God’s Word Is My Strength
By Jingnian, Canada
I have followed my family’s belief in the Lord since I was a child, and often read the Bible and attended meetings. After I got married, I passed the gospel of the Lord Jesus on to my mother-in-law, and after my mother-in-law began believing in the Lord, she no longer lost her temper when things happened or acted entirely on her own whims in the things she did, and the relationships in our family began to improve. My husband saw the change in his mother, so he also began believing in the Lord in 2015, and went to church with me every week. When I saw that my family was at peace after accepting the Lord’s gospel, I knew that this was the Lord’s grace, and I thanked the Lord from the bottom of my heart.
One day in February 2017, while I was at work, a female customer saw me and became very excited. She pulled me aside and said, “You look very much like a friend of mine. Can I introduce you to her? She has just come to Canada and has no friends, so if you have time, it would be good if you could talk.” I was very surprised at hearing this, and thought: Could such a thing happen? Does her friend really look that much like me? But I realized all things carry the Lord’s good intentions, and that lovingly helping others is also one of the Lord’s teachings, so I agreed to her request. A few days later, I met her friend Xiao Han. Xiao Han did indeed look very much like me. People who saw us asked if we were twin sisters. I don’t know if it was because we looked so much alike or because the Lord’s arrangements were behind things, but when I saw her, I immediately felt very close to her. After several meetings with her, we were like sisters who could talk about anything. What surprised me the most was that through Xiao Han, I heard the gospel of the returned Lord Jesus in the last days …
One day, Xiao Han took me to her aunt’s house, where her aunt taught us the gospel of Almighty God’s kingdom. She asked us to read the words expressed by God in the last days, and fellowshiped with us on God’s will in the creation of Adam and Eve, God’s thoughts and intentions when He called on Noah to build the ark, how God’s heart ached when He destroyed the people of Noah’s time, and more. She said that these mysteries are all revealed in God’s words expressed in the last days, and that without them, no one could understand these mysteries. I believed her, because only God Himself could explain the thoughts behind His actions. If God had not come personally to speak and work, who else could clearly explain God’s thoughts and intentions? I was deeply attracted to God’s words, and decided to seriously investigate Almighty God’s work in the last days. As I investigated, I raised many questions that I hadn’t understood when I read the Bible, and Xiao Han’s aunt gave me answers based on the words of Almighty God. The answers were very thorough, and they were clear and understandable to me. As I read more of God’s word, the questions and confusion in my heart were slowly resolved, and I understand that Almighty God’s work in the last days is the work of judging through His words, which fulfills the prophecy in the Bible that “Judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17). This step of God’s work is an escalation and deepening of the work of the Lord Jesus, and it is the final step of God’s work in the last days to purify mankind and save mankind. After investigating for a period of time, I was certain that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, I happily accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days, and began to attend meetings with my brothers and sisters.
One morning, a little over three months later, I was meeting with my sisters as usual, when suddenly my cell phone began to beep. I opened it and saw a notification that someone was trying to locate my position using my iPhone. I was very surprised, and I didn’t know what was going on, but immediately after that, my husband sent a WeChat message to me asking, “Where are you?” As I looked at the message, I hesitated, because I remembered that my husband went to a church meeting more than a month ago and told me that the pastor had said many negative things about The Church of Almighty God, and warned the believers to be on guard and not have any contact with people from Eastern Lightning. At the time, I was afraid that my husband would be confused by the pastor and elder, and that their rumors would turn him against The Church of Almighty God. I wanted to wait until I understood more of the truth and could understandably testify God’s work of the last days to spread the gospel to my husband, so I never dared to tell him about my meetings with the sisters of The Church of Almighty God. With that in mind, I replied to him, “I am on my way to work.” But when I thought about it again, I felt that something was wrong, “He never sends me a message at this time. Why is he suddenly sending a message today asking me where I am? What’s going on?”
When I got home from work that evening, I saw my husband sitting on the bed and giving me an angry look. My husband had found the books of God’s word that I hid at home and laid them out on the desk. I was very surprised by seeing all this, but before I had time to think about how to react, my husband asked me, “When did you start believing in Almighty God? There is a lot of negative news online about The Church of Almighty God, don’t you know that? You lied to me today. You weren’t on your way to work in the morning. Where were you?” I answered him, somewhat angrily, “So you’re the one who made my phone alert me this morning that someone was trying to locate me!” He said, “On my break at work this morning I wanted to know where you were, so I looked up your position and discovered you weren’t where you said you were.” He softened his tone and continued, “The Chinese government said the boundaries between men and women are unclear among believers in Almighty God, and there was a lot more negative information as well. Can you please not contact them anymore? It would be so much better if you just went to church meetings, and I could go with you every week. Why are you in contact with them?” When he finished, he went online and found a lot of negative information about The Church of Almighty God for me to read. After reading these baseless rumors, I was very angry, and said, “These people have never had any contact with The Church of Almighty God at all. Why are they commenting on it? These words are completely unfounded, it’s hearsay. These are lies and rumors. They’re completely untrustworthy! In the past few months, I’ve been around the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, and what I’ve seen is that they dress in a simple and honest manner, and they speak and behave in a dignified manner. Their brothers and sisters respect boundaries and are principled in their interactions. They are not at all like the rumors the CCP and the pastors and elders spread. The administrative decree for the Age of Kingdom issued by Almighty God clearly states, ‘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 loathes nothing more than when people engage in fornication. So, God has issued strict administrative decrees for His chosen people, and anyone who violates them will be expelled from the church. The brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God strictly abide by God’s administrative decrees, and no one dares violate them. This is what I personally saw and experienced. The rumor spread by the CCP and the pastors and elders that the boundaries between men and women of The Church of Almighty God are unclear is nothing but rumor and defamation.” But no matter what I said, my husband wouldn’t listen, and he insisted that I no longer meet with my brothers and sisters. I began to feel negative when I saw my husband’s stubborn attitude, for here abroad I only knew my husband and I didn’t want to fight with him. On the other hand, I was afraid that he would tell my family in China and the pastor, which would only bring me more trouble. So, when he insisted that I not go to meetings, I agreed, but I said that I wanted to continue reading God’s word at home, and he agreed. And so, the storm subsided for the moment.
There were many things I didn’t understand as I read God’s word at home, so I used my mobile phone to contact my sister when my husband was at work, which allowed me to continue my meetings with my sisters. I also told my sister about how my husband stopped me from going to meetings, after which the sister read a passage of God’s word 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). My sister fellowshiped, “When we encounter such an environment almost immediately after accepting Almighty God, from the outside it appears that our family is stopping us and not letting us go to meetings, but if we look at the matter through God’s word, Satan’s disturbance is behind this, because this is a spiritual battle. God wants to save us, but Satan doesn’t want to let that happen, so it follows behind God to disturb us, and uses the people around us to stop us from coming before God. Satan’s purpose is to destroy our normal relationship with God, make us feel negative and weak so that we leave and betray God, and finally return to its dominion and lose the chance to be saved by God. So, we must learn discernment, look at things according to God’s words, see through Satan’s tricks, pray more and rely on God, have genuine faith in God, and see God’s actions through our faith!” After hearing God’s word and my sister’s fellowship, I suddenly realized, “My husband is stopping me from believing in God and following God because Satan is using him to disturb me and make me betray God, which is the same as the trial that Job experienced. Satan tried every means it knew to tempt Job. It made him lose his immense wealth and his herds of cattle and sheep, covered him in horrible boils, but also used Job’s friends to disturb and attack him, and even used his wife to tempt Job to abandon God and die. Satan arrogantly tried to destroy Job’s faith in God and make him deny and reject God. Satan is truly evil and despicable!” When I thought of this, my heart was full of loathing for Satan, but then I thought, “Although Satan frantically tried to ruin Job, it never would have harmed Job unless God permitted it to do so, so doesn’t that mean what I am going through is also in God’s hands? As long as I truly look up to God and rely on God, God will surely guide me to overcome the temptations of Satan.” That thought gave me further faith in God, and I became determined to stay in contact with my sisters and continue my meetings and fellowship through my mobile phone.
One night, I put my phone on the table, and I didn’t expect that my husband would pick it up and look through my chat record with my sister. He very angrily said to me, “You are still in contact with them, and your chat lasted for two hours.” Then, he showed me more negative information online. He also used various ways to monitor me and prevent me from having contact with my sister on my phone. I lost my church life again, and couldn’t get help from my sister. After that, my husband kept sending me the rumors he found online, and disturbed and obstructed me from having any contact with my brothers and sisters. My husband’s persecution and obstruction made me miserable, and unconsciously I began to feel weak again, “Why is my husband so opposed to me believing in Almighty God? I only want to believe in God, why is it so hard? When can I believe in God without so much disturbance? Is this going to be my life from now on?” When I thought of that, I tried to stop my tears from falling, but I couldn’t, and I felt especially lonely and helpless. I didn’t know how I could go on, and I can’t count how many times I cried over that feeling. In my misery, all I could do was pray to God, “God! I don’t know what to do in the face of my husband’s persecution, I don’t know how to experience this, but I believe that whatever the environment, You have Your good intentions. I ask for Your guidance and the faith to experience this.”
Miraculously, the moment I prayed, I received a passage of God’s word from my sister, “Satan is at war with God, trailing along behind Him. Its objective is to demolish all the work God wants to do, to occupy 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 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” (“Chapter 10” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through God’s words, I gained some discernment about Satan’s evil intentions. God works to save people, while Satan tries to demolish God’s work and compete with God for people, so it spreads various rumors on the Internet to confuse and deceive people, and also uses our families to prevent and disturb us and make it impossible for us to come before God and be saved. My husband was blinded by the rumors spread by Satan because he didn’t know the truth, which is why he tried to prevent me from believing in God, and Satan also seized on my weakness to bind and harm me. Satan knew that my fatal weakness was romantic affection, so it attacked me through my affection for my husband, making me choose to maintain my family peace because of my concern for my fleshly feelings and give up following God, thereby making me abandon the true path and lose my chance to be saved by God. Satan is truly despicable! At the same time, I felt God comforting me with His words, encouraging me not to surrender to the dark forces of Satan, and showing me the path to practice. God said, “Rely on My wisdom to walk the perfect way.” In my current environment, how could I use the extra wisdom God gave me to attend meetings? I remembered that that last time my husband had used my phone to track me, so I couldn’t go to my sister’s house again, and I couldn’t use my phone to have meetings with her but I could go to the food court she visits in the mall. If my husband asked again, I could say I was shopping at the mall. So, with God’s guidance, I was able meet with my sister again. After that, once my sister understood my difficulties, she fellowshiped on God’s word with me, and comforted and encouraged me. Once I understood the truth, my negativity was quickly resolved.
One day, when I got home from work, I wanted to read more of God’s word, but when I searched the drawers and cabinets where I had put my books of God’s word, I couldn’t find them. I was very nervous, and thought, “Oh no, my husband must have thrown away my books. He is a very cautious person, so he definitely won’t have thrown them into a trash can where I can find them. If he took them to his office to throw away, then I really won’t find them.” The thought made me miserable, and I didn’t know what to do.
A few days later, when I went with my husband to take his driver’s license exam, I met one of my sisters. I secretly told her that my books of God’s word had disappeared. She told me to pray more, rely on God, and carefully look for them again. God dominates and rules all things, she told me, so whether my husband had thrown them away was in God’s hands, and I shouldn’t allow my imagination to make me rush to judge. When I got home, I messaged another sister, who said the same thing to me. With such fellowship from both of them, I believed that God’s good intentions must be behind this. Was God using my sisters to remind me? Then, I remembered a passage from God’s word, “Almighty God dominates all things and events! So long as our hearts look up to Him at all times and we enter into the spirit and associate with Him, then He will show us all the things we seek and His will is sure to be revealed to us; our hearts will then be in joy and peace, steady with perfect clarity” (“Chapter 7” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s word, I understood that God is always there for people to rely on and find aid. When people are in trouble and have no way out, as long as we genuinely call out to God, God will enlighten and guide us, and help us through our difficulties. Thanks to the enlightenment and guidance of God’s words, my faith in God was strengthened again, and I had a path to practice. I also understood that in the matter of losing my books of God’s word, I would never find them if I relied only on my own effort. God is all-powerful, and as long as I relied on and looked up to God, and then looked for them practically, I trusted that God would guide and help me. So, I came before God and sincerely prayed, “God! I can’t find my books of Your word. At the beginning, I relied on my own notions and imaginings to guess where they might be, I acted out of my own temper, I didn’t put You above all, and I didn’t realize that everything is under Your control. Now I wish to look up to You and entrust this matter to You, and then cooperate by looking again. Whether I will find the books or not, it is permitted by You. I ask for Your guidance.”
After I prayed, I suddenly had a desire to go to the storage room to find a pair of shoes. As I was kneeling down in the storage room to pick them up, I unexpectedly came across a white bag, and a very clear notion suddenly sprang into my mind: The books of God’s word are in the bag. When I picked up the bag and looked, it was true! I was surprised and delighted, and couldn’t help but shout, “Thanks be to God! Thanks be to God!” I realized that I was guided to the books by God. I really saw that everything is under God’s control, God has even arranged the thoughts and notions in people’s hearts, and that when we rely on God and look up to God, nothing is actually difficult. After that, I quickly took the books back to the bedroom and placed them in my drawer. That evening, when my husband came back, he discovered that I had found the books he hid in the storage room and demanded that I hand them over. This time, I sincerely relied on God and asked God to give me confidence and strength, and I refused to compromise further with him. When he saw my determination, he didn’t press further.
Later, to make it easier for me to attend meetings and practice spiritual devotion, my sister gave me a phone especially for listening to sermons, and she had also downloaded several books of God’s word on it. Once, when I changed my backpack, I carelessly left it at home, and my husband learned that I was having meetings again. He sent a message asking me, “Why are you still in contact with them? Why are you secretly going to meetings?” I was angry and worried when I saw the message, but I remembered my experiences over the past period, how every time my husband tried to obstruct or persecute me, I always compromised, retreated, or felt negative and weak, and that what I lacked most was relying on God and testifying for God. This time I couldn’t yield to Satan. I wanted to rely on God, look to God, overcome Satan by faith, and stand witness for God. I thought of God’s words, “No matter where or when, or how adverse the environment is, I will show you clearly and My heart shall be revealed to you if you look to Me with your heart; this way you will run down the road ahead and never lose your way” (“Chapter 13” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). So, I prayed to God, “God! Today You have chosen me and made me follow Your footsteps. If I don’t pursue with all my strength, if I compromise with Satan, I will lose my chance at salvation. God! I wish to entrust my present difficulties to You. No matter if my husband tells my family or the pastor about my belief in Almighty God, or whatever he does to me, I will obey. This time, I will rely on You to stand witness for You and humiliate Satan.”
After I prayed, I began to feel much calmer. I picked up my phone and answered him, “Yes, I’m going to meetings again. Tomorrow let’s sit down and have a real talk about this.” Once I sent the message, I still felt a sense of refinement in my heart: Why is it that each time I want to seriously pursue the truth, I am disturbed? Then, I thought of Job’s experience my sisters had fellowshiped about with me many times. God said, “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). I weighed God’s words, and thought of Job’s experience. He spent his life fearing God and shunning evil, but Satan wasn’t content to let God gain Job, and so tempted him many times. As Satan tempted Job, God was observing and watching everything, and God gave Satan a strict limit: Satan could not take Job’s life, thereby ensuring Job’s safety. This shows us that God cherishes people, does not want us to suffer, and doesn’t hope to see us fall under Satan’s influence and be harmed by Satan. And God had His good intentions in allowing Satan to tempt Job. God hoped to use Job to gain testimony and perfect Job’s faith and obedience to God. Wasn’t that the same as my situation now? Although Satan tempted me time and again, God never left me, and has guided me to the present. God arranged these circumstances in the hope that I would grow in life, stand witness for Him, and humiliate Satan, so this time I must try my best to stand witness for God, and humiliate Satan. I felt my faith in God, and was determined to obey God’s arrangements, stand with God, and never again compromise with Satan.
The next evening, when I got home from work, my husband was already there waiting for me. When I sat down, he said, “Can you stop believing in Almighty God?” Then he began talking about all the negative information from the Internet he had showed me about The Church of Almighty God. I answered, “No, I won’t. What do you really know about The Church of Almighty God? All the information you’ve seen online is rumor fabricated by the CCP to defame, libel, and condemn The Church of Almighty God. None of it is true. The CCP is an atheist political party, it loathes the truth and God, so it frantically fabricates and spreads all kinds of rumors to confuse people. It arrogantly wants to deceive people into resisting God and going to their death with it. That is the CCP’s evil intention. By believing in God, I haven’t done anything wrong, nor have I done anything to apologize to you for. I am walking the correct path in life, and I have decided to continue walking this path. I’ve thought about it, and I’ve decided you can call the pastor and the preachers and let them accuse me in their sermons and then expel me from the church. You can also call my parents and allow them to besiege and persecute me. But no matter what you do, my decision won’t change. I have accepted God’s work of the last days, and through reading God’s word and experiencing the environments God has arranged, I have determined that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, and I will stand by my choice no matter what.” My husband said, “You are betraying the Lord, do you know that? The Lord has given you so much grace. How can you betray Him?” I said, “Believing in Almighty God is not betraying the Lord, it is following the footsteps of the Lamb, because Almighty God and the Lord Jesus are the same God. It is exactly because I have enjoyed so much of the Lord Jesus’ grace that I knew I should investigate and accept when I heard the news that the Lord Jesus has returned today. Now, the Lord Jesus has again come incarnate to express new words and explain God’s work and will. I have heard God’s voice, so I should work to pursue it, go to meetings, and repay God’s love for me.” My husband said, “Fine, forget it! Do what you want! I had thought about telling your pastor and having him pull you back into the church, and calling your parents, but I was afraid they’d be so furious that they’d get sick. Believe whatever you want from now on, I won’t get involved.”
When I heard my husband say he wouldn’t try to stop me from believing in Almighty God anymore, I was very happy. I knew that this is God’s guidance, and that my husband’s heart and mind are also in the hands of God. That he could say such words shows all things are dominated by God. It was God who opened the way for me. I saw through my experience that God wants my heart, and when I truly rely on Him, look to Him, and risk everything to satisfy God, I see God’s work, and that God has been silently leading me and helping me. I remembered God’s words: “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). I was touched as I weighed these words. I thought back on my own experiences, and remembered how when Satan used my husband to disturb and persecute my attendance of meetings, God used the fellowship on God’s words of my brothers and sisters to allow me to see through Satan’s trick and escape my negativity; when my husband hid my books of God’s word and tried to stop me from believing in God, I truly relied on God and looked to God and witnessed God’s miraculous acts; when I became determined to stand with God and was willing to risk everything to follow God, Satan was humiliated and retreated. Through my experiences I saw that God is truly with me, and that He arranges environments for me based on my spiritual stature. God did not give me an unbearable burden. I thought of how in the past, when I hadn’t truly given my heart to God, I was always concerned with fleshly affection, relied on human methods to cope with problems, and didn’t dare to betray Satan, with the result that Satan took advantage of my weakness and targeted my weak spot time and again, attacked me at every turn, and tormented me to no end. But when I truly relied on God and risked everything, God opened the way for me, and Satan was helpless, humiliated, and defeated. After experiencing this environment, I gained true understanding of God’s almightiness and sovereignty and my own rebellious disposition, my faith and obedience to God grew, I gained discernment of Satan’s schemes, I saw Satan’s evil and despicable nature, and true hatred of Satan was produced within me. I was able to gain these understandings thanks to God’s guidance and enlightenment, and I am truly grateful to God!
Through this period of experiencing, I have gained much. I felt weak and negative during the process, but the guidance of God’s word and the support and help of my sisters gave me the faith to overcome Satan’s temptations and attacks and survive to today. Through my actual experience, I saw God’s love, and that God has been leading me and by my side through everything. When we truly give our hearts to God, look to God, and rely on God, we see the wonderful works of God and emerge from our suffering. In the future, I wish to experience God’s work more and pursue real knowledge of God. All glory be to Almighty God!