An employed laborer, lately married, enjoyed a conjugal affection and had cute children. But he had to journey to and fro for supporting his family, feeling perplexed by the uncertainties of his life.
A white-collar worker, middle-aged, lived an affluent life, yet he still worked overtime and was busy with social activities for promotion and a pay increase, so he failed to go home on time after work. He was exhausted both mentally and physically and indescribably painful.
A wealthy man, having entered old age, was respectable in the presence of others. However, he had to face his children’s scramble for his property after returning home. He could hardly feel any happiness in his twilight years.
Different life situations bring man different life experiences, which were accompanied with different troubles and bitterness. Everyone longs for perfection, wanting both family togetherness and success in career, and hoping for not only fame and fortune but also the fulfillment in heart. With varied discontent and regret of life, one day, the three, encountered each other.
The employed laborer envied the white-collar worker’s stable job; the white-collar worker envied the wealthy man’s success in career; the wealthy man was envious of the employed laborer’s harmonious family. They, complaining of the disappointments of life, vowed to strive hard to change their fate by their own hands and gain the happy life.
More than ten years later, the employed laborer led a rich life but no longer returned home on time from work. Instead, he was engaged in the social occasions only concerned with eating, drinking, and the pursuit of pleasure. The white-collar worker became a successful boss. Nevertheless, he had to be wary of someone’s scheming for his property all the time, always feeling empty and lonely in the depths of his heart. The wealthy man had passed away, with his children just placing flower baskets before his grave on the anniversary of his death.
Actually, aren’t many of us one of the employed laborer, the white-collar worker or the wealthy man? In the time of poverty, we yearn to live in comfort. After being comfortably off, we desire to be exceedingly wealthy. But after that, we fall into the deeper emptiness of the heart.
The swallow departs in autumn and still returns in spring. The grass withers in winter but grows again with the spring breeze. However, our life once lost is never regained. We attempt to change our fate within several years, over ten years or decades. In the limited time, we strive for money, position, emotion, or anything else, that, we think, will make us happy once we get it. But in the end, we have to admit: Money can buy the luxury material comforts but cannot buy the tranquility of the heart; position may temporarily satisfy our vanity but cannot conceal our inner loneliness; emotion may maintain our fleshly relationships for the moment but only can accompany us through our limited life.
One day, I accidentally saw these words on a spiritual book, “From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to perform your duty. You assume your role in the plan of God and in the ordination of God. You begin the journey of life. Whatever your background and whatever the journey ahead of you, none can escape the orchestration and arrangement that Heaven has in store, and none are in control of their destiny….” “Regardless of whether you are able to recognize the deed of God, and irrespective of whether you believe in the existence of God, there is no doubt that your fate lies within the ordination of God, and there is no doubt that God will always hold sovereignty over all things.”
“When one has no God, when one cannot see Him, when one cannot clearly recognize God’s sovereignty, every day is meaningless, worthless, miserable. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and irrelievable suffering, such that one cannot bear to look back. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life.”
These thought-provoking words made me suddenly understand the secret of happy life: One’s birth, growing up, family and the occupation he pursues all rest in the Creator’s hand. No one can control his own fate and only God is the Master of our fate and our sole reliance. God has made suitable arrangements for everyone’s life. If we don’t worship God in our limited time but try to cast off God’s sovereignty and satisfy our own ambition and desire, we will just waste time and life, and what we will get are emptiness and bitterness. Then how can we have happiness?
Many Christians know the story of Job in the Bible. Job sought to know and worship God among all things of God’s creation during his lifetime, so God gave him good-looking children, great wealth, lots of servants and a mountain of sheep and cattle. However, comfortably as Job lived, he didn’t worry about the gains and losses of his wealth but almost devoted all his effort to worshiping God in his daily life. The Bible says, “And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5). Job worried that his sons had sinned and opposed God, so he urged them to offer sacrifices to God. From this we can see Job indeed practiced the right way of life of fearing God and shunning evil. Even though he was tempted by Satan afterward: He lost all his children and wealth; even his whole body was covered with sore boils; he suffered ridicule by his wife and friends, he still witnessed Jehovah God’s name, “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 1:21). From his words we know that the reason why Job continued to praise God as before when losing wealth, fame, gain, children, and even falling into the plight of nearly losing his life is because he firmly believed that “Human fate is ordained by Heaven,” and that in one’s life, his lifespan, being poor or wealthy are all ruled and arranged by God. Thus Job could face God’s sovereignty and arrangements calmly and didn’t think of blessings or disaster. As a result, after overcoming the temptations of Satan, he got twice as much blessing as he had before from God: He had better children, double property and prolonged life, and most importantly, he gained the peace and tranquility of the heart due to walking in the way of fearing God and shunning evil. Job spent the latter half of his life amid God’s care and blessings and was no longer attacked and disturbed by Satan, gaining freedom completely. This was God’s greatest blessing to him.
If you are still worrying and complaining about your less favorable life, have you ever thought: Once we who do not revere God in our heart or accept God’s word as our life have enough wealth to squander at will, can we control ourselves not to indulge in the trap of feasting and revelry? Money, beauty, fame, gain and various excitements of flesh will make us lost in the whirlpool of sin and unable to extricate ourselves. Similarly, if you exhaust all your efforts to jockey for position because you are unwilling to be ordinary, have you ever thought: Once we who do not have any place for God in our heart hold a high position and win attention and exaltation, will we not abuse power for personal gain or consider ourselves to be ones with a high and mighty position? Gradually, we will lose all our integrity and true friends, and around us are just all sorts of “masks,” only putting on a performance when the occasion arises. Is such life what we want?
In fact, everyone will face many of Satan’s temptations in the course of his life: money, fame, gain, knowledge, position and power. All can tempt one to depart from the way of truth of fearing God and shunning evil. The reason that many believers in God are often trapped in Satan’s temptations and esteems evil is because they lack the fear of God, that is, they do not regard it as the most important thing to believe in God, follow God’s words and practice the truth. Many believers only focus on outward labor or having good behaviors or observing religious rituals. However, very few people spend more time in quieting themselves before God, opening their hearts up to Him, earnestly pondering and practicing God’s words. In truth, if we, like Job, are really not entangled by money, fame, fortune and other external things from now on, and whatever comes along, we don’t do it blindly by our own preferences, desire and imaginations but pray to God to seek His will, accept His inspection and spend every day according to His guidance and the requirements of His words, then we will come to realize that living in accordance with God’s words and taking the truth as the foundation of our existence and our life, we will live more and more peacefully and confidently in righteousness, gain God’s blessings and satisfy Him. This is the secret of happy life.
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