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.
Persecution Experience – The Broken Happy Family
By Zhang Qiang
The Persecution Comes on the Mid-Autumn Day
On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Zhang Qiang knitted his brow, sat in front of a table, and thought about the phone call from his son a couple of days ago when he was ready to go home after finishing his duty. His son called unexpectedly and said: “Dad, the security bureau came and arrested mom! Don’t come back home, the security bureau has written down your phone number, and also mentioned they’re after you, so be careful!” Zhang Qiang was feeling a little bit shaky, but he accepted this truth in a short amount of time, because he knows China is an atheistic country, and people believing in God are not protected by law. Especially, since God’s work in the last days started, the persecution from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has increased more and more—believers are in danger and might be arrested anytime. Zhang Qiang reflected on his elderly parents with worry all over their faces, the expectancy and anxiety in his children’s eyes, and also the thought of his wife suffering torture in prison…. As he kept thinking about them, the tears flowed uncontrollably. Zhang Qiang couldn’t hold himself anymore. He fell on his knees and cried out, pouring out the pressure and pain in his mind to God…
After prayer, his mind became calm and peaceful, reminding him of what God’s word says: “Are people incapable of putting aside their flesh for this short time? What things can cleave the love between man and God? Who is able to pull apart the love between man and God? Is it parents, husbands, sisters, wives, or painful refinement? Can the feelings of conscience wipe away God’s image within man? Are people’s indebtedness and actions toward each other their own doing? Can they be remedied by man? Who is able to protect themselves? Are people able to provide for themselves? Who are the strong ones in life? Who is able to leave Me and live on their own?” (“Interpretation of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Utterances”). God’s words comforted Zhang Qiang’s heavy heart. He couldn’t help counting how much God’s love he and his family enjoyed since they believe in God: it’s God’s protection that let his mother and daughter recover from serious illness; it’s God’s word that rescued him from a gambling addiction, made him find the right path of human life, and prevented him from degenerating in the worldly evil tide; it’s God’s word that resolved his wife’s resentment to him and restored their broken relationship. Even more, it’s God’s love that gave them the opportunity to perform the duty in the church and repay God’s love…. Thinking about God’s love, Zhang Qiang could not help but blame himself in his mind and thought: God has always been watching and guarding me till today, God is the strong support, how could I lose thebecause of the CCP’s persecution? How could I forget God’s almightiness and sovereignty? Zhang Qiang’s heart became calm and his spirit bright at this moment.
And he also thought about God’s word stated earlier: “My wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots. … In doing all this work, He has not only allowed humanity, who has been corrupted by Satan, to receive His great salvation, but also allowed them to see His wisdom, almightiness and authority, and in the end He will let humanity see His righteous disposition—punishing the wicked and rewarding the good. He has battled Satan to this very day and has never been defeated, for He is a wise God, and His wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots. And so He not only makes everything in heaven submit to His authority; He also makes everything upon earth rest below His footstool, and not last of all, He makes those evildoers who invade and harass humanity fall within His chastisement. All the results of the work are brought about because of His wisdom” (“You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day”). In the words of God, Zhang Qiang understood somewhat of the almightiness and wisdom of God. Actually, the time of God’s work started from six thousand years ago till today is also the time when the ongoing battle between God and Satan lasts. Satan tries all kinds of tricks to ruin God’s work, but God uses the opportunity to perfect a group of overcomers, who can become those of the same mind as God by overcoming all the persecutions and difficulties from the CCP. Furthermore, God came to the land of the great red dragon by incarnation, suffering with the people, delivering the truth, and using His chastisement and judgment to change the degenerated human disposition and bring people into His kingdom. It’s just like the Lord Jesus’s work, through which humans were redeemed from sin: no matter how much danger was surrounding Him, how the Pharisees denied, God’s work couldn’t be hindered, the redeeming work was completed through the cross at the end, and humans got salvation because of the Lord Jesus. In the last days, God came back by incarnation and completed a group of overcomers in the tiger’s den; no Satanic force can block the passage of God’s will. Satan is the one which does service for God’s work from beginning to end, no matter how it persecutes us fiercely, it’s still a vanquished foe at the end. Therefore, the more harsh the environment is, the more difficult it is, the more we have to satisfy God, love God and stand testimony firmly for God…. When Zhang Qiang thought about this in his pondering, he had the faith and motivation, and he believes firmly: No matter how the Chinese Communist government persecutes him, it can’t keep him away from God and make him give up his faith. He is willing to leave his wife to God and obey God’s arrangement, wishing God gives her the faith and strength, so that she could live on God’s word and would not surrender to Satan’s evil forces.
At this moment, Zhang Qiang suddenly remembered that there were a lot of gospel materials, and things the church had entrusted to him. Once these things fell into the hands of the CCP, the consequences would be disastrous! So he decided to take the risk to go home….
Taking Risks to Go Home The Last Farewell
It’s already 8 o’clock in the evening when Zhang Qiang arrived in the county town. He had ridden on his son’s motorcycle to a place nearby his home quietly, and he asked his son to ride the motorcycle back home first. After he looked around the surrounding area carefully, making sure he wasn’t followed, he walked into his house cautiously.
Zhang Qiang’s aged father, who was sitting on the sofa, felt surprised and happy to see him back, stood up, and said: “You’re back! Thank God that you’re OK!”
His aged mother reproached him with a worried tone, saying: “The police are after you, why you have come back?”
His aged father said heavily: “Your mother is right! You’re in great danger. You shouldn’t be home, and you should find a place to hide. We don’t even know if we’re under the secret surveillance of the police somewhere nearby!
After just a few days, Zhang Qiang watched his aged parents grow more white hairs due to worry. He felt very sad and thought that he was about to leave his family and his aged parents, and didn’t know when they would see each other again. Gnashing his teeth at the CCP, he didn’t have time to continue thinking about it, knowing that the longer he stayed, the more danger he was in, and the more worries he would bring to his parents…
So Zhang Qiang comforted his parents: “Father, mother, I’m coming back to take away the church’s property and information to prevent them from falling into the hands of the CCP. I will leave immediately after I am packed.”
The aged father urged him with worry: “You hurry up, pack quickly, and I go lookout for you.” Zhang Qiang couldn’t help but, afraid the Chinese Communist police will come in at any time. After he packed the things up, his father came to urge him to hurry up again. At this moment, when Zhang Qiang looked at his parents’ anxious eyes and haggard faces, his heart felt awful and guilty, and he thought: But for the Chinese Communist police, what parents would drive their own son to leave? Zhang Qiang could not bear his parents worrying, he whispered to them: I do not know if Zhang Mo (his wife’s name) will be sentenced to jail by the CCP. The few acres of field at home, please hire people to farm. You guys are old, and need to take care yourself.”
His mother comforted him and said: “Do not worry about us; you just keep your mind on your duty! The trial has come to our family. It’s God’s examination and we will never give up. Your father and I have God’s leading. Don’t you worry, just go!”
Zhang Qiang’s son said: Dad, don’t you worry, just go perform your duty. I grew up, I will take care of our home. The Chinese Communist government wants to break us down and stop us from believing in God. We must have more faith to stand up and do the testimony for God!”
Zhang Qiang was very touched when listening to his mother and son. In such a difficult situation, his aged parents do not get scared from the CCP’s intimidation, and still support his work. And his son has matured. He deeply realized that they had God’s watching and backing, there was nothing he needed to worry over. So Zhang Qiang said goodbye to his parents and then took his son’s motorcycle and left home…
See Through the Demonic Essence Make Commitment to Satisfy God
Zhang Qiang and his son arrived in the vicinity of his place, he got off the motorcycle. His son gave all the 300 yuan from his pocket to Zhang Qiang, and drove off on his motorbike. The view of his son’s back grew farther and farther away in the darkness. Zhang Qiang refocused his eyes, thought of himself as most wanted by the Chinese Communist Party, that his wife was still captured by them, the whole family could no longer get together, and a happy family was torn apart by them…. Suddenly, he remembered God’s word: “Do you truly, sincerely hate it? Why have I asked you so many times? Why do I keep asking you this question, again and again? What image is there of the great red dragon in your heart? Has it really been removed? Do you truly not consider it your father? All people should perceive My intention in My questions. It is not to provoke the anger of the people, nor to incite rebellion among man, nor so that man may find his own way out, but is to allow all people to liberate themselves from the bondage of the great red dragon” (“The Twenty-eighth Utterance”). From God’s questioning, Zhang Qiang understood God’s will. In the past, he listened to many brothers and sisters’ talk about the cases of how the CCP persecutes believers, but he didn’t personally experience it. He had no true knowledge and hatred of it. And now that he has witnessed its persecution and pursuing, he truly realized: The Chinese Communist Party has posted “freedom of religion” and “rights of citizens” banners, which made people believe that it supports freedom of religion and freedom of choice. In fact, what it said is a blatant lie, and it’s deceiving people with fake advocacy! It attempts to drive away all the believers, ban God’s work, and establish a godless realm in China. This is its real ambition. It persecutes religion, tears apart innumerable Christian families, and makes the agony of separating families. Acting even more abominably, it also uses the media to talk black into white and spread rumors and slanders, saying that believers don’t want family, don’t take care of elders, and children, etc. It wants to confuse and intimidate those who do not know the truth, incite them to reject and resist God’s work, and then make them lose their chance to be saved by God. Its intentions are really vicious! At this moment, Zhang Qiang not only has a true understanding of its substance of resistance to God, and is also able to distinguish the justice and evil. Zhang Qiang made a commitment secretly to God: O God, thank You for leading me through this difficulty. I’m willing to obey the environment in which You placed me, no matter how it will be and how difficult the examination will be. And I am willing to rely on You, give everything in Your hand, and do my best to fulfill my duty, to humiliate Satan, and then let You be glorified as soon as possible!
At this moment under the bright moonlight, the starry sky shone more and more, Zhang Qiang’s face expressed determination and confidence, and he strode toward his place…
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