A Full Trust
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7
We have in these verses another of our loving Father’s commandments with promise. Familiar, precious words to every child of GOD! We love to ponder them, we are inﬂuenced by them, we look longingly at the wondrous blessing provided “through CHRIST JESUS.” We have doubtless often tried to carry out the command, and may have prayed earnestly and frequently to be enabled to do so. We have had, too, our precious seasons of “joy and peace in believing,” when, all our care being cast upon Him who careth for us, such has been our glad sense of freedom and power that we have seemed upborne as on eagle’s wings; and further, we may have so often proved the faithfulness of our GOD, that it has come to be a habit with us to bring our difﬁculties and our cares to Him, feeling that ”we could not bear them alone.” And yet do we not in measure bear them still? and are we not conscious that in our daily lives we are not “careful for nothing,” and that the peace of GOD does not always keep our hearts and minds. We have much peace, perhaps, but it is not unbroken; it rather resembles the waves that come and go, than the river that ﬂows on ever fuller and deeper in its unhindered course.
And meanwhile, what is the powerful, though unspoken, testimony of our lives and our hearts about this word of command? which, like every other, calls not for admiration merely, but for full, and complete, and constant obedience. We have prayed to obey, and failed; and now, in our disappointments are we practically maligning the LORD whom we love, and saying to our fellow-believers and to those who know Him not that “this is a hard saying” beautiful indeed as an ideal, but in ordinary life impracticable? We would not have our lives say that; no, we cannot admit it in words, for well we know that our Father makes no mistakes, that this command must be blessedly possible, and that therefore we could and ought to obey it. Then comes the question, Why have we failed? And is it not because, though asking GOD to help us, we have been trying to do our part? and “our part” is sure to be attended with failure. We have heard it said that “GOD’S commandings are enablings,” but we have not realised that only from the Goo who commands can the power come to obey. Let us then now put ourselves into GOD’S hands to do the whole work in us, “to will and to do or His good pleasure,” and then “work out” what He gives the power for. We may rest assured that if He has the freely-yielded control of us, He can and will enable us to keep His own Word: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto GOD.” And oh! how blessed will be the proving that “the things which are impossible with men are possible with GOD!”
What the rest and relief are of having the last atom of care lifted from the spirit none can know but those who have experienced it. To have GOD to lean upon for everything—to keep our hearts and minds in His own peace, to subdue us, to manage us, to show us what to do, and to give the power to do it; to bring to the light our failures, not that we may be condemned by them, not that we may struggle with them, but that, taking them to Him, He may remove them—to have Him to undertake for us, at all times, to undertake for us and all that concerns us, to keep us watching, resting, trusting! Oh, how different from the trying to trust, when we often could not remember to do so at the right moment, and so were not ready for the service He gave, or for the temptation in which we might have been victorious! How much more to praise the Lord for when, as every hour He saves us, we are proving what a perfect Saviour He is, and ﬁnding fresh cause for loving gratitude! And how much more glorifying to Him that these lives of ours should testify, “His grace is sufﬁcient for me.”
Nor is this some high attainment of which we write. Was it an attainment when we ﬁrst came to Jesus in utter helplessness, and casting ourselves at His feet found in Him pardon and peace? Was it not all free grace? And now will you not come again as you came then, that His grace, which has borne with you ever since that day, may now do more for you than you had asked or thought? that, as it then saved you from the consequences of your sins, so now it may save you from their power? You took Him at His word then; and now, having proved His faithfulness to do what you expected of Him, surely you can take Him at His word again, and when as the Husbandman of His vineyard He says, “I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” Will you not joyously respond, “The LORD is my Keeper: the LORD is my shade upon my right hand. The LORD shall preserve me from all evil: He shall preserve my soul. The LORD shall preserve my going out and my coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Amen.—China’s Millions, 1881, p. 63
I suspect this may have been written by J. Hudson Taylor since he was the editor of China's Millions at that time but have no proof.