Why does God allow setbacks or failures? How should we trust God in difficult times and thus keep our faith in God? Read this article to find the answers.
God’s Words Give Me Power to Overcome Husband’s Hindrance
By Jingnian, Canada
I began to believe in the Lord with my family from childhood, and often read the Bible and attended church meetings. After marriage, I preached the gospel of the Lord Jesus to my mother-in-law. From then on, she didn’t lose her temper randomly when matters arose, nor did she act as before—having the final say in everything. Our family were getting along better and better. After seeing his mother’s changes, my husband started to believe in the Lord in 2015 and then went to church with me every week. After accepting the gospel of the Lord, my family lived in harmony, which I knew was the grace of the Lord. I was grateful to the Lord in my heart.
One day in February, 2017, when I was at work, a female customer, holding me by the hands, said excitedly, “You look very like one of my friends. May I introduce her to you? She’s just come to Canada and has few friends here. You can have a chat when you’re free.” I was very surprised to hear what she said and thought: “Does her friend really look like me so much? Can it be true?” But thinking that there is the Lord’s good purpose in everything and that helping others with a love heart is in accordance with the Lord’s teachings, I agreed to her request. Several days later, I met her friend, Xiaohan, who indeed looks so like me that people who saw us asked if we were twin sisters. Maybe because we were alike or maybe because it was a marvelous arrangement from the Lord, I felt a sort of closeness to Xiaohan when I saw her for the first time. After several contacts, we became close friends. To my great surprise, through Xiaohan, I listened to the gospel of the returned Lord Jesus in the last days.
One day, Xiaohan took me to her aunt’s, and there her aunt spread to us the gospel of the kingdom of Almighty God. She let us read the words of God in the last days. In addition, she fellowshiped with us about God’s will when He created Adam and Eve, His thoughts and His ideas when He called upon Noah to build an ark, His grief when He destroyed the mankind in the time of Nora, and so on. Aunt said, “These mysteries are revealed by the word of God in the last days; otherwise no one can know about them.” I believed what she said because only God Himself could express His own thoughts in everything that He did. If it were not that God Himself came to work and speak, who could completely explain God’s thoughts and God’s ideas? I was deeply attracted by God’s words and so I decided to carefully investigate the work of Almighty God in the last days. During that time, I brought up many questions I hadn’t understood when reading the Bible in the past, and the aunt gave me answers according to the words of Almighty God, and her thorough answers made me understand very clearly. With my reading more and more God’s words, the puzzles in my heart were solved one after another. Meanwhile, I got to know that the work of Almighty God goes higher and deeper on the basis of the work of the Lord Jesus, and that it is the last stage of work done by God in the last days for cleansing and saving mankind. With a period of investigations, I was sure that Almighty God is just the return of the Lord Jesus, and so I happily accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days, starting to have meetings with brothers and sisters.
One morning over three months later, when I was, as usual, attending a meeting with my sisters, my cell phone suddenly beeped. Then I took a look at it, and it showed someone was searching for and locating my iphone. I was rather puzzled, not knowing what the matter was. In no time, my husband sent me a message on Wechat, “Where are you?” Reading his message, I hesitated before I replied my husband, thinking of what he had told me when he came back from church over a month before. He said that the pastor talked about a lot of information unfavorable to The Church of Almighty God. And the pastor asked the believers to guard against it and not to get in touch with the people of the Eastern Lightning. At that time, as my husband had been deceived by the pastor and had developed resistance to The Church of Almighty God, I planned to spread the gospel to him after I could understand more truth and be able to clearly explain God’s work in the last days. Consequently, I didn’t dare to tell him all along about my meetings with the sisters of The Church of Almighty God. After thinking of this, I texted him, “I’m on my way to work.” But after answering him, I felt uneasy: He had never sent messages to me at this time of the day. I thought: “Why did he suddenly text me today to ask me where I was? What on earth is the matter?”
In the evening, when I arrived home from work, I saw my husband was seated on the bed, looking rather unhappy. In addition, I was very surprised to see all my books of God’s words hidden at home had been found and was placed on the writing desk by my husband. Before I could think it over, my husband questioned me, “When did you begin to believe in Almighty God? On the Internet there are quantities of negative propaganda against The Church of Almighty God, don’t you know? This morning, you did tell me a lie. You were not on your way to work at all. Where were you then?” I said angrily, “It was because you were locating my cell phone that it made a noise this morning.” He said, “During the break, I wanted to know where you were, so I located your position. As a result, I found the place you told me was different from the location you were in.” Then he alleviated his tone and said, “The Chinese Communist government spreads on the Internet that the believers in Almighty God don’t have very good boundaries between men and women, and spreads much other negative information. Please don’t be in touch with them, will you? You can attend meetings in the church, and I’ll go with you every week. Why are you in contact with them?” After saying these words, he searched out, on the Internet, a great deal of negative propaganda about The Church of Almighty God and let me read. Reading these rumors from thin air, I got extremely angry and said, “The CCP and the pastors and elders have never contacted The Church of Almighty God, so by what did they hurl criticism at The Church of Almighty God? All these baseless words are absolute lies and rumors. They can’t be trusted at all! I have been in touch with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God for several months, and I find them dressed in plain clothing and they are dignified and upright in their manners. What’s more, they keep boundaries and principles between brothers and sisters. They are not at all like what the CCP, the pastors and elders have falsely spread. The kingdom’s administrative decrees pronounced by Almighty God clearly stated, ‘Man has corrupt disposition and, moreover, he is possessed of emotions. As such, it is absolutely prohibited for two members of the opposite sex to work together when serving God. Any who are discovered doing so will be expelled, without exception—and no one is exempt’ (‘The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God is holy and righteous and He disgusts promiscuous activity most, so He issued strict administrative decrees for His chosen people to obey. If anyone betrays it, he will be expelled from the church. All the brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God strictly adhere to God’s administrative decrees and no one dares go against it, which I’ve personally seen and experienced. Therefore, the saying, “The believers in Almighty God don’t have very good boundaries between men and women,” is purely fabricated nonsense and a defamatory rumor of the CCP and the pastors and elders.” However, no matter what I said, my husband wouldn’t listen and insisted that I couldn’t attend gatherings with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God. Seeing his hard attitude, I got a little negative. Thinking he was my only family abroad, I wouldn’t like to quarrel with him for fear of hurting our feelings; on the other hand, I was afraid he would tell my families in China and the pastor, because that would bring me more trouble. In this situation, when he was adamant that I couldn’t go out for meetings, I agreed, but I asked to read God’s words at home and he also agreed. By this way, a quarrel was patched up temporarily.
However, reading God’s words at home by myself, I found many of God’s words I couldn’t understand, and then I had contact with the sisters by cell phone while my husband was at work. Thus I could continue having meetings with the sisters. When I told them about my husband’s obstruction of my gatherings, a sister read a passage of God’s words to me, “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. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Then the sister said, “You encountered such an environment not long after accepting Almighty God. From the outside, it is your family who blocks you and doesn’t allow you to attend gatherings, but according to God’s words, we can see, behind the scenes it is Satan’s interference, a spiritual war. When God is to save us, Satan won’t give up, and it’ll trail along behind to disturb us, using the people around us to restrain us from coming in front of God. Its objective is to destroy our normal relationship with God, to make us passive and weak, and to have us stray from God and betray Him so that we’ll finally return to its domain and be devoured by it. Therefore, we must view everything in accordance with God’s words and see through Satan’s deception. Besides, we shouldmore and rely on Him more. We need to have real and from within our faith we’ll see God’s deeds.” After hearing God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I suddenly realized this: It was Satan that used my husband to prevent me from believing in and following God, and to let me betray God. This was the same as what happened to Job. Satan did everything possible to tempt Job, making him lose all his possessions and livestock all over the mountain, and making him have sore boils all over his body. Besides, Satan used Job’s friends to disturb and attack him and even used his wife to tempt him to curse God and die, seeking to topple his faith in God and make him deny and reject God. How evil and despicable Satan was! Then I thought: “Satan crazily abused Job, but without God’s permission, it dared not take his life. Isn’t everything befalling me also in God’s hand? Only if I rely on Him with my sincere heart, surely will God guide me to triumph over Satan’s temptations.” At the thought of this, I came to have faith in God again, and I was determined to stick to having meetings by cell phone with the sisters.
One evening, I left my cell phone on the table. Unexpectedly my husband took it and looked it up, and found my chat logs with the sister. He said angrily, “You’re still keeping in touch with them and your chat even lasted as long as two hours.” Then he, once more, instilled in me the negative information from the Internet. Besides, he did all he could to control me and stop me from communicating with the sister through cell phone. As a result, I was unable to participate in church life again, and thus had no way to get the sister’ help. Afterward, my husband every day sent me messages about the rumors he had read on the Internet to disturb me and keep me from my contact with the brothers and sisters. Facing my husband’s persecution and hindrance, I suffered terribly, unconsciously becoming a little weak. I thought: “Is this my future life? Why does my husband oppose to my belief in Almighty God so badly? I just want to believe in God properly, but why is it so hard? When can I believe in Almighty God without any disturbance?” Thinking of this, I couldn’t keep back my tears. I felt very lonely and helpless, not knowing how to walk the future path. Because of this, I wept countless times. In pain I had no way out but to pray, “O God, facing my husband’s persecution, I now don’t know what to do, nor do I know how to experience it, but I’m sure no matter what comes about, there is Your good will. May You lead me so that I can have the faith to experience it.”
The wonderful thing is, after my prayer, I received a message of God’s words from the sister, “Satan is at war with God, trailing along behind Him. Its objective is to demolish all the work God wants to do, to possess and control those whom God wants, to completely extinguish those whom God wants. If they are not extinguished, then they come to Satan’s possession to be used by it—this is its objective” (“God Himself, the Unique IV” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “You must have My courage within you and you must have principles when facing relatives who do not believe. But for the sake of Me, 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” (“Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning”). Pondering God’s words, I could have some discernment in Satan’s sinister motive. Satan is so evil and despicable. When God does work to save man, Satan tries every means to destroy God’s work and compete with God over man. It spreads various rumors on the Internet to deceive people and exploits our families to block and harass us, constraining us from coming in front of God to be saved. It was because my husband was deceived by Satan’s rumors and didn’t know the true facts that he was always obstructing my belief in God. Moreover, Satan seized my weaknesses to bind and afflict me. Knowing my fatal flaw is emotions, it took advantage of my feelings to my husband to attack me, wanting to make me, for the emotions of the flesh and my family’s harmony, give up following God, depart from the true way and lose the opportunity to be saved by God. Satan was so hateful. But God comforted me with His words and encouraged me not to submit to the dark forces. Meanwhile, He also pointed out the path for me to practice. God says, “Rely on My wisdom to walk the perfect way.” I thought to myself: “In such a situation, how should I cooperate with God and use wisdom to attend gatherings? Thinking that last time my husband located my cell phone and knew where I was, thus I can’t go to the sister’s nor can I have meetings with the sister by cell phone. But I can have meetings with the sister at the rest area of the malls. Then, when my husband asks, I’ll say I’m doing shopping at the mall.” In this way, under God’s guidance, I was able to have meetings with the sister again. Later, after learning my difficulties, the sister fellowshiped with me about God’s words, comforted and encouraged me, getting my negative situations resolved soon.
One day, after getting home from work, I wanted to read God’s words, but I couldn’t find the books of God’s words in the drawer I usually kept them in, nor could I find them in all cabinets. Then I became very anxious, thinking: “This is bad. The books must be thrown away by my husband. He is cautious to do anything, so he couldn’t throw them into a trash can, in order not to let me find them. If he took them to his company to discard, I will never find them.” Thinking about this, I was terribly sorry.
Several days later, when I accompanied my husband to get his driver’s license, I met a sister and I secretly told her that my books of God’s words were missing. She said, “Pray to and rely on God more. You’d better make a more careful search once again. God controls and dominates all things. It is in God’s hand whether or not your husband has thrown them away. Let us not define it by our imagination.” After returning home, I sent a message to another sister to tell about my losing the books, and she fellowshiped with me like that, too. I thought, “Since both of the sisters said so, I’m sure there must be God’s gracious will in it. Does God remind me through the sisters?” And then I thought of God’s words, “When they encounter some issue, they are able to call on Him sincerely. So, what is God doing there? When someone’s heart stirs, and they have this idea: ‘Oh God, I can’t do this myself, I don’t know how to do it, and I feel weak and negative,’ when these thoughts arise in them, does God not know about it? When these thoughts arise in man, are people’s hearts sincere? When they call on God sincerely in this way, does God assent to help them? Despite the fact that they may not have spoken a word, they show sincerity, and so God assents to help them” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). From God’s words, I saw God’s promise to us, and understood He is our reliance. When we encounter difficulties and don’t know what to do, only if we cry out to God sincerely will He enlighten and lead us, and help us through the adversities. Thanks to the enlightenment and guidance of God’s words, I had faith in God again, and found the way of practice. I thought: “For my losing the books of God’s words, if I attempt to find them by myself, I’m sure to fail, but God is almighty, and as long as I rely on and look to God, and practically go to look for them, I believe God will guide and help me.” Then I came before God and prayed to Him with my earnest heart, “Oh God, as to the matter that I can’t find the books of God’s words, in the beginning, I drew an inference from my own conception and imagination, and dealt with it relying on my own temperament. I didn’t put You first, nor did I realize everything is in Your control. Now I’d like to entrust it to You first and then I’ll look for them. It is within Your permission whether I can find them or not. May You guide me.”
After the prayer, before I started to search, I suddenly wanted to go to the storage room to fetch a pair of shoes. Who could have known that at the very moment I crouched over my shoes, I saw a white bag. Then a clear idea hit me: There should be the books of God’s words in it. So, I picked up the bag to have a look, and found all my books of God’s words. I was so surprised and pleased that I couldn’t help crying out, “Thanks be to God! Thanks be to God!” Not until then did I realize that the thought that I wanted to fetch shoes came from God and that it was God who led me to find the books. I clearly saw that all things are controlled by God and that people’s thoughts and ideas also are orchestrated by God. Then I hurriedly hugged the books back to my bedroom and placed them in order in my drawer. That evening, after he came back, my husband found the books he had hidden in the storage room were gone, and demanded me to hand them over, but this time I didn’t give in to him. Seeing my firm attitude, he said nothing more.
Later, in order to make it convenient for me to attend meetings, practice my spiritual devotionals and listen to the sermons, the sister provided a cellphone for me, with various books of God’s words in it. Once, as I changed my handbag, I carelessly left the cellphone home, and thus my husband once again found that I still attended gatherings with the sisters. He sent messages to question me, “Why do you still have contact with those sisters? Why do you still attend gatherings secretly?” Reading these messages, I was angry and worried, but I thought about my experiences over this time: Whenever my husband blocked and persecuted me, I always compromised and drew back or I was passive and weak. What I lacked most was to rely upon God and bear testimony for God. This time, I can’t give way to Satan any more. I’ll rely on and look to God to overcome Satan and stand witness to God. Then I thought of God’s words, “When you trust God as though He were the last straw that you clutch onto to save your life, when you hope God will help you, only then is your heart sincere. Though you may not have said much, your heart has already stirred. That is, you give your true heart, your sincere heart to God, and God listens. When God listens, He sees your difficulties, and He guides you, enlightens you and helps you” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks).
So I prayed, “Oh God, today You have chosen me and allowed me to keep up with Your footsteps. If I don’t pursue diligently, but make compromise with the forces of Satan, I’ll lose the opportunity to be saved by You. Oh God, I’d like to entrust my difficulties to You. Whether my husband tells my families or the pastor about my belief in God, however he deals with me, I’ll be willing to obey. I’ll rely on God to stand witness for God and shame Satan.” After praying, my heart calmed down slowly. Picking up my phone, I texted him, “Yes, I indeed attended their meetings again. But I don’t want to talk to you about this today. Let’s have a chat in earnest tomorrow evening.” However, after that, my heart was still refined a little: Why was I always interfered with every time I wanted to pursue the truth? At that time, I thought of Job’s experiences, which the sisters had fellowshiped many times. God says, “And what did God do when Job was subjected to this torment? God observed, and watched, and awaited the outcome. As God observed and watched, how did He feel? He felt grief-stricken, of course” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Thinking over God’s words, I considered Job’s experiences: Job revered God and shunned evil in his entire life, but Satan was not willing to let God get him, so it tempted him again and again, and used his wife to attack him by her derision. As Satan tempted Job, God was at Job’s side, and set strict boundaries for Satan to ensure Job’s safety. From these facts, I saw God loves humans and He doesn’t wish humans to always suffer. However, when God allowed Satan to tempt Job, it contained God’s good intention: He hoped to receive testimony from Job. I thought, “Is it the same as what I am facing? God has never left me and has led me to this day. He has created all these environments for me and hopes I will bear witness to Him to humiliate Satan. So, I must strive to stand testimony to Him and bring shame upon Satan.” By then I came to have faith in God again, and vowed that no matter what circumstances I faced next, I would obey God’s orchestration and arrangement, and never make a compromise with Satan.
The next evening, when I arrived home from work, my husband had been waiting for me. After I sat down, he said, “Can you stop believing in Almighty God?” Then he again mentioned the negative information about The Church of Almighty God he had read on the Internet. I said, “No, I can’t. Do you really know about The Church of Almighty God? All the information you’ve read on the Internet is groundless rumors made up by the CCP to discredit, smear and condemn The Church of Almighty God. They are not true at all. The CCP is an atheist party and it extremely hates the truth and God. In order to deceive people, it furiously makes up and spreads various rumors, vainly attempting to blind all people so as to make them resist God and finally be destroyed together with it. This is the CCP’s sinister motive. I believe in God and I’ve done nothing bad, nor have I cheated on you. In my belief in God, I am walking the right path of life and I’m determined to continue down this path. I’ve thought it over. You can call the pastor and the preacher and let them criticize me on the pulpit and then expel me from the church. You can also telephone my parents to make them besiege and persecute me. But anyhow, I won’t change my decision. Today I have accepted God’s work in the last days, and through reading God’s words and experiencing the environments created by God, I’ve become completely certain that Almighty God is theof the Lord Jesus. Thus I must cling to what I have chosen.” My husband said, “You’re betraying the Lord, do you know? The Lord has given you so much grace; how can you betray Him?” I said, “Just because I have enjoyed so much grace of the Lord Jesus, when I heard the news of the return of the Lord, I certainly should investigate it and accept it. As for my believing in Almighty God, I am not betraying the Lord, but I’m following the Lamb’s footsteps, because Almighty God and the Lord Jesus are the same God. Now Almighty God has come, and uttered His new words, expressing God’s work and God’s will to us clearly. I have heard the voice of God, so I’ll pursue harder and attend more meetings to repay God’s love for me.” In the end, my husband said, “Well. Do as you like. I thought to tell the pastor and let him persuade you; I also planned to call your parents but I was afraid to get your parents angry and ill. From now on, you can believe in God in whatever way as you like. I’ll stay out of it.”
Hearing my husband say he wouldn’t restrain my belief in Almighty God anymore, I was terribly glad. I knew it was God’s arrangement, because my husband’s thoughts and ideas were in God’s hand; it was exactly because of God’s sovereignty that my husband could say such words and it was God that opened up a way out for me. I saw in my experiences that what God wanted was my true heart. When I depended on God, looked up to Him sincerely, and resolved to sacrifice everything to satisfy Him, I saw His deeds. God is always guiding and helping me quietly. I thought of the words of God, “Whenever Satan corrupts man or engages in unbridled harm, God does not stand idly by, neither does He brush aside or turn a blind eye to those He has chosen. All that Satan does is perfectly clear and understood by God. No matter what Satan does, no matter what trend it causes to arise, God knows all that Satan is trying to do, and God does not give up on those He has chosen. Instead, without attracting any attention, secretly, silently, God does everything that is necessary” (“God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Pondering God’s words, I was deeply moved. I recalled my own experiences during that time. When Satan took advantage of my husband to interfere with me, persecute me and restrict me from going to meetings, God used brothers and sisters to communicate with me about His words to help me see through Satan’s deception and come out of my negativity. When my husband hid the books of God’s words and obstructed my belief in God, I truly relied on God and looked up to Him and then I saw His wonderful deeds. When I made up my mind to stand on God’s side, wanting to give up everything to follow God, Satan retreated in humiliation. From this, I really saw that God is beside me and that He arranges environments for me according to my stature, not placing an unbearable burden on me. In the past when I didn’t give my heart to God, I always cared about the physical relatives, depended on my ways to solve problems and compromised to Satan. As a result, I was viciously attacked by Satan, and tormented with unspeakable suffering. But when I truly relied upon God and resolved to make all sacrifices, God opened the way for me. Through these experiences, I got some real understanding of God’s almightiness and sovereignty, had some real knowledge of my own rebellious disposition and was able to discern Satan’s deceitful schemes. Thanks be to God.
From this period of experiences, I’ve gained a lot. During this process, I was weak and negative, but with the guidance of God’s words and the help and support of the sisters, I came to have the faith to overcome Satan’s temptations and attacks and walked to today. In my practical experiences, I’ve tasted God’s love, that He’s leading me all the time, and that He has never given up on me and has always been watching by my side. When I gave my true heart to Him, I saw His marvelous deeds, and emerged from troubles. From now on, I’m willing to experience more of God’s work, and pursue to attain true knowledge of God. All the glory be to Almighty God!
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