One day in this May, the village cadres were again leading the men of the public security bureau to arrest me, so I left home to perform my duty. In performing my duty, whenever I thought of how I was tortured by the great red dragon when I was arrested two years earlier, I shook with fear. And I preached the gospel perfunctorily for fear that I might incur persecution and thus bring myself trouble. Just like this, whatever I did, what I first thought of was my own safety; and every day I lived in a state of alarm.
This situation lasted until one day when I read these words in the work arrangement: “Now it is the last period of danger. If one does not offer his faithfulness, then he will regret forever and repent all his life. We can study all the people who are faithful to God. Which one of them has followed until today without going through many tribulations and dangers? Some of them have been imprisoned several times, some have been arrested as many as seven or eight times, and some have been reeducated through labor twice and imprisoned once; and now, they are still following God. Only to offer one’s loyalty to God is testimony, and it can never come without a price. A good and resounding testimony is forged by paying many prices; no price, no testimony. By what prices was Job’s testimony forged? By what prices was Abraham’s testimony forged? By what prices was Peter’s testimony forged? Everyone is weaving and forging a testimony for himself. If you do not pay some true prices, your testimony cannot be successful, cannot be convincing, and cannot shame satan and glorify God. … At the present time, people are most needed to expend for God to spread the gospel work. If people are all timid and can only do a very limited amount of small work, then can the will of God be carried out? … To expend ourselves for God, we must remove our timidity and fear. We should resolve the dangers and overcome the dangers by wisdom and this is safest. … This is because only those who offer their ultimate faithfulness in the period of the tribulation are the ones who are faithful to God, and only those who complete God’s commissions in the period of the tribulation are the ones who have a powerful testimony….”
After reading this passage, I gained strength in my heart and I understood this: Now it is the period of the tribulation; it is the very time God needs people’s loyalty, and it is also the time we are forging our testimonies. One’s good and powerful testimony is forged by keeping his faithfulness to God at critical times and by the true price he pays in adverse circumstances. To preserve myself, however, I always lived in timidity and fear, performing my duty perfunctorily and muddling along. Did I have any faithfulness? Did I have any testimony? Abraham offered Isaac, Job offered all that he had, and Peter had himself crucified upside down for God. Which one of their testimonies was not bought at an actual price? Today, in order to carry out the will of God, some brothers and sisters had been imprisoned several times, and some had been convicted several times; now they are still following God and performing their duties faithfully. I was arrested only once and underwent a little physical torture, but then became frightened and flinched. If I go on like this, won’t I become a failure who falls in the great tribulation? Today, God requires us to defeat satan by multifarious wisdom. As long as I obey the arrangements of God’s family and do things by principles, I will be cared and kept by God and will not fall into satan’s temptation. Even if God really hands me over to satan, it is that God thereby wants to perfect me and gain me and wants me to bear a testimony for him in that matter. Having thought of this, I felt unbearably ashamed for my sordid conduct, and at the same time, I saw that I had so little faith in God and so little knowledge of God.
O God! I have understood your intention now. The more adverse the circumstances are, the more it is the time you test my faithfulness to you. I will not be timid and fearful anymore. I will never disappoint your painstaking care and effort on me. I am willing to offer my faithfulness in this last tribulation, complete your commission to me, and forge a good testimony, so as to let you enjoy the glory.
Zaozhuang City, Shandong Province