Abstract: Hudson Taylor, one of the greatly blessed instruments of God in bringing the gospel to inland China, succeeded in spite of facing impossible circumstances at the outset. Upon arriving in Shanghai he discovered that rebels were in control of the city and were fighting a 50,000 man Imperial Army, food was selling at high famine prices, the dollar was soaring and out of control, he had no money and lodging couldn’t be found either. Yet he succeeded as he looked to God as the Great Circumstance in his life!
I want to share a quote from Hudson Taylor who was the instrument God used so marvelously to bring the gospel to China in the middle 1800s.
He set sail for China on the Dumfries on September 19, 1853, and voyaged for the next five and half months as the sole passenger. He arrived at Woosung on March 1, 1854, which was a short distance from Shanghai.
Conditions were far from ideal, for his home country was on the brink of the Crimean war, Shanghai was in the hands of rebels, the city was invested with an imperial army of 50,000 soldiers, food was at famine prices, the cost of the dollar had risen from four to seven shillings, and was soaring.
He was twenty-two and his courage was strong, and in his pocket were letters of introduction to three individuals. Seeking these people, he discovered the first was dead, the second had left, but the third was still there. In spite of sincere desires otherwise, as a result of the fighting in the area, there were no lodging places available in the foreign compound and fighting was taking place on the outside.
He unfortunately also lacked funds to get such lodging, for he had come with few funds, and was looking for a letter of credit that was to come from his sending organization. But there was no such letter for months, and he became dependent on the kindness of some missionaries who took him in as a paying guest.
As a result of the conflict going on, all he could do was pray and learn the Chinese language—a feat which he assured missionaries joining him later could be accomplished in six months!
He was not daunted by these circumstances, for he looked to God whom he had already learned was THE GREAT CIRCUMSTANCE in life.
Speaking of this he said the following:
“The believer does not need to wait until he sees the reason of God’s afflictive dealings with him ere he is satisfied; he knows that all things work together for good to them that love God; that all God’s dealings are those of a loving Father, who only permits that which for the time being is grievous in order to accomplish results that cannot be achieved in any less painful way. The wise and trustful child of God rejoices in tribulation… Our Heavenly Father delights to trust a trustworthy child with a trial in which he can bring glory to God, and through which he will receive permanent enlargement of heart and blessing for himself and others.”
I will share more from Taylor’s life in the days to come, but for now be encouraged knowing that the same God who was the great circumstance in Hudson Taylors’ life is still ruling the affairs of this world for the good and advancement of His kingdom and the good of His children, and is working ALL THINGS WELL for them!