Counted Worthy Of Suffering Disgrace For The Name

When Christians in Fangcheng were forced into hard and free labour for the government, Zhang Rongliang was not happy that he was not included to join the common suffering for Christ. But an "opportunity" to suffer for Christ came Zhang's way soon , and he leaped for joy, rejoicing that he had been at last counted worthy to suffer for Christ.

Following excerpt from 32% into I Stand With Christ by Zhang Rongliang, Eugene Bach
In March 1974, every household in Fangcheng County that was accused of being Christian was put on a list. This list was compiled from prior arrests and then handed to the government officials in charge of putting together work parties. . . .

Everyone on the list in Fangcheng County was called up to begin working on road construction, providing free labor for the government. Even my sixty-year-old grandmother was forced to go out and build roads. I found out that I was not on that list and thus was not among those forced to build roads for the government.

I was actually hurt that my name was not on the list. I know this might sound strange to a Westerner, but it felt like I had been cheated when I learned that I was not considered worthy enough to be on the Fangcheng list of Christians forced to be slave labor.

I cried out to the Lord, “God, what have I done to not be on that list? I have faithfully followed You and proclaimed Your name. Please don’t allow this persecution to pass me by. Don’t allow someone else to suffer in my place. I will gladly show the world that I am committed to You.” In that moment, the Lord comforted me. I was instantly taken away in the Spirit by His supernatural grace, and I heard Him say to me, “My child, be patient. Something else will be coming your way. You have been measured, and your cross has been prepared.”

I was confused, but the word of the Lord provided me with comfort. I did not need to be comforted for very long, because I received a letter from the local government on May 3, 1974. It reprimanded me, informing me that I was a counterrevolutionary and would be required to attend reeducation classes specifically set up for religious people. Chairman Mao’s wife, Qing Jiang, was determined to eradicate Christianity from China forever and was the main force behind the institution of these classes.

My heart jumped for joy. Before I had even reached the end of the letter, I ran home as fast as I could. I went running into my mother’s house with the letter held high in my hand, shouting, “Mother! Mother! You need to see this letter. God heard my prayer! God heard my prayer!”

Those who follow the Lord must be a bit insane by the world’s standards. . . . it would be impossible for me to explain to an unbeliever the pain of being excluded from punishment when other believers were enduring hardship in my place. It might not even be possible to explain it to the comfort-seekers found in many churches today! I was excited because I had been chosen as one worthy enough to identify with my Savior in suffering. That meant that I would also be identified with Him one day in glory! (See, for example, Hebrews 2:9-10.)

I Stand With Christ

Genre:Biography or personal narrative
Subject:Zhang Rongliang
Publisher:Whitaker House
Location:New Kensington
Library:Physical collection at

Scripture Testimony Index stories in this book

Zhang's grandfather, Sun, suffered great humiliation and public disgrace for the Name of Christ. "Like a helpless lamb among wolves", he was not only taunted for his faith but eventually martyred for it.
Zhang Rongliang writes about the underground church he was part of; their dedication to the word of God, the amazing miracles God wrought among them and how those signs and wonders brought many to their fold.
Starting with his immediate family, Brother Zhang led believers to trust God and ignore the risk as they obeyed Hebrews 10:25 to not give up the habit of meeting together as Christians, even in the midst of fierce persecution.
Two terribly ill believers were determined to obey the Lord in baptism, risking their already fragile bodies in the process. The result of this obedience for both of them was total healing from their infirmities.
Zhang Rongliang, a member of the Chinese Communist Party, was arrested for attending a Christian meeting. Although he was offered freedom if he would deny Christ, he prayed and received the grace and courage to stand for Christ. In the face of inevitable suffering, he experienced the joy that comes from doing the right thing.
Christians in Zhang's village took turns to read his Bible and guarded it with their all. When Zhang got arrested, a search party was sent to his home by the local government to find his Bible. Fellow believers in his village also got detained.
While in prison, Zhang Rongliang, Li and other Christian brothers met secretly in the crude bathrooms in camp to encourage each other. Though the bathrooms were filthy, the fellowship they enjoyed in Christ, was a sweet aroma to their souls.
On the night Zhang Rongliang was released from prison - where for years, he suffered terribly for his faith in Christ Jesus; he went straight Brother Li's house. On getting there, he found the brethren gathered and praying for his release - God had heard them; for there he was, in their midst again.
One day in a dream, Zhang Rongliang who was in prsiosn and enduring much suffering heard a voice tell him, "today, the man who persecuted you will die.” The very next day, Zhang's dream came to pass.
When Christians in Fangcheng were forced into hard and free labour for the government, Zhang Rongliang was not happy that he was not included to join the common suffering for Christ. But an "opportunity" to suffer for Christ came Zhang's way soon , and he leaped for joy, rejoicing that he had been at last counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
When an opportunity came for Zhang to satisfy his spiritual hunger, he endured much risk and starved himself, just so his hunger for the word could be filled.
When some believers were sent to prison for "reeducation", they were subjected to extreme cruelty in an attempt to break them and have them deny Jesus. And while some did, for Zhang Rongliang and three others, Jesus was all they had. Denying the One who will never deny them was not an option.
Lanju Gao was a Muslim sent to the Chinese government's atheist indoctrination camp, but instead of becoming atheist, Lanju became a Christian. And when tortured because of his conversion, Lanju held his ground; for he had seen Zhang suffer and yet not deny this Christ - he too rejoiced that he now served the one true God.
In a time of serious food scarcity when other prisoners were fighting over food and stealing each other's ration, Brothers Chen and Zhang freely prayed and shared their food together, to the utter shock of everyone. Their shining example was all Lui and Wang needed to come to Christ.
Zhang Rongliang's Bible - a serious contraband and other documents are discovered in prison. He prays to God, asking that: "this storm be immediately calmed", and in the most unbelievable way, he recovers everything that was taken.
Wubo and Zhang had a long history of family enmity. When Zhang came out from prison, Wubo expected that Zhang will avenge all the evils Wubo had done to him in his absence. That did not happen, rather Zhang visited Wubo with gifts and shared with him the message of the love of Christ and how it led him to love his supposed enemies. Wubo accepted the Lord that day and they both became brothers in the Lord.
Zhang Rongliang rejoices that he is in prison for the name of Jesus.
Zhang Rongliang, along with several other pastors, was sentenced to three years hard labor. But they rejoiced greatly because they were imprisoned together, which caused them to sing and shout praises to the Lord.