Meaning of life – No Longer A Slave to Money, I Lived Freely

By Guang Zhao, Malaysia

When I was young, my family was poor, and my parents would always argue because of money. At that time, I felt deeply that money was very important, and no money meant no good life. I secretly resolved: When I grow up, I must work hard to get rid of poverty completely and live a life with good food, clothing, a house and a car.

work in an iron factory

In order to earn money early, I dropped out of school and began to work in Kuala Lumpur when I was 15 years old. At first, I was working in an iron factory, where I had to work under high temperature. Therefore, my eyes would sometimes be in pain and became watery at night after a day’s work. However, to earn more money, I even took the initiative to work overtime whenever the factory needed it. I often worked until 10 o’clock in the evening. So exhausted, I would fall asleep right away after returning home and showering. When I got my first salary, I was very happy and thought that I could finally earn money. For a good life with cars and houses in the future, I never squandered my money. Every month when I got my salary, except eating and pocket money, the rest was deposited in the bank.

After a period of time, the iron factory shut down. Then I heard that the airport was hiring plumbers for its roof, and it paid well, so I began to work there. This work required a lot of climbing up and down, and the iron shelves were very high. I was very afraid of that. Sometimes my legs and feet went weak during climbing, but for money, I bit the bullet and got on with it. There was once when I was hungry during the construction, I was dizzy and tripped over the iron shelves. Fortunately, I did not fall off as I was able to grab onto the iron shelf next to me. This scene scared the people behind me. At that time, I was worried every day as I did not know what danger would happen and when it would occur. Later, I heard that the salary in Singapore was twice as much as in Malaysia, so I went to Singapore. At that period of time, I was constantly switching jobs, and I would go to places where I could be paid well.

Afterward, I heard that I could make more money working in England, so I decided to sell my car and to work in England. After I arrived in England, I began to work as a cleaner in the kitchen. Every day, I had to work from 10am until 1 or 2am the next morning. The work was very dirty, hard and tiring and I often had to eat in a hurry. I was tired all the time and thus suffered from backache. The busy and stressful work, coupled with irregular life, caused me to have gastric problems and sometimes it was so painful that I couldn’t eat at all. It was a really hard time, but my hard work was not in vain. I was promoted from cleaner to chef. Finally, I had enough money to buy a house and a car, and I could also start a small business of my own when going back to my home country, which made me feel assured.

a hawker in the night market

In 2008, I started my own business as a hawker in the night market. It was very tough. Afterward, when seeing that it was easier to make money by investing in the stock market, I decided to do that. Whenever I had time, I would study stocks and I often studied them until 2 or 3am in the morning.

One day in 2015, my relative was hospitalized. After learning of the situation, a person, believer in the Lord Jesus, went to the hospital enthusiastically to pray for my relative. I felt the love of the Lord from this matter, so I also believed in the Lord Jesus. After going to the church for six months, I began to attend the Bible study class. However, after a period of time, I realized: The church liked to organize all kinds of activities; all people believing in the Lord were only praying for grace and blessings; brothers and sisters also paid more attention to miracles. Although I often attended gatherings in the church, my brain was always blank, and I was becoming more and more arrogant in my heart, only wanting to pursue material things. On the outside, although brothers and sisters also attended meetings and prayed, they, I thought, had the same problem as me: pursuing money and fame while believing in the Lord.

In October 2016, I got to know some brothers and sisters in the Lord on Facebook. Through their fellowships, I felt that their understandings were very special and there was light in every of their sharing. It really benefited me a lot. Afterward, they witnessed to me God’s work of the last days. By having meetings with brothers and sisters and reading God’s words, I understood that we humans are corrupted by Satan and thus strayed from God. We are in pain and feeling empty because we are living by Satan’s ideas, viewpoints and venom. During the last days, God once more becomes flesh, and He is expressing words to save and purify us. Only by accepting God’s work, can we be free of Satan’s bondage completely and live under God’s care and protection.

Once, in a meeting, I read a passage of God’s words, “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature?” From God’s words I realized that God is the Creator, and the destinies of all mankind, including mine, are in His sovereignty and arrangements. Success or failure is ordained by God, I’m never able to control my own destiny. Regardless of what my occupation is or what achievement I will make eventually, it is all not decided by myself but God’s sovereignty. What I will have is determined by God; if God does not give me, then I will never get it no matter how hard I worked for it. Just as the old saying goes, “Man’s life is fated by Heaven.” It is very true. From then onward, I read God’s words whenever I was free, lived the church life and fellowshiped about God’s words with brothers and sisters. Gradually, I saw money as much less important.

I understood too shallowly the truth, so I still couldn’t control my own ambitious desires. In order to save more money in the bank as soon as possible, I invested tens of thousands of dollars in two companies. At first, both companies were giving me profits. Unexpectedly, the US stock market index fell by a thousand points in February 2018, causing the entire Asian stock market to plunge. Instantly, I thought to myself: If the US stock market fell by a thousand points every day, then the two company stocks that I bought would be gone. Who would have thought that I would lose so much of all my hard-earned money in just a day. And I did not have much in my bank account. The money earned from my business was just enough for my daily expenses, and sometimes I was even running the night market at a loss. I thought: What should I do to carry on with my life? The more I thought about it, the more depressed I was. Having lost the hope of survival, I even wanted to end my life. At that time, I immediately recovered myself and thought: How could I think of dying? Then, I quickly called upon God in my heart, “O God, my heart is in darkness and I’m very weak and negative. I can’t see the hope of life, please guide and lead me to get rid of this negative situation.”

Read God's words

Then, I read a passage of God’s words, “When you have faith and you can touch His actions in your practical experience, God will appear to you, and He will enlighten and guide you from within. Without that faith, God will be unable to do that. If you have lost hope in God, how will you be able to experience Him? Therefore, only when you have faith and you do not harbor doubts toward God, only when you have true faith in Him no matter what He does will He enlighten and illuminate you in your experiences, and only then will you be able to see His actions. These things are all achieved through faith, and faith is only achieved through refinement—faith cannot develop in the absence of refinement. What does faith refer to? Faith is the genuine belief and the sincere heart that humans should possess when they cannot see or touch something, when God’s work is not in line with human notions, when it is beyond human reach. This is the faith that I speak of.” After reading these words, I was able to gather my wits. I thought: These words are so true; no matter what difficulties and setbacks I encountered, I must uphold my faith in God; God is using these trials to test my faith, to see if I’m able to stand witness for Him and not blame Him. Look back to Job’s story: When he was faced with the major trial, losing his children and untold masses of wealth, he could still say, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” The reason why Job could still submit to God in trial and stand witness for God was because he upheld his faith in God. When I compared myself to Job, the loss of my money is not worth mentioning and I still had a job. Thinking of this, I was very ashamed, and I thought: It is totally not a testimony to God that I have no faith in God in the face of trial and become negative once I did not receive grace! I quickly prayed to God, “O God, this environment that came upon me is permitted by You. I’m willing to follow the example of Job to satisfy You. Please lead me to be able to stand witness for You.” After praying, I was much calmer in my heart.

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