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Each divine messenger confirms new spiritual guidance for all human beings.
The Word of God, “the Testament,” is the bread of life that those messengers progressively renew from age to age.
Every human being has the capacity to develop their soul through acquiring virtues and in manifesting of faith through acts of service for others. To a such a person, unforeseen tests, troubles and trials—the “hurricanes” of life—are like “pop quizzes” in school, designed to determine the individual’s preparation in patience, tolerance, forbearance, humility, detachment and wisdom. In other words, these skills help manifest the inner resilience we humans need to navigate the unexpected, unpredictable and inexplicable of life. At “quiz time,” every person comes to a crossroads that poses a clear choice: the path of least resistance and surrender to disconsolate despair; or to choose the path of patience, detachment and steadfastness, of “standing on the promises” in faith in God (Hebrews 6:13-20). As Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, wrote:
Blessed is the man that hath acknowledged his belief in God and in His signs, and recognized that “He shall not be asked of His doings.” Such a recognition hath been made by God the ornament of every belief and its very foundation. Upon it must depend the acceptance of every goodly deed. Fasten your eyes upon it, that haply the whisperings of the rebellious may not cause you to slip. – The Most Holy Book, p. 77.
With every day and with every minute of breath, both physical and spiritual laws operate for every human being. Choices, those instances where a human being applies thought, analysis and determines action according to the values, the consciousness that have manifested by living on this Earth. In life, divine confirmations may be pathways that open or opportunities that disappear. How the individual lives with these realities of life forms the basis of faith, of spiritual resilience, of what the Baha’i writings call “radiant acquiescence,” the divine confirmation that Job displayed in severe tests.
As we go through life, we are tested by the “whisperings of the rebellious” among us. We all have choices and consequences until we take our last breath. We can choose to overcome what happens to us, to be stymied and disabled—or we can choose to overcome, dust ourselves off, give a hand to one another and carry on. The societies in which we humans live are not absolved of responsibility to demonstrate justice, to ensure that all humanity has the means to create and sustain peace and equity.
We are all truly interconnected by science, technology and geography. We have the means to choose individual resilience with the assistance of the divine messengers: “Every divine Manifestation is the very life of the world, and the skilled physician of each ailing soul.” – Abdu’l Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 59.
Baha’u’llah expresses the inner nobility and capacity of the human being to serve others: “Noble have I created thee, wherefore dost thou abase thyself? Rise then for that thou wast created!” – The Hidden Words, p. 9.
Humanity, essentially noble, and with free will, can choose to use gifts of intellect, compassion, and intelligence to create peace on Earth “as it is in Heaven.” We close our eyes and pray for divine confirmation of our endeavors. Yet sometimes, despite earnest entreaty, like Job, our prayers are not answered:
But we ask for things which the divine wisdom does not desire for us, and there is no answer to our prayer. His wisdom does not sanction what we wish. We pray, “O God! Make me wealthy!” If this prayer were universally answered, human affairs would be at a standstill. There would be none left to work in the streets, none to till the soil, none to build, none to run the trains. Therefore, it is evident that it would not be well for us if all prayers were answered. The affairs of the world would be interfered with, energies crippled and progress hindered. But whatever we ask for which is in accord with divine wisdom, God will answer. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 244.
The Baha’i teachings describe divine confirmations as guideposts of intuitive certitude, that one path of action may be better for our spiritual development than another. These guideposts can provide a way forward when no way seems to exist. Divine confirmations can also reveal the fundamental spiritual truth that in all things, “even or odd, thou shalt win the wager.” – Baha’u’llah, from a tablet translated from the Persian.
Each of us has the capacity to discern divine meaning that infuses our lives. In the words of Abdu’l-Baha: “God’s greatest gift … is that of intellect, or understanding” and “… the intellect is the highest light that exists, for it is born of the Light Divine.” – Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 69.
To consider that the spiritual life of a human being is eternal and divinely oriented is in the Hindu and Buddhist tradition of “karma.” While reincarnation is not part of Baha’i belief, the Baha’i writings reiterate the reciprocity of cause and effect, action, reaction and inaction in the course of living a life growing closer to the Divine through the Creator’s prophets and messengers:
Rely upon God. Trust in Him. Praise Him, and call Him continually to mind. He verily turneth trouble into ease, and sorrow into solace, and toil into utter peace. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 178.
Divine confirmations can encircle us as we learn to accept that things in life may not happen when or how we think they should happen. To live a life of unbounded faith, like Job did, is to consider that each of us can elevate or diminish our spiritual selves throughout our limited time on earth as this ability is the precious gift of being human, “the Crown of Creation” (Genesis 1:29-31).