Pastor Li Dexian was just starting his sermon as the doors opened. The Chinese Public Security Bureau had found them. Everyone was threatened, and everyone was arrested. When Li was grabbed, he made a polite, yet firm request. “Wait, please allow me to grab my bag.” he asked the officer.

“What’s in there?” came the reply. Grabbing the bag before Li had a chance to respond, they found a blanket and a change of clothes.

Li was expecting to be arrested. In China, it is legal to be a believer. However, churches must register with the state. This leads to regulation and problems. Thus, many believers attend underground churches in order to truly live out their faith. This is the kind of church Pastor Li led. He was ready when the day came for his arrest. He was expecting it to happen. Yet he faithfully ministered.

1 Peter 4:12 tells us, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” Our trials can seem far different than what Pastor Li went through. Yet, they should not surprise us when they occur. Nor should we be caught unprepared for trials. Rather, we should be grounded in reliance upon God in all things. Looking to him in prayer as our protector. Readiness is a sign that there is deep commitment. Li has deeply committed to his faith. Because of this, he was ready when the test came his way. Are you prepared for your next test?