surface, it was that robbers cleaned Job out, but in reality, that is the bet between God and Satan, and it was the hand of Satan upon Job. Satan attempted to let Job blame, doubt and curse God. However, Job feared God and shunned evil, and he didn’t sin with his lips. In the end, he stood the witness for God. Just as the Bible says, “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:20–21). “Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die. But he said to her, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips” (Job 2:9–10). In the trial, Job not only didn’t complain against or doubt God but also praised God. As a result, Satan ended in failure and fled away, and thereafter it never dared to tempt or attack Job.

When Satan’s temptation comes upon us, superficially it is just that some adversities and misfortunes befall us, but behind them, it is that Satan makes a wager with God. When we investigate the true way and want to come back to God, Satan is unwilling to let us return before God to come under His salvation. It wishes us to live under its domain all along and to be used by it. Thus, in order to swallow us and to make us betray and stray away from God, Satan uses every possible means to disturb and tempt us, and exploits all kinds of people and things to obstruct us from believing in God. It even makes our family lose peace or makes nothing go right for us so as to instigate our relationship with God. Clearly it scourges us, but it wants us to misunderstand and blame God instead. It even wishes us all to betray and stray away from God so that we live under its domain and are tortured by it all the time. How shameless and evil Satan is! Therefore, when some adversities and misfortunes come upon us, it is exactly the time that Satan is carrying out schemes to stop us from returning before God. We should see through its schemes, be firmly on God’s side and stand testimony for God.

The Desire for Blessings Needs to Be Resolved

Why do we complain against God once we encounter some adversities and misfortunes? God’s words say: “Most people believe in God for the sake of peace and other benefits. Unless it is to your benefit, you don’t believe in God, and if you can’t receive God’s graces, you fall into a sulk. How could this be your true stature? … When your husband’s business loses money you complain about God, when you find yourself in an environment without God’s protection you still complain about God, you complain even when one of your chicks dies or an old cow in the pen falls ill, you complain when it’s time for your son to start a family but your family doesn’t have enough money, and when the church’s workers eat a couple of meals at your home but the church doesn’t reimburse you or no one sends you any vegetables, you also complain. Your belly is stuffed full of complaints, and you sometimes don’t go to assemblies or eat and drink the words of God because of this, you likely become negative for a great length of time. … If you suffered the same trials as Job, none among you who follow God today would be able to stand firm, you’d all fall down. And there is, quite simply, a world of difference between you and Peter.

God’s words exactly reveal every believer’s true condition. The reason why we blame God when encountering adversities or misfortunes is that our motivations for believing in God are for obtaining blessings and grace. So, when we enjoy family union and our work goes smoothly, we thank God; when we encounter some adversities and misfortunes, suffering some losses, we will have doubts toward God at once, and even misunderstand and blame God. Obviously, our faith is not true faith but a transaction with God. Such faith can’t obtain God’s approval.

As a created being, we should worship God. This is our duty as well as what is right and proper. Just like when our parents bring us up, we should show filial obedience to them instead of having any unreasonable requirements for them, or else it is disgraceful. Similarly, no matter what misfortunes come upon us, we should not complain against God or put the blame on God. Only when we put down our desires for blessings will we not follow Satan to resist God. In this case, when we encounter some major trials, we can have faith to experience God’s work.

Trial Is the Touchstone of Faith

The Bible says, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tries the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3). When adversities and misfortunes befall us, it is the time that God’s trial comes upon us. Where there is a trial, there is a witness that we should bear. As God’s words say, “When you face sufferings you must be able to not consider the flesh and not complain against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or disappear. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design, and be more willing to curse your own flesh than to complain against Him. When you are faced with trials you must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping. Only this can be called true love and faith.” In the suffering, we will have negativity and weakness, but at this moment, if we can put down our interests, pray and seek God’s will more, we will be able to know God’s work, understand God’s attitude toward us human beings, and stand the testimony for God. As the saying goes, “Misfortunes test the sincerity of friends.” Only in the adverse circumstances will it reveal whether we have the true faith in God.

Job’s faith is revealed in the trial. If there were no Satan’s disturbance and attack, Job would not have the opportunity to bear witness for God, nor would he have the opportunity to prove his own righteousness to the world and Satan. When we truly have faith to stand witness for God, Satan will be ashamed and flee away, giving up disturbing and restricting us. Just as when Job stood witness for God, he not only shamed Satan but also comforted God’s heart. God says, “Before the temptation came upon him, in God’s eyes Job was perfect, and thus God protected him and his family, and blessed him; he was worthy to be blessed in God’s eyes. After the temptation, Job did not sin with his lips because he had lost his property and his children, but continued to praise the name of Jehovah. His actual conduct made God applaud him, and give him full marks.” Job fulfilled his duty and responsibility as a created being, obtaining God’s approval and blessings. From then on, Job wasn’t under the bondage of Satan and lived in a world of release and freedom.

So, when we encounter adversities and misfortunes, it could be said to be Satan’s temptation or that God is testing our faith. At this moment, we should pray and seek God’s intention more, accept them from God, and obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Only thus can we not be bound and deceived by Satan, and can we counterattack Satan with our true faith in God and stand witness for God. When God sees our true faith, He will lead us to get out of difficulties.

Sister Xuanli, I hope our communication can help you. May God lead us to enter all the truths, understand God’s intention early and walk out from the negative and distressed situation. May God bless you! All the glory be to God!

Sincerely yours,

Grow in Christ


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