Why Does God Allow Sufferings to Come Upon Us? How Should We Experience Hardships?
Question: In life, we often come across some unpleasant things, and sometimes they can be very painful and hard to endure. Whenever we encounter things like this, our hearts can become quite weak, and we don’t understand: Why does God permit this suffering to befall us? How should we face it?
Relevant Words of God:
Is the life the Creator arranges for people one of hardship, or is it happy and carefree? (One of hardship.) The majority of people live lives of hardship, with too many difficulties and too much pain. What is the Creator’s purpose in these arrangements, and what is their significance? In one sense, such arrangements are meant to allow people to experience and know God’s sovereignty, arrangements, and authority; in another sense, His primary purpose is to let people experience what life really is, and thereby to realize that man’s destiny is controlled in God’s hand, and is neither decided by any person nor changed in the wake of changes in people’s subjective will. Whatever the Creator does and whatever sort of life or fate He has arranged for people, He makes them reflect on life and on what man’s destiny really is, and, as they reflect on all these things, He makes them come before God. When God expresses the truth and tells people what all this is, He makes people come before Him, accept what God says, experience what God says, understand what the relationship really is between all God says and all the things people experience in their real lives. He lets people verify the practicality, accuracy, and validity of these truths, after which man gains them and acknowledges that he is controlled in the hand of the Creator, and that his destiny is ruled and arranged by God. Once man has understood all this, he will no longer have any impractical plans for his life, and he will not plan to go against the wishes of the Creator nor what He has ordained and arranged; rather, he will have an increasingly accurate assessment and understanding, or a comprehension and plan, of how his life should be lived and the road he should take.
Excerpted from “Only by Resolving One’s Notions Can One Enter the Right Track of Believing in God (2)” in Records of’s Talks
No one goes their whole life without suffering. For some people, it has to do with family, for some, with work, for some, with marriage, and for some, with physical illness. Everyone suffers. Some say, “Why must people suffer? How great it would be to live our whole lives peacefully and happily. Can’t we not suffer?” No—everyone must suffer. Suffering causes every person to experience the myriad sensations of physical life, whether these sensations be positive, negative, active or passive; suffering gives you different feelings and appreciations, which, for you, are all life experience. If you can seek the truth and seek the will of God from these, then you will draw ever closer to the goals given to you by God. That is one aspect, and it is also in order to make people more experienced. Another aspect is the responsibility that God gives to man. What responsibility? To undergo this suffering. You must bear this suffering. If you can bear it, then this is testimony. Faced with illness, some people are afraid others will find out, they think it is something shameful, when in fact this is nothing to be ashamed of. As a normal person, if, amid illness, you are able to accept the various kinds of suffering that God arranges for you, and are still able to perform your duty normally, are able to complete the commissions that God gives you normally, then this is testimony, and it is something that shames and defeats Satan. And so, any suffering should be accepted and submitted to by every created being and every person. This is how you should understand it, this is in line with the will of God, and it is God’s intention. This is what God arranges for every created being. His putting you in these situations and conditions is equivalent to giving you a responsibility, obligation, and commission, and so you should accept them. Is this not the truth? As long as it comes from God, as long as God makes such a demand of you, then it is the truth. Why is it said to be the truth? This is because if you accept these words as the truth, then when you encounter an issue, these words will be able to solve your notions and rebelliousness, they will allow you smooth passage through this issue, and they will allow you to bear testimony, and not go against the will of God or rebel against God. If you are able to submit to the conditions and situations that God places you in, then you understand the truth, and if you can bear such testimony, then you bring shame upon Satan.
Excerpted from “Only by Resolving One’s Notions Can One Enter the Right Track of Believing in God (1)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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. In whichever aspects you are not purified, 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 bondage of corruption of the flesh in their thoughts and in their hearts. In whichever aspects you are still subject to Satan’s bondage, and in whichever aspects you still have your own desires and your own demands, these are the aspects in which you should suffer. Only through suffering can lessons be learned, which means being able to gain truth, and understand. In fact, many truths are understood by experiencing painful trials. Nobody can comprehend God’s will, 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!
Excerpted from “How One Should Satisfy God Amidst Trials” in Records of Christ’s Talks
These days, most people whohave not yet entered the right track and have not come to understand the truth, so they still feel empty inside, and feel suffering in life, and they do not have the strength to fulfill their duties. This is how God’s believers are before they have a vision in their hearts. Such people have not obtained truth and do not yet know God, so do not yet feel much internal pleasure. You, especially, have all suffered persecution and experienced difficulty in returning home; you suffer, and also have thoughts of death and an unwillingness to live. These are weaknesses of the flesh. Some people even think: Believing in God should be enjoyable. In the Age of Grace, the Holy Spirit still bestowed peace and joy upon people. Now there is too little peace and joy; pleasure like there was during the Age of Grace does not exist. Believing in God today is extremely vexing. You only know that the pleasure of the flesh is better than anything else. You do not know what God is doing today. God has to allow your flesh to suffer in order to transform your disposition. Even though your flesh suffers, you have God’s word and you have . You cannot die even if you want to: Can you resign yourself to not knowing God and not obtaining truth? Now, mainly, it is just that people have not yet obtained truth, and they do not have life. Now people are in the midst of the process of seeking salvation, so they must suffer some during this period. Today everyone throughout the world is tried: God is still suffering—is it right that you do not suffer? Without refinement through great disasters there cannot be genuine faith, and the truth life will not be obtained. Not having trials and refinement would not do. Peter was ultimately tried for seven years (after he was fifty-three years old). He experienced hundreds of trials throughout those seven years; he had to go through one every several days, and only after undergoing all manner of trials did he obtain life and experience a transformation in his disposition. Thus, when you truly obtain the truth and come to know God, you will feel that you should be living for God. If you do not live for God, then you will be sorry; you will live out the rest of your days in bitter regret and extreme remorse. You can’t die yet. You must clench your fists and resolutely continue to live; you must live a life for God. When people have truth within them then they have this resolve and never again desire to die; when death threatens you, you will say, “O God, I am unwilling to die; I still do not know You. I still have not repaid Your love. I must die only after coming to know You well.” Have you reached this level? You haven’t yet, right? Some people suffer familial hardship, and some suffer marital hardship; some suffer persecution, and do not even have a place to rest their feet. No matter where they go, they can only stay at the homes of others, and so they suffer in their hearts. Is not the suffering you encounter now the very same suffering of God? You are suffering along with God, and God is suffering along with people. Today you all have a part in Christ’s tribulation, kingdom, and patience, and in the end you will obtain glory. This kind of suffering is meaningful, but you absolutely must be resolved. You must understand the significance of today’s suffering and why you must suffer so. Seek a little truth from this, and understand a little of God’s intention, and you will then possess the resolve to endure suffering. If you do not understand God’s intention, and merely ruminate on your suffering, then the more you think about it, the more distressed you feel, and then you will be in trouble and begin to suffer the torment of death. If you understand truth, you will say, “I have not yet obtained truth. I must properly expend myself for God. I must bear good witness of God. I must repay God’s love. After that, it doesn’t matter how I die. Then I will have lived a satisfactory life. Regardless of who else is dying, I will not die now; I must tenaciously continue to live.” Thus, now all these things must be seen clearly, and truth must be understood from them. When people have truth, they have strength. When they have truth, they are filled with inexhaustible energy. When they have truth, they have will. Without truth, they are like the limp dregs of tofu. With truth, they are firm and emboldened, and they do not feel their suffering as suffering, no matter how much they endure.
Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks