Worries flood my mind.
In the morning, on the quiet street, there were only several pedestrians who were rushing to work or school. Looking up at the sky, I saw a few dark clouds hiding the sun that wasn’t shining bright, and the sky appeared more oppressive. My mood was also oppressed like the weather. At that time, my grandma and I were walking toward my school. Along the way, we both stayed silent …
Some time ago, I spread God’sto my classmates, and one of my non-believing classmates sold me out, with the result that my school and my grandma learned of my belief in God. Today, my grandma went to the school with me to join together with my teachers to dissuade me from believing in God. Ignorant of what would happen, I felt a bit nervous. All I could do was silently pray to God so that He would guide me to have faith to face what might come next.
I am threatened in the principal’s office.
As I walked into the principal’s office, I saw the principal, the vice-principal and other school leaders were there, who cast their eyes on me at once. Immediately, an inexpressible fear overflowed my heart and I thought: “Just because I, several school leaders are all here to change my mind. Will I be able to overcome this situation? Will they dismiss me for my belief in God? If so, I’ll be unable to attend school. I’m only 16, and so no employers dare to employ me even if I want to work. What’ll I do?” I was so nervous and I could only silently pray to God: “God, I don’t know how to face this situation. I’m very scared and wonder if I can make it through. May You lead me and protect me from betraying You.” After , God’s words occurred to me: “Do not fear, Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He has your back and He is your shield.” God’s words provided me with faith. Yes, God is my staunch support. With God by my side, there is nothing I need to be afraid of. Aren’t these leaders within God’s hands? As long as I rely on God, I trust that God will lead me through this situation. Even if I’m expelled, I can’t give up my belief in God. I believe that everything is in God’s hands and that He will guide me forward step by step. Thinking this, my heart slowly became calm, and I wasn’t so frightened.
Then, in a serious tone, the principal asked me: “Xu Qing, do you know why you are here?” I looked up at him and said nothing, thinking: “Isn’t it because I believe in God?” Seeing that I wasn’t speaking, the vice-principal walked over to me. He twisted his mouth and arrogantly threatened: “Do you know? The CCP is an atheistic government and doesn’t allow people to believe in God. Belief in God is illegal. The government has demanded that we must do something about the students who have faith in God, or we’ll be dragged in. If you keep on believing, we’ll have to dismiss you! Without a middle school diploma, you won’t be eligible to take the national college entrance examination, and in the future, you won’t be able to get a good job. Have a good think about this!”
When I heard this, I was furious and thought: “Doesn’t the CCP advocate religious freedom? Why is it trying to strip me of the right to receive education just because I believe in God? What does my belief in God have to do with my attending school? Why would you dismiss me?” At the moment, my grandma, who was standing next to me, said at once: “Your vice-principal is right. A’qing, you’re not to believe in God anymore. Otherwise you won’t have a future once you are arrested. Belief in God is a good thing, but the CCP government simply won’t allow anyone to believe in God. How can an arm overpower a leg? For the sake of your future, no matter what, you must listen to the vice-principal. You’re not allowed to have faith in God.” After listening to what my grandma had said, I became even angrier, and thought in my heart: “God is the Creator, and we are creations. It’s right and proper for me to believe in God and worship Him. Does this have anything to do with my studies and future? My future and fate are held in God’s hands; they are not up to you. God’s words say: ‘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?’ God’s words make it very clear that we are nothing more than miniscule beings of creation and can’t decide our own and others’ fates. What my future will be like is determined by God. You are using the future and job to force me to give up the true way and betray God. I won’t fall for your tricks!” With God’s guidance and protection, I remained unaffected regardless of what these school leaders said.
Seeing that I had no intention of renouncing my faith in God, the school leaders said to my grandma: “Aunt, to ‘save’ Xu Qing, be sure you keep a close eye on her when she is at home. Don’t let her read God’s words, much less go to church meetings. If she doesn’t listen but continues believing, the school will dismiss her. You have to call the school every day to report on her. Stop her believing in God! We’re looking out for her. If she continues her faith, our school will be also implicated. The government often puts pressure on us to forbid all teachers and students to practice faith in God. So, you’d better watch her closely.” My grandma immediately replied: “OK, OK, I’ll.” Obstructed by my grandma and the school leaders, I felt helpless and thought to myself: “If my grandma and the school leaders really join together to prevent and restrict me, how will I believe in God, read God’s words, and go out for meetings?”
Satan uses the family emotions to coerce me to betray God.
To make me abandon my faith, my grandma spoke to my face every now and then some rumors and fallacies that denied and resisted God. However, under the guidance of God’s words, I wasn’t swayed. One night, just as I was about to go to bed after finishing my homework, my grandma came to my bedroom and spread some fallacies to make me abandon my belief. Seeing that I remained unmoved, she then took out her phone and called my grandpa, who was working away from home. Then came my grandpa’s elderly and gentle voice: “Qing, listen to your grandma. Stop believing and just study hard. If you keep your faith, what if you are arrested? You should think about our family.” These words that were neither hard nor soft hit home. I then thought: “Yes, the CCP is hunting Christians everywhere. Many brothers and sisters have been captured by the CCP police because of their faith in God, and some are cruelly tortured and imprisoned. If I’m really arrested, what will my family do? My aging grandparents, as well as my parents, who have been working hard for our family all their lives—they all expect me to grow up quickly, study well and have a good diploma, so that I’ll find a good job and reduce the family burden. If I’m arrested, not only will I be kicked out of school, but I will put my family into trouble.” Thinking this, my mind was in a tangle, and I lay feebly on my bed, silently praying to God: “God, in the face of this situation, I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to betray You. May You protect and lead me. …”
After praying, God enlightened me, and God’s words came into my mind: “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.” “You must be awake and waiting at every moment, and you must pray more before Me. You must recognize the various plots and cunning schemes of Satan, know the spirit, know people and be able to discern all kinds of people, matters and things; you must eat and drink more of My words…. When the church enters its construction phase, a battle of the saints against Satan[a] ensues. Satan’s various hideous features are set before you; do you stop and backslide, or do you stand up and walk onward, relying on Me? Thoroughly expose Satan’s corrupt and ugly features, spare no feelings and show no mercy! Fight Satan to the death! I am your backup and you must have the spirit of the male child!”
God’s words reminded me in time that I really was in an ongoing spiritual battle. On the surface, it appeared that my family were dissuading me from believing in God, but actually it was Satan using my emotions to attack me so that I would abandon my belief to satisfy my family on account of consideration for their feelings and thinking for them at all times. Satan was full of cunning tricks, and it saw that the hard approach didn’t work, so it tried the soft approach. Satan was truly too vicious! However, God allowed this circumstance to befall me to test whether or not I had true faith in Him. Therefore, I should rely on God and trust Him, and couldn’t always worry whether I would be arrested or whether my family would be implicated. If I submitted to Satan because of my fear and didn’t dare practice my faith, wouldn’t I fall for Satan’s tricks? Then I also thought that the fate of each of us in life was preordained by God, and that no one could change it. My family were also in God’s hands. I should entrust my family and myself to God and submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Only this was wise. After coming to this realization, my worries were gradually dispelled, and I had the resolution to keep following God. After that, no matter what my grandpa and grandma said to obstruct me, I still stood my ground, and didn’t renounce my faith in God.
In the face of Satan’s unceasing attacks, God’s words strengthen my faith to follow God.
Day after day passed. Because my family and school forcefully hindered and limited me, I had no way of attending church meetings or reading God’s words. Without the supply and guidance of God’s words, my spirit became more and more withered, and my faith gradually weakened.
At home, my grandma kept a close watch on me every day, and as long as I went out, she would ask me whether I had gone to have a gathering; my uncle called me every few days to ask me if I had taken part in meetings. At school, my teachers often demanded to know if I was practicing my faith, and the teachers and classmates purposefully ostracized and avoided me, as well as mocked and laughed at me because of my faith in God. With my family and teachers coercing me and my classmates ridiculing me, I felt like the days were too painful and too hard to bear. What made it most difficult to bear was that my grandma frequently expressed displeasure, which left me feeling an unparalleled sense of oppression and torment. I was like a bird in a cage, firmly controlled, without any freedom whatsoever. At that time, I couldn’t help but think that if I didn’t believe in God, they might not treat me like this, but at the thought of stopping believing in God, I felt tormented. However, if I continued my faith, how should I walk the road ahead? I felt all conflicted, and felt I was like a lonely boat on the sea which lost its direction due to the beating of the waves and could hardly move on, as if in the danger of being overturned anytime. … I constantly thought: “Will I have to give up on following God to relieve my pain? Could it be that I really am going to compromise with Satan?”
Just when I was suffering the most, God’s words comforted me: “From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to fulfill your duty. Performing your role in God’s plan and in His ordination, you start your life’s journey.” God’s warm words felt very intimate to me, and I also felt very indebted to God. It was God who gave me life and brought me into the world; it was due even more to God’s grace and guidance that I accepted His work in the last days, enjoyed being shepherded and supplied by His words, and came to understand some truths. As a created creature, believing in God and worshiping Him is totally justified, but I had the thought of abandoning my faith because I couldn’t bear to endure the suffering of being persecuted by my family and teachers. I really did have such little faith in God. Thereupon, I prostrated myself before God and prayed: “God, to believe in You ought to be a matter of course, and that is my responsibility as a created being, but because my stature is really very small, when encountering the persecution and rejection at school and home, I suffer a great deal and don’t know how to experience this. God, may You lead and help me.”
The next evening, I secretly read God’s words when my grandma wasn’t looking. I saw God’s words say: “Today, most people don’t have that knowledge. They believe that suffering is without value, they are renounced by the world, their home life is troubled, they are not beloved of God, and their prospects are bleak. The suffering of some people reaches a certain point, and their thoughts turn to death. This is not the true love of God; such people are cowards, they have no perseverance, they are weak and powerless! God is eager for man to love Him, but the more man loves Him, the greater man’s suffering, and the more man loves Him, the greater man’s trials. If you love Him, then every kind of suffering will befall you—and if you don’t, then perhaps everything will go smoothly for you, and all will be peaceful around you. When you love God, you will feel that much around you is insurmountable, and because your stature is too small you will be refined; moreover, you are incapable of satisfying God, and you will always feel thatis too lofty, that it is beyond the reach of man. Because of all this you will be refined—because there is much weakness within you, and much that is incapable of satisfying the will of God, you will be refined inside. Yet you must clearly see that purification is only achieved through refinement. Thus, during these last days you must bear testimony to God. No matter how great your suffering, you should go on to the very end, and even at your last breath, still you must be faithful to God, and at the mercy of God; only this is truly loving God, and only this is the strong and resounding testimony.”
God’s words flowed into my heart like a warm current and watered my parched spirit, so I couldn’t help shedding tears. I understood from this passage that suffering in this way was actually valuable. God’s will was to strengthen my faith and love for Him through this suffering. Yet, I didn’t know God’s intention, and so facing the persecution by my family and school, and the derision and slander by my classmates, I felt it simply too painful and difficult to believe in God and even the thoughts of betraying God formed in my heart. I recalled how, after believing in God, I enjoyed God’s love and protection: While many students are addicted to online gaming and throw away their entire education, thanks to the guidance of God’s words, I have realized that online games are a way in which Satan corrupts man, and have seen through the damage done by being obsessed with online gaming, and thus I have stayed away from online games; while puppy love prevails in schools, God protects me from it, which has saved me a lot of worries…. Counting God’s graces, I felt I was too blessed. Yet, I became negative and weak, and even wanted to betray God due to the persecution and derision. I was too lacking in faith and perseverance. Suddenly, remorse and a feeling of indebtedness welled up in my heart, and I silently swore an oath that I would be unyielding regardless of how much I suffered. God was always accompanying me and expecting me to stand testimony in the persecution. At that moment, the grievance and pain I had restrained for so long gradually disappeared, and I again gained the faith and courage to stand witness.
I saw more of God’s words: “For thousands of years this has been the land of filth, it is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts run rampant everywhere, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world beyond the skies? The devil tightly trusses all of man’s body, it puts out both his eyes, and seals his lips firmly shut. The king of devils has rampaged for several thousand years, right up until today, when it still keeps a close watch on the ghost town, as if it were an impenetrable palace of demons…. Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin!” God’s words expose the CCP’s demonic essence of resisting God. The CCP allows religious freedom on the surface, but in reality, it has been persecuting and arresting believers in God. House churches have all constantly suffered persecution by the CCP, and even the Three-self Church hasn’t been spared. The CCP has been trying to exterminate all believers of God. It really is the devil that sets itself against God. In the last days, God has incarnated in human flesh to express the truth and save people, teach us the principles of being human, point out to us the right path of life, and allow us to know the value and meaning of life. But the CCP fears that we will all return to God, be able to discern its essence, and thus no longer be enslaved by it, so it puts so much effort into defaming and smearing The Church of Almighty God on the internet, on television, on newspapers and in the news media. As a result, many who don’t know the actual situation believe the CCP and act as its accomplices to persecute us believers and stop us from believing in God. The CCP’s purpose of deceiving people is to cause them to deny and resist God with it, and finally become its sacrificial objects and be destroyed along with it. I thought back to my experience over these several months: After I was sold out for spreading the gospel, the school leaders threatened and intimidated me, my classmates mocked and slandered me, and my family monitored and prevented me. All this pain was caused by the CCP’s rumors and lies. At the time, I made a resolution: No matter how my school and family disrupted and restricted me, and no matter how my classmates sneered at and slandered me, I would follow God till the end!
Later, every day when my grandma wasn’t home or went to work, I secretly read God’s words, prayed to God, and learned to sing hymns. Despite the fact that my unbelieving family and teachers are still restricting my personal freedom, I’m no longer constrained by them.
This experience is a precious treasure in my life! Though in atheistic China, I’ve been hindered and kept from believing in God by my school and family, God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s trickery—through experiencing this environment, I’ve come to appreciate the authority and power of God’s words, and my faith in God has increased; meanwhile, I’ve gained some discernment and seen clearly that the CCP is a demon that resists God. Thank God! Whatever persecution or tribulations come my way, I will follow God staunchly till the very end! Amen!
a. The original text does not contain the phrase “against Satan.”
1. “Making groundless accusations” refers to the methods by which the devil harms people.
2. “Heavily guarded” indicates that the methods by which the devil afflicts people are especially vicious, and control people so much that they have no room to move.
» Read more on our Spiritual Warfare page, or in the recommended articles below.