Facing Block From Unbelieving Families, How Can We Keep Faith in God?
By Chuanzhen, South Korea
I have believed in the Lord Jesus for over fifty years, and had been longing desperately for His return. However, over several recent years our church grew more and more desolate and I couldn’t feel the work of the Holy Spirit there anymore. I visited many other churches and found they were all in the same situation. What’s worse, some congregations broke up because of losing too many believers. Seeing this situation, my faith in the Lord began to diminish, to the point that I only read the Bible at home. However, I still longed to welcome the Lord’s return during my lifetime.
In July 2013, I accidentally broke my leg. After an operation, I couldn’t walk easily, so I nursed my injury in my daughter’s home. When I felt lonely, I especially missed the times when I prayed and read the Scriptures in the church every day. One day, seeing that I was depressed, my husband passed a page of the Korea Daily to me and said that there was an article on Christian belief in it. I was very curious, so I took it and started to read it. Some words in large print immediately leaped out at me: The Return of the Lord Jesus. Beside them were some words in smaller print: “Utterances of Almighty God in the Age of Kingdom (Selections)” and “God’s Sheep Hear God’s Voice.” These words, like a ray of brilliant light flashing before my eyes, instantly took hold in my heart and I couldn’t wait to read the article. When I read the discourse, Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth, I saw that it discussed God doing the work of judgment in the last days. The word “judgment” made my heart beat quickly and brought to my mind 1 Peter 4:17, which says: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” I thought to myself: “These words are not something that an ordinary person would utter. Only God could speak them. Now is the time of the last days. Could it be that the Lord Jesus has returned?” I finished reading it in one breath, and the more I read the more I felt that these words came from the Holy Spirit. Also, when I saw the book title, “From The Scroll Opened by the Lamb” at the end, I wanted to read the book very much. Therefore, I intended to dial the number of the gospel hotline of The Church of Almighty God, as published in the newspaper, and ask about the book. But to my great surprise, before the call got through my husband snatched the phone from me and hung up. He angrily said to me, “I really regret having allowed you to read it. I was afraid that you would start to believe in Almighty God, so I have been hiding the articles from The Church of Almighty God published in the newspaper these last few months. Almighty God’s words are spread from China and have shocked the whole religious community in South Korea. The pastors and elders all say that Almighty God is not the returned Lord Jesus. Do you still want to believe in it?”
Hearing what my husband said, I thought: “The return of the Lord is a serious matter. Since The Church of Almighty God has had a tremendous impact upon the religious community in South Korea, it’s not to be discounted easily. So I must investigate it much more carefully. If I really miss the return of the Lord, won’t it be too late for me to regret it later?” So, regardless of his hindrance, I dialed the gospel hotline of The Church of Almighty God.
Unexpectedly, the next day, two sisters came in the rain to bring me a copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb. After a short chat, they fellowshiped this with me, “The Lord Jesus has indeed returned, coming in the flesh as Almighty God. Almighty God has expressed millions of words, and told us the inside story of God’s six-thousand-year management plan for the salvation of mankind. Only if we pray to the name of Almighty God and follow God’s new work will we have followed the footsteps of the Lamb and receive the work of the Holy Spirit….” Hearing what the sister said, I was surprised and joyful. I asked, “Is Almighty God the Lord Jesus I have desperately been longing for?” One of them said, “Yes, all the words in the book have been expressed by Almighty God. God’s words are given to those who search with sincerity.” When I heard that, I got very excited. I never expected that I would be able to greet the Lord’s return. As a result, I made an appointment with them for the following day so we could fellowship together.
That night, my eldest daughter came back home, and my husband told her about the sisters’ visit to our home. After she learned that the two sisters were Korean, she protested, “Mom, society now is so chaotic. You have just met two Chinese nationals of Korean ethnicity who you are unfamiliar with. How could you allow them to enter our home?” Then my husband lent her his support by saying, “Your mom really doesn’t consider the pros and cons. The pastors and elders in the whole religious world are all condemning and opposing The Church of Almighty God, but your mom still called them in order to investigate further.” Immediately following that, my eldest daughter said to me, “My mother-in-law is an elder in the church and she understands the Bible well. Wouldn’t she know if the Lord has come back? But my mother-in-law doesn’t accept that He has. Mom, how could you ascertain that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus? Mom, you really should think carefully about this again.” I said firmly, “Having read the words of Almighty God, I feel confirmation in my heart that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. At the time that the Lord Jesus came to carry out His work, He was also persecuted, rejected, and condemned by the whole religious community. If we weigh whether it is the true way or the false way based on whether the religious community accepts it, we also will condemn the work of the Lord Jesus. Whether it is the true way or the false way doesn’t depend on whether it is condemned by any man or woman but depends on whether it is God’s words and God’s work.” She saw my attitude was unyielding and so could only say, “All right, I don’t mind you believing in Almighty God, but strangers aren’t allowed to come home in the future.” After saying this, she went to her room. Although my family was all against my belief in Almighty God, my heart was no longer subjugated to them.
The following day, the two sisters came as promised. I told them what had happened the day before. They were very understanding and fellowshiped to me in the corridor. They also gave me a book Questions and Answers on the Testimony of the Kingdom Gospel and told me tomore when I was confused and then God would lead me to find the answer in His words. In the following days, I read the books at home and the sisters occasionally called me and fellowshiped with me. Gradually, I came to understand some truths, and had some knowledge of God’s three stages of work, the mystery of God’s incarnation, and the significance of God’s Work of judgment and chastisement. Over one month later, I was certain about the work of Almighty God of the last days, and so accepted it. Two months later, my broken leg had recovered so I went to attend gatherings in the church. By reading the words of Almighty God, I gained some understanding of God’s work and God’s will. The gloomy state of the Age of Grace, in which I couldn’t feel the work of the Holy Spirit, thus completely disappeared. In order to bring before God more people who had desperately been longing for the Lord’s return, I coordinated with the brothers and sisters in the church and actively preached the gospel. Every day I lived a full life. But that’s when the obstruction and opposition from my family started again.
One day, my youngest daughter telephoned me and asked me to go to her home. After I got to her home, I found her eyes were swollen from crying, so I knew there was something seriously wrong. Then I learned that after the mother-in-law of my eldest daughter found out about my believing in Almighty God, she judged that I had been trapped by heresy and incited my son-in-law to stop me. My eldest daughter also felt that my belief in Almighty God made her lose face in the family, so she tearfully told my youngest daughter. So my youngest daughter then urged me, “Mom, my sister is suffering a lot because of your belief in Almighty God. Why must you go to that church so regularly? I know believing in God is the most important thing to you, but couldn’t you go to that church less often? You should consider the feelings of your family.” She carried on venting her emotions by complaining to me and weeping for a while. Seeing her so sad, I was very upset. Thinking how my belief in God made my eldest daughter feel ashamed, I somehow felt I had done her wrong. Thereupon, I prayed silently to God in my heart. After prayer, I suddenly thought of the words of the Lord Jesus: “He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37-38). Immediately, my mind was much clearer. The Lord said that anyone who loves their son or daughter more than Him is not worthy of Him. So if my belief in God was shaken because of my youngest daughter’s sobbing, or for the sake of protecting my eldest daughter from being ashamed before her mother-in-law, I would be revealed to not be a true believer in God. I also recalled what the brothers and sisters often fellowshiped during the meetings: On the path of following God, we are faced with spiritual battles all the time, and where there is God’s work, there is Satan’s disturbance. At that time, I came to realize this: The thing I encountered that day seemed outwardly to be an obstruction from my youngest daughter but actually, it was just Satan using her to disturb me. If I listened to her, or, in other words, compromised, wouldn’t I be falling captive to Satan? No. I had to listen to God’s words. I couldn’t satisfy the desires of my two daughters, much less compromise. And I had to be a created being who could satisfy God. This thought filled me with strength. So I said to my youngest daughter firmly, “You want me to go to the church less often. Perhaps you don’t think this is very serious, but to me, this is connected to bearing testimony to God. For instance, when God requires me to score 100%, if I strive and can’t make it, this is because of my small spiritual stature; but if I intentionally slow my pace and don’t pursue to score 100 %, that is like coming to a complete stop, right? I’m a created being, and I can’t make any requirements of God. I can’t say, ‘O, God! Let me slow my pace. Please show some consideration for me.’ This is making demands of God and trying to make God obey me, and isn’t what believers in God should do.” After saying this, I was very relieved, and felt peaceful and steady in my heart. Hearing me say this, my youngest daughter had nothing to say to refute me.
After I got back home, I prayed to God about the things I had encountered. Later, I read a passage of God’s words: “When you rebel against the flesh, there will inevitably be a battle within you. Satan will try and make you follow it, will try and make you follow the conceptions of the flesh and uphold the interests of the flesh—but God’s words will enlighten and illuminate you within, and at this time it is up to you whether you follow God or follow Satan. God asks people to put the truth into practice primarily to deal with the things inside them, to deal with their thoughts, and their conceptions that aren’t after God’s heart. The Holy Spirit touches people inside, and carries out His work within them, and so behind everything that happens is a battle: Every time people put the truth into practice, or put the love of God into practice, there is a great battle, and though all may seem well with their flesh, in the depths of their hearts a life-and-death battle will, in fact, be going on—and only after this intense battle, after a tremendous amount of reflection, can victory or defeat be decided. One does not know whether to laugh or cry. … It is because of this battle that people endure suffering and refinement; this is true suffering. When the battle comes upon you, if you are able to truly stand on the side of God, you will be able to satisfy God.” Pondering over these words, I came to realize how intense the spiritual battle was. I loved my two daughters very much and as long as they were happy I was willing to do anything for them. And Satan knew exactly where my weakness was—my connection with my daughters—and wanted to use my feelings to lead me away from God and betray God. But under God’s enlightenment and guidance I had discernment toward Satan’s plot, so my daughter’s persuasion and tears failed to shake me. I saw that God’s wisdom is forever exercised based on Satan’s trickery. Satan used my feelings to force me to betray God, while God used Satan’s temptation to test whether I was loyal to Him. This gave me the opportunity to rely on God to experience God’s work, and also perfected my heart so that it could love God. I thanked God very much. I told myself, and in my prayers to God, “From now on, whatever happens to me, I will rely on God and ask God to lead me away from Satan’s temptation.”
Two days later, I was very surprised when my youngest daughter changed her attitude to my belief in God all of a sudden and said to my eldest son-in-law, “We can’t ask mom to stop her gatherings or give up her, nor should we say that her belief is wrong because of the difference between her belief and your mother’s. This is not right. My mom isn’t a person who has no discernment, nor is she a person too young to know her own mind. Why can’t we believe her? If she feels good and that is what she wants to do, we should let her do it while keeping an eye on her, OK?” After a lot of persuasion, my eldest son-in-law stopped judging and opposing my belief in God. I knew that God had opened up a way out for me. The thoughts and ideas of my youngest daughter were also in God’s hands, and that she could change her mind also came from God.
But this problem had only just passed before another came. Not long after that, Satan probed me again. Sometimes when I went to a meeting or out preaching the gospel I couldn’t help my eldest daughter ferry her kid to and from school, and so I let my husband do it. She was unhappy that I hadn’t much time to look after her kid. In addition, her mother-in-law always criticized my belief in God in front of her. So then she started to hinder me from attending meetings once again. One morning, about ten o’clock, I suddenly received a text from her saying that I was too devoted to my faith in God every day so she didn’t need me to look after her kid, and that in the future I didn’t need to give them consideration. Reading the text, I thought: “Does she mean to drive me away?” Seeing her do this to me, I was somewhat upset, but then I thought of God’s words: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God.” God’s words made it all clear. I was clear that Satan was carrying out a plot through my eldest daughter; it wanted to threaten me like this and force me to give up my belief in God. Thereupon, I resolved that I would never abandon my belief in God because of her obstruction. If worst came to worst, I would move out.
After I returned home in the evening, my family totally ignored me and none of them talked to me. My husband felt the tension at home and asked me, “What has happened?” I came straight to the point and said, “I didn’t mess things up due to believing in God so why are you lot always putting pressure on me like this? I have no other choice. Let’s move out.” Hearing this, my husband was somewhat panicked. The next day, my husband said to me that he didn’t want to move out because the children were so young and they needed us to help take care of them. Then, my youngest daughter asked me outside to discuss with me whether or not I could compromise over my belief in God. But I had resolved to stand witness to God, and I would never make any decision that would satisfy Satan. Finally, she abandoned hope and sighed. I had hardly got home when my eldest daughter came and also asked me to go outside with her. She was aware of my firm determination to follow God, and cruelly said to me, “Mom, since you’ve chosen to believe in God and move out, we will end all ties. Also, from now on you aren’t allowed to see your grandchild, and when your grandchild grows up and gets married, you won’t be invited.” While she was talking, I could feel the pain in her heart. At that moment, I also felt much pain within me. So I repeatedly prayed to God, and asked God to protect me from being ruled by emotion so that I could stand at God’s side from beginning to end. After prayer, I thought of God’s words: “You must have My courage within you and you must have principles when facing relatives who do not believe. But for My sake, you must also not yield to any of the dark forces. Rely on My wisdom to walk the perfect way; do not allow the conspiracies of Satan to take hold. Put all your efforts into placing your heart before Me and I shall comfort you and give you peace and happiness in your heart.” God’s words gave me faith and strength. Now was the time when God was testing my faith so I should rely on God to bear witness to Him, and attack Satan’s trickery with my faith in God.
I then remembered the words of the Lord Jesus: “For from now on there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:52-53). “Truly I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting” (Luke 18:29-30). That’s right! Belief and non-belief are incompatible. If I wanted to follow God, I had to make a choice. My family got deceived by the religious community and had no discernment, and so were against my following God. If I followed my children and abandoned my belief in God, I would fall for Satan’s plot and lose the opportunity to be saved by God. Thereupon, I calmed down and said to my eldest daughter in a firm tone, “I have believed in the Lord for over half my life, and enjoyed so much grace from the Lord. Now I’ve finally welcomed His return, so I must believe in Him earnestly. I can compromise in anything other than the matter of belief in God. No matter what you say, I won’t give up my belief in God.”
After some silence, my eldest daughter said in a sad voice, “Mom, since you’re like this, I don’t want to live. I’ll entrust your grandchild to my husband, and then I will go and kill myself.” Her words felt like a heavy punch to my heart. I thought: “She is taking it hard. What if she really commits suicide? What should I do?” I hastened to pray to God in my heart and asked God to lead me. After my prayer, I thought about how in the word of God it says: “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself. … If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature?” Yes! All things are in God’s hands. The fate of my eldest daughter is also controlled by God’s hands. So, I said to her, “God supplies everything to us. It is heaven’s law and earth’s principle for us to believe in God and worship Him. Whatever happens, I will follow God and keep going along this path.” Then, she thought for a while and said feebly, “Mom, I never imagined that you’d be so firm in your belief in God. Whatever I say, your faith can’t be shaken. Forget it, do as you will. You don’t need to move out. Starting from today, I won’t stop you from believing in God any longer.” Hearing this, I was relieved and very happy. I seemed to feel that Satan had been ashamed and had fled. Through this, I truly experienced the authority and might of God’s words. Satan actually does service for the believers in God, and it doesn’t possess any ability before God.
Afterward, my husband and daughters allowed the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God to come to our home; furthermore, they saw from their words and actions that they all had good humanity, and thereby admired them very much. After that, they no longer opposed my belief in Almighty God and my husband often drove me to the church. Thank God for His protection. It was God’s words that enabled me to bear witness to God when Satan carried out its trickery. Through these disturbances from Satan, I have learned how to rely on God, and have seen God’s almightiness and wisdom. Satan doesn’t have any ability to stop God’s work of salvation. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have seen God’s deeds. All the glory be to God.