Not defeated by suffering
By the time Hudson Taylor was in his fifties, he had suffered through and emerged from some of life’s harshest tests.
He had established one of the world’s greatest missionary agencies, without denominational backing. He had pressed into the interior of China, something the other evangelism agencies were reluctant to do at the time. He had suffered the loss of several of his children and the wife of his youth, Maria.
He had escaped a violent mob assault against their home – with thousands gathering and several looting their belongings and physically assaulting him and his family, because of the false rumour that these ‘foreign devils’ were boiling and eating children. He had survived serious illness several times. Yet his was a buoyant faith.
You don’t need great faith – but faith in a great God!
On the 26th May 1887 the 21st anniversary meeting of the CIM was held in the UK, with Hudson Taylor present with a fresh challenge to see 100 new missionaries sent to China that year.
In a speech laden with tweetable quotes, Taylor said:
‘People say, ‘Lord increase our faith!’ Did not our Lord rebuke His disciples for that prayer? It is not great faith you need, He said in effect, but faith in a great God.
We need a faith that rests on a great God, and expects Him to keep His own word and to do just as He has promised.
Now we have been led to pray for a hundred new workers this year. We have the sure word, ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.’
We began the matter aright, with God, and we are quite sure that we shall end it aright. It is a great joy to know that 31 of the Hundred are already in China…Whether He will give His ‘exceeding abundantly’ by sending us more than a literal hundred, or whether by stirring up other branches of the Church to send many hundreds…or by awakening missionary enthusiasm all over the Church and blessing the whole world through it, I don’t know…
Keep God before you!
[but] I do want you, dear friends, to realize this principle of working with God and asking Him for everything. If the work is at the command of God, then we can go to Him in full confidence for workers; and when God gives the workers, we can go to Him for means to supply their needs.
We always accept a suitable worker, whether we have funds or not. Then we often say, ‘Now, dear friend, your first work will be to join us in praying for money to send you to China.’
As soon as there is money enough, the time of the year and other circumstances being suitable, the friend goes out.
We don’t wait until there is a remittance in hand to give him when he gets there.
The Lord will provide in the meanwhile, and the money will be wired to China in time to supply his wants.
Let us see to it that we keep God before our eyes; that we walk in His ways, and seek to please and glorify Him in everything, great and small.
Depend upon it, God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supplies.
God’s Church: A fully supplied, strong, healthy, happy people
The Lord’s will is that His people should be an unburdened people, fully supplied, strong, healthy and happy.
Shall we not determine to be ‘[anxious] for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving’ bring those things that would become burdens and anxieties to God in prayer, and live in perfect peace?
I have not known what anxiety is since the Lord taught me that the work is His.
My great business in life is to please God.’[i]
For the next part of the Hudson Taylor Story, about persevering in evangelism click here
For the first part of the Hudson Taylor Story click here
© Lex Loizides / Church History Blog
[i] Excerpts taken from Roger Steer, J Hudson Taylor – A Man in Christ, Singapore, 1990