After accepting God’s kingdom gospel, I was hindered and persecuted by my families from believing in God again and again. But, I relied on God’s word and won the spiritual warfare.
Happy Life: Stop Pursuing Money
By Wang Hong
I was born in a poor family. When I was 12, my mom died from brain tumor, and for this reason, our poor family got even harder up. My younger brother and I also suffered a great blow. In order to let us not suffer but have the happy life like that of other kids at our age, my dad put us in my grandma’s family and then went out to work. My grandpa was a person who despised the poor and curried favor with the rich, and he also treated his children in this way. As my father’s elder brother acted as a secretary in another province and had money and influence, my grandpa liked my uncle’s family very much and often praised my uncle and belittled my dad before my brother and me, saying that my dad was incapable and could achieve nothing. He also threw cold words at, mocked and satirized us. Seeing this, my grandma who dearly loved us was very angry in her heart, but she dare not speak good words for us as my grandpa had a bad temper. Living in such a home environment, my brother and I all felt very distressed and oppressed. For this, I often wept secretly alone under the quilt, missing my mom and dad as well as the happy life of our family living together. But I knew it was only the sweetest memory in my life and couldn’t be gained anymore. At that time, I resolutely said to myself: After a few years, I will grow up and can go out to make money. When I make a lot of money, I can be looked up to by my grandpa, and my brother and I won’t live such painful days.
After I graduated from junior middle school, I no longer attended school and began to look for jobs with several classmates. I found a series of jobs but none was suitable for me. My uncle’s wife talked over with my uncle and asked him to find a better job for me; unexpectedly, he said with a kind of disdain and sarcasm, “There are too many good jobs, but does she have the competence for them? Look, she is neither talented nor well-educated. To find a good job, it’s nothing but a daydream.” My uncle’s word was like a basin of cold water pouring upon me, making me cool from the head to the feet; I had never thought he could speak such cold-blooded word. My heart suffered a big blow. From then on, I made a firmer determination: No matter how much price I will pay or no matter how many hardships I will suffer, I must find ways to make more money and live a wealthy life, letting them not dare to disdain me any longer. After that, I paid much more effort to look for jobs. In that year, I once worked as a painter to decorate house, and also worked in a Plastics Plant and in a shoe factory. These jobs were hard and tiring, and were harmful to people’s health. Other classmates all quit their jobs for they couldn’t suffer the hardship. But I forced myself to hold on and wasn’t absent from work for one time no matter how cold it was or no matter how far away the working place was. However, all that I had done was just physical work, and by the end of year I didn’t make much money even though I had suffered much. At that time, I couldn’t help feeling despair somewhat and crying in my heart: “O Heaven! How come I have such a bitter fate? I have worked so hard, but why can’t I make much money?”
Seeing that I couldn’t realize my dream of living a superior life no matter how hard I struggled, I was pinning all my hope on looking for a partner, thinking: I myself can’t make much money, but if I look for a wealthy and powerful partner, I can still live a good life and gain the admiration of my grandpa and uncle and others. But things went contrary to my wishes. Several young men were introduced to me in succession, but I wasn’t satisfied with them from the bottom of my heart, for they were all cooks who I thought could accomplish nothing. But at last, I still got married to a cook, my present husband. After we got married, my husband was very nice to me, and my mother-in-law also took a good care of me and treated me as her own daughter. This made me feel the warmth of the home. But I wasn’t content with the current situation and still put my heart into making money. At this time, my mother-in-law accepted God’sof the last days and she told this good news to us. I knew faith in God is a good thing, but because I couldn’t drop my desire of standing out and being an important person, my head was filled with the thoughts of how to make more money. So, though I accepted God’s work of the last days, I had no mind to pursue. My mother-in-law and brothers and sisters all fellowshiped with me and asked me to attend gatherings, but I who was stubborn couldn’t listen to them and also didn’t take their words seriously.
One day, my husband talked to me and said that he had the skill of cooking and didn’t want to work for others all the time, and that he wanted to run his own restaurant. Hearing his word, I was a little worried, thinking: Now every trade is full of fierce competition and making money is not easy. What if we suffer a loss? Our family is not rich; if we suffer a loss, won’t we become even poorer? By then we must be looked down on by others even more. But I also thought: Maybe this is the only chance for me to make a better life; if I am hesitant and afraid to have a try, then I can only lead a life of being looked down on all my life. No! I must have a try. After I made up my mind, we did it right away. At the beginning, we found an associate because our funds were limited.
Unexpectedly, after our restaurant was opened, our business became more and more brisk. People in factories and units around our restaurant all came for meals because our meals were clean and inexpensive. Some regular customers recommended their friends to our restaurant. Seeing this, my worry at the beginning disappeared completely and I put my heart and soul into the business, so I even had less time and heart to believe in God and attend gatherings. Just when our business was flourishing, the young man cooperating with us was over-worked and couldn’t raise his arms due to making hand-pulled noodles all days; as he couldn’t get better after receiving treatment, he withdrew his shares and left our restaurant. Like this, the restaurant became our own and subsequently our workloads became even heavier. In order to make more money, we continually worked like wound clocks every day, from the morning to the evening. In the evening, if I was too sleepy to open my eyes, I would lean over the table for a short rest. Every day, when I tidied up everything, it had been one or two o’clock in the morning. Lying in the bed, I felt aching with tiredness all over as if my body were falling apart, and wouldn’t like to move anymore. But as long as I thought of the money I had earned and the superior life I would live in the near future, I felt all the tiredness and pain was worthy. And I also felt that the life I had dreamed was at hand.
Just like this, we worked hard year after year and made more and more money. In order to hold our heads up before our relatives and friends, my husband and I decided to buy a car. One day, my husband asked our elder cousin who knew much about cars to accompany us to see cars. Considering that we didn’t have enough money to buy a nice car, my husband and I wanted to first buy a second-hand car and then buy a new car after we had more money in the future. But when we went to the second-hand market and saw that second-hand cars were cheaper yet inferior, I thought: If I buy a second-hand car, my relatives and friends surely will laugh at me and think that I have no money to buy a new car. Rather than spending money to buy a second-hand car and be laughed at by others, it would be better to buy a new car. Thus, we came to the new car market. Seeing the brand-new cars, I thought: Why don’t I buy a luxury car at a time and drive home to let my grandpa and uncle see that I am something and no longer was the young girl they looked down upon? When I thought of this, I had an absolutely different attitude from before; I would like to buy a nice car to achieve my long-planned wish even if I lived a belt-tightening life in the future. Therefore, I went straight toward the cars worth over a hundred thousand yuan. At the moment, my cousin said with a smile, “Gosh! Wang Hong, you really have made money by running the restaurant. You even don’t glance at the cars worth tens of thousands of yuan, but go directly toward those worth over a hundred thousand yuan.” Hearing his words, I felt elated and couldn’t help walking with my head held high. In order to buy the car early, we took out most of the money in our family and paid the first payment in several days and successfully drove the car home. One day, my brother called and said that something happened to my grandma’s family. The whole family would go there and he asked us to go there too. After I hung up, my husband and I began to drive there. On the way, I continually thought of their surprising expressions when they saw my husband and me proudly get out of our car. At the thought of this, I couldn’t express the joy in my heart and couldn’t wait to drive the car up to my grandma’s house. And I thought: “This time I will let you know I’ve bought a car, a nicer car than yours.” However, because there were too many people going there, when we arrived at the village my grandma lived in, the way had packed around with cars, so our car couldn’t drive up to my grandma’s house. Without a choice, we had to park the car at the entrance of the village and I felt a little disappointed. As I was walking and thinking, I came across my aunt, who asked me how I came there. I thought the time finally had come, so I said with great pride: “We have just bought a new car, so we drove here.” At my words, my aunt’s eyes were immediately full of admiration; I felt extremely happy. In the following time, I no longer hid away as before when the younger generation chatted together, but actively joined them and talked about cars with them. When they knew my car was the most expensive, they all saw me with admiration. At that time, I felt my life ideal had finally been realized and that I also became a wealthy person and would never be looked down on by them. On that day, my vanity was greatly satisfied and I seemingly felt a bit of happiness.
After the short happiness, we were faced with the cruel reality. When we garnered others’ admiration by driving the car everywhere, we indeed held our heads up but our bitterness behind the glory was unknown to them. After we bought the car, we had to repay the car loan at a payment of six thousand yuan each month. In order to make more money to repay the loan, we added the service of wedding dinner. After a whole day’s work, I was too tired to move my legs and even didn’t want the day to break when I went to sleep at night. Because of being busy with business, when any of my relatives invited us for something, I would not go there and just asked others to offer the gift money on my behalf. Afterward, my aunt said that we indulged in making money so much so that we had little human kindness. Hearing that, I felt quite troubled but I couldn’t consider too much about it. No matter what they said or no matter how they think of me, I just couldn’t stop making money; if I didn’t work hard to make money, how could I repay that much loan. Besides, if others knew that we bought the car but couldn’t repay the loan, wouldn’t they die laughing? In that year, three members of my family had to scrimp and tried to save every cent. When I saw other people bought whatever they wanted, I was very jealous, but when I thought of the loan, I had to endure and dare not buy anything. In addition, on weekends, we would take our child to the restaurant, but we couldn’t have time to take care of him. Sometimes, he played alone; sometimes, when we were too busy, we even let him help us do something. When he was tired, he would go to sleep alone. Every time when I saw he was lonely and pitiful, my heart would be in pain and sorrow. At the time, I couldn’t help questioning myself: “Why do we work so hard? What on earth am I pursuing by working like this? Is this the happiness I want to gain? Is it worth to let my family suffer like this just in order to be looked up to by others? Why am I suffering like this?”
As I was utterly miserable and perplexed, I remembered God I had long since forgotten. Once at a meeting, I recounted my condition to the sisters. Hearing what I said, a sister found two passages offor me to read: “In fact, no matter how lofty man’s ideals are, no matter how realistic man’s desires are or how proper they may be, all that man wants to achieve, all that man seeks for is inextricably linked with two words. These two words are vitally important to the life of every person, and these are things Satan intends to instill in man. Which two words are these? One is ‘fame’ and one is ‘gain’: They are fame and gain. Satan uses a very subtle kind of way, a way very much in concert with people’s notions; it is not any kind of radical way. In the midst of unawareness, people come to accept Satan’s way of living, its rules of living, establishing life goals and their direction in life, and in doing so they also unknowingly come to have ideals in life. No matter how high-sounding these ideals in life seem, they are just a pretext that is inextricably linked to fame and gain. Any great or famous person, all people in fact, anything they follow in life relates only to these two words: ‘fame’ and ‘gain.’ Is this not so? (Yes.) People think that once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them to enjoy high status and great wealth, and to enjoy life. Once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them in their pleasure-seeking and unscrupulous enjoyment of the flesh. People willingly, albeit unknowingly, take their bodies, minds, all that they have, their futures and their destinies and hand them all over to Satan in order to attain the fame and gain they desire. People do this without ever a moment’s hesitation, ever ignorant of the need to recover it all. Can people still have any control over themselves once they go over to the side of Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They are also completely and utterly unable to free themselves from the quagmire they have sunk down into. Once someone is mired in fame and gain, they no longer seek that which is bright, that which is righteous or those things that are beautiful and good. This is because the seductive power that fame and gain have over people is too great, and they become things for people to pursue throughout their lives and even for all eternity without end. Is this not true?” “So Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts until all they can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision to both maintain and obtain fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds man with invisible shackles. These shackles are borne on people’s bodies, and they have not the strength nor courage to throw them off. So people trudge ever onward in great difficulty, unknowingly bearing these shackles.” “‘Money makes the mare go’ is the philosophy of Satan and it prevails among every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been imparted to everyone and is now affixed in their heart. People went from not accepting this saying to growing used to it so that when they came into contact with , they gradually gave tacit approval to it, acknowledged its existence and finally, they gave it their own seal of approval. … So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? Don’t you feel that you couldn’t survive one day in this world without any money, that even one day would just be impossible? (Yes.) People’s status is based on how much money they have as is their respectability. The backs of the poor are bent in shame, while the rich enjoy their high status. They stand tall and proud, speaking loudly and living arrogantly. What does this saying and trend bring to people? Don’t many people see getting money as being worth any cost? Don’t many people sacrifice their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money? Don’t many more people lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Isn’t this a loss for people? (Yes.) Isn’t Satan sinister to use this method and this saying to corrupt man to such a degree? Isn’t this a malicious trick? … What this means is that this saying already controls your behavior and your thoughts, and you would rather have your fate controlled by this saying than give it all up. People do this, they are controlled by this saying and manipulated by it. Isn’t this the effect of Satan corrupting man? Isn’t this the philosophy and corrupt disposition of Satan taking root in your heart? If you do this, hasn’t Satan achieved its goal? (Yes.) Do you see how Satan has corrupted man in this way? (No.) You didn’t see it. Can you feel it? (No.) You didn’t feel it. Do you see Satan’s evil here? (Yes.) Satan corrupts man at all times and at all places. Satan makes it impossible for man to defend against this corruption and makes man helpless to it. Satan makes you accept its thoughts, its viewpoints and the evil things that come from it in situations where you are unwitting and when you have no recognition of what’s happening to you. People fully accept these things and take no exception to them. They cherish and hold these things like a treasure, they let these things manipulate them and toy with them, and this is how Satan’s corruption of man becomes deeper and deeper.” Through reading God’s words and hearing the sister’s fellowship, I came to know how Satan uses money, fame and gain to corrupt people step by step and how I gradually walked until today and fell into the trap of Satan. Since childhood, I had been influenced by my family environment and accepted Satan’s poisons such as “getting ahead and being on top,” “money makes the mare go,” and “having money means having everything” as maxims on the journey of my life, feeling that having money would bring me everything and let me be superior to others. And with money, I could hold my head high to live and not be looked down on by others; with money, I could live a high-quality lifestyle towering above others. My outlook on life and values began to be distorted and I was ignorant of what was the most valuable, meaningful, and worthy of pursuit in life. Instead I treated making money as the only objective of my life and considered enjoying money and fame and gain as happiness. Thinking back to the days when I was looked down on by my grandpa and uncle, I determined to change my situation to live the superior life that could be highly thought of by others. So I started to strive hard when I was only over ten years old. No matter whether I sought jobs everywhere or suffered hardships at work, all that I had done was make money to be highly regarded by others. As I had grown up, I even looked for a partner based on whether he had money and power or whether he could help me tower above others. Until later we set up the restaurant and bought the car. Over these years, any decision I had made or any price I had paid was in order to make money and get the fame and gain and status that I had always wanted. Before I realized it I had become a slave to money and fame and gain. I obviously had heard God’s gospel of the last days but I was still enticed by money, fame and gain, with the result that I didn’t have time and heart to read God’s words and learn God’s will but only focused on making money, falling into Satan’s snare to stray ever further from God. And moreover, for the sake of making money I stood off from my family, lost emotional connection with my relatives and friends, and even made my young child have a hard time and unable to enjoy the family’s warmth and parents’ care. Not until I was worn out, totally lost myself, and couldn’t find the meaning of life in the end was I suddenly awakened. Along the way, I had struggled hard to make money so as to live my long-cherished happy life, simply believing that once I had money I would turn around my poor condition, be looked up to by others, and live a decent and carefree life. I had never thought that though gaining these things momentarily satisfied my status and vanity, afterward I had to face more pressure every day. This life left me in depression and pain because I felt as if I were a money-making machine or a fully wound clock that couldn’t stop. The pursuit of money and fame and gain caused me much physical and emotional suffering. If it hadn’t been for the exposure of God’s words, I wouldn’t see through Satan’s schemes or its big lies, and would still be fooled and afflicted by Satan. The struggle for money, fame and gain exhausted me so that I didn’t have time to come before God reading His words and worshiping Him. And finally I would forever lose the precious opportunity of God saving people. With this knowledge, I sincerely thanked God for saving me. And I would repent to God and come before God more to read His words and equip myself with truth.
Later on, my husband and I began to spare time to attend meetings. Through reading God’s words and hearing brothers’ and sisters’ fellowship, I gradually understood the significance of God’s two incarnations, knowing that God did the work of redeeming all mankind from sins through His crucifixion when He was incarnated for the first time. And nowadays, God has once again become flesh and expressed the truth, doing the work of judging and cleansing people. He will thoroughly save us from the domain of Satan, make us return before Him, and bring us into a new heaven and earth God has prepared for people. After understanding God’s kind intention of saving people, my husband and I had ever more enthusiasm to attend meetings. Especially when I lived the church life with brothers and sisters, I found that even though they wore simple clothes and without too much material enjoyment, their faces were filled with smiles as they shared their personal experiences and testimonies. I could see it was God’s words that let every one of them live in ease, release, and freedom. Whereas I got my desired fame and gain and enjoyed rich material things, yet I couldn’t extricate myself from the depression and pain buried in my spirit. This made me feel that only God’s words could bring people real happiness. Gradually, both my husband and I led a normal church life and whenever encountering things, we knew to come before God praying and seeking God’s will. Our viewpoint on things changed somewhat. We no longer busied about all day for money, fame and gain as before and the pressure was lightened in our life. One day, on my way I saw many new restaurants were set up. At the point, I began to think: Everyone actually knows it’s difficult and exhausting to pursue money and fame and gain, but why do so many people, like me, still scramble to engage in this business? With this question, I came before God seeking the truth and read God’s words: “Would you say that the happiness pursued by unbelievers is true happiness? Actually, it isn’t. It is what people imagine happiness to be, and it is a depraved method, a path that makes people depraved. People’s pursuit of this is not the objective that normal humanity ought to have, it is not the value in living. What was planted by Satan has caused people to make this their objective. Satan has used this means to benumb people, to corrupt, attract, entice, and beguile them, making them think that this is happiness, making them chase that goal. People think that this is happiness, that only when they gain this will they be happy, and so, regardless of how much effort it takes, they chase that goal—and the result is, once they’ve achieved it, they still feel that they haven’t gained true happiness, yes? (Yes.) This proves that this is not the right path, that it is the path to death.” After reading God’s words, I was suddenly awakened. I understood that we corrupted mankind don’t have truth, nor possess the ability to discern right and wrong, good and evil. And we can’t even see through positive and negative things. Satan just uses fame and gain to entice and corrupt people, labeling money, fame and gain as happiness. In this way, people are deceived by the false fronts created by Satan and treat them as positive things to pursue, believing that they can get happiness through attaining money, fame and gain. Consequently, their spirit become much emptier after getting them. In this world the famous and great, or the influential people are all pursuing the objective Satan instills in man. Their fleshly desires become greater and greater, and they employ every possible method to pursue the so-called happy life. Though they make a great deal of money, they become ever emptier in their spirit, not knowing the value and meaning of life and finally becoming numb and depraved. In order to hunt for excitement, some people begin to take drugs, some are sexually promiscuous, and some even choose suicide as an escape from their empty life. Like this, the fame and gain that they spend their lifetime pursuing not only gives them a happy life but instead brings them into death. Thinking back on the past, in order to live towering above others and enjoy the so-called happiness, I sweated my guts out like a money-making machine. Due to the long-term heavy labor, my health became ever worse when I was still young. Then I thought of the young man who cooperated with me to open up the restaurant. He suffered illness in his youth for the sake of making money, which brought him an irretrievable consequence. Was this all not harmed by Satan? Later on, even though I had a car of my own and some money, I didn’t feel happy in my heart, but instead I felt my life was tedious and ever emptier, finding no value and meaning of life.
Afterward, I read another passage of God’s words: “There is a simplest way to free oneself from this state: to bid farewell to one’s former way of living, to say goodbye to one’s previous goals in life, to summarize and analyze one’s previous lifestyle, philosophy, pursuits, desires, and ideals, and then to compare them with God’s will and demands for man, and see whether any of them is consistent with God’s will and demands, whether any of them delivers the right values of life, leads one to a greater understanding of the truth, and allows one to live with humanity and human likeness. When you repeatedly investigate and carefully dissect the various goals of life that people pursue and their various different ways of living, you will find that not one of them fits the ’s original intention when He created humanity. All of them draw people away from the Creator’s sovereignty and care; they are all pits into which humanity falls, and which lead them to hell. After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God.” God’s words directed me the way of practice, allowing me to understand: God is the Creator while I am only a little created being. What I should do is submit to God’s orchestration and arrangement, forsake my former way and goal of survival, commit the rest of my life to God’s hand and let God rule over and arrange it. In the past, I pursued the goal Satan instilled in me and that kind of life was really too miserable and heartbreaking. I deeply felt that people without truth could only be fooled by Satan, spending their precious life in vain. Now I’ve understood God’s will, knowing that only if we come before God, pursue the truth and live by God’s words can we live out a meaningful life. From now onward I will change my way of living, no longer busying about for money, fame and gain. And I will pursue the truth earnestly, perform the duty of a created being to repay , and bring back to God’s family more people who have yet to come before God so that they can also enjoy the watering of God’s words, get the chance of being saved by God, and enjoy the genuinely meaningful and happy life.
Later, after discussion my husband and I decided to narrow the scope of business of our restaurant—cancelling the service for marriage feast. In this way, we wouldn’t have to be as busy as before and could have more time to read God’s words and spread the gospel. When we resolved to change our former way of living and stop suffering Satan’s affliction, Satan was unwilling to admit defeat and tempted me through my family member. As my brother learned that we would cancel the service for marriage feast, he hurried to my home and tried to persuade me: “It’s such a brisk business and can make much money. What a pity if you give it up! Without this service, it will be just an ordinary small restaurant. Can you still make much money?” Hearing what my brother said, I thought that if our restaurant cut down the service of wedding dinner, we would make less money and the material enjoyment in my family wouldn’t be as good as before, so I hesitated a little. At this moment, I suddenly realized: Isn’t this the temptation of Satan? Then I hurriedly prayed to God in my heart and asked Him to grant me faith and resolution so that I could see through Satan’s schemes and no longer be afflicted and fooled by it. God’s words say: “God’s authority exists regardless of the circumstances; in all situations, God dictates and arranges every human fate and all things in accordance with His thoughts, His wishes. This will not change because humans change, and it is independent of man’s will, cannot be altered by any changes in time, space, and geography, for God’s authority is His very substance. Whether man is able to know and accept God’s sovereignty, and whether man is able to submit to it, does not in the slightest way change the fact of God’s sovereignty over human fate. That is to say, no matter what attitude man takes toward God’s sovereignty, it simply cannot change the fact that God holds sovereignty over human fate and over all things. Even if you do not submit to God’s sovereignty, He still commands your fate; even if you cannot know His sovereignty, His authority still exists. God’s authority and the fact of God’s sovereignty over human fate are independent of human will, do not change in accordance with man’s preferences and choices.” From God’s words I understood: Man’s fate is in God’s hand. Whether my life is poor or rich has been predetermined by God before the ages, and it can’t be changed by my own capability. Without
Afterward, our business was not as brisk as before, but my husband and I could spare some time to attend meetings and do our duties. And sometimes we would watch movies, MVs, etc. of The Church of with our family. My family could happily believe in and worship God together, and I felt this was the real happy life I have wanted. In the past I was led astray by Satan so that I didn’t know where to turn, and couldn’t extricate myself from the vortex of pursuing money, fame and gain. Yet now I can put down the pursuit of them with ease. This whole process is entirely because of God’s leading and salvation. Presently I have been no longer blinded by Satan, have found the real happy life, and have walked on the right path of human life.
Dear brothers and sisters, if you have any understanding or enlightenment from God, welcome to share with us via:1. The online chat window at the bottom of the website. 2. Send an email to [email protected].We sincerely hope we’ll grow spiritually through sharing with each other.