Archive for the ‘Hudson Taylor’ Category

Supernatural Power!

Monday, June 20th, 2011

“With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33

What does it mean to enjoy God’s supernatural power in one’s life? How much of that power is God’s power versus one’s own power?

I came across a wonderful sermon by Hudson Taylor on God’s supernatural power that is worthy of prayerful consideration. I share a few key paragraphs. You can find the rest of it at path2prayer.com. Taylor was the much used founder of the China Inland Mission who played a primary role in bring Christianity to China.

Quoting Hudson Taylor…

“God’s power is available power. We are a supernatural people, born again by a supernatural birth, kept by a supernatural power, sustained on supernatural food, taught by a supernatural Teacher, from a supernatural Book. We are led by a supernatural Captain in right paths to assured victories.

“The power given is not a gift from the Holy Ghost. He, Himself, is the Power. To-day He is as truly available and as mighty in power as He was on the day of Pentecost. But has the whole Church ever, since the days before Pentecost, put aside every other work and waited for Him for ten days, that that power might be manifested? Has there not been a source of failure here? We have given too much attention to methods, and to machinery, and to resources, and too little to the Source of Power; the filling with the Holy Ghost.

“God is the ultimate source of power; and faith is the hand which lays hold on God. And how important is that hand! If the contact of faith with the living God be to any extent broken, may it not again be true, as in the days of His flesh, when He could not do many mighty works because of their unbelief? How important is faith, and what is this so essential faith? Is it not simply the recognition of and reliance upon God’s faithfulness? Is it not simply reliance on the fact that faithful is He who promised, who also will do it?

“Redemptive work, soul-saving work, can not be carried out without suffering. If we are simply to pray to the extent of a simple pleasant and enjoyable exercise, and know nothing of watching in prayer, and of weariness in prayer, we shall not draw down the blessing that we may. We shall not sustain our missionaries who are overwhelmed with the appalling darkness of heathenism; we shall not even sufficiently maintain the spiritual life of our own souls. We must serve God even to the point of suffering, and each one ask himself in what degree, in what point, am I extending, by personal suffering, by personal self-denial to the point of pain, the kingdom of Christ?

“It is a very important fact for us all to bear in mind that, as we have already been reminded, the command was not given to a limited class; it was given to the whole Church, and we all have our share of the responsibility.

“There is another power, a power far too little appreciated and sought after, the power of self-emptying and unresisting suffering. We have tried to do, many of us, as much good as we felt we could easily do or conveniently do, but there is a wonderful power when the love of God in the heart raises us to this point that we are ready to suffer, and with Paul we desire to know Him in the power of His resurrection (which implies the death of self), and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. It is ever true that what costs little is worth little. Then how little some of our service has been worth.

“There are different ways of preaching the gospel. There is the plan of preaching the gospel and looking forward to the gradual enlightenment of the people, to their being saved as it were by a process of gradual instruction and preaching. And there is another method of preaching the gospel; believing it to be the power of God unto salvation; preaching it in the expectation that He who first brought light out of darkness can and will at once and instantaneously take the darkest heathen heart and create light within. That is the method that is successful.

To what degree does that supernatural power work in your life? Definitely something to pray about!

You can read all of Taylor’s sermon “The Source of Power” at his page at path2prayer.com

Hudson Taylor’s Conversion

Friday, May 14th, 2010

If you have read a book on Taylor’s life, you probably remember there was a time when his mother decided she would pray and seek for her son’s conversion until her prayer was answered. At the time she was away from home.

Hudson didn’t claim to be a Christian. He had tried to walk with God, but had repeatedly failed in his quest and therefore had given up on Christianity

On the same day his mom decided to pray, Hudson wandered into his father’s study. Because his father was a pastor, there was religious reading matter around, including a tract that caught his attention.

Describing his experience in his book Retrospect Taylor said the following:

“Little did I know at the time what was going on in the heart of my dear mother, seventy or eighty miles away. She rose from the dinner-table that afternoon with an intense yearning for the conversion of her boy, and feeling that—absent from home, and having more leisure than she could otherwise secure—a special opportunity was afforded her of pleading with GOD on my behalf. She went to her room and turned the key in the door, resolved not to leave that spot until her prayers were answered. Hour after hour did that dear mother plead for me, until at length she could pray no longer, but was constrained to praise GOD for that which His SPIRIT taught her had already been accomplished-the conversion of her only son.

“I in the meantime had been led in the way I have mentioned to take up this little tract, and while reading it was struck with the sentence, “The finished work of CHRIST.” The thought passed through my mind, “Why does the author use this expression? why not say the atoning or propitiatory work of CHRIST?” Immediately the words “It is finished” suggested themselves to my mind. What was finished? And I at once replied, “A full and perfect atonement and satisfaction for sin: the debt was paid by the Substitute; CHRIST died for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Then came the thought, “If the whole work was finished and the whole debt paid, what is there left for me to do?” And with this dawned the joyful conviction, as light was flashed into my soul by the HOLY SPIRIT, that there was nothing in the world to be done but to fall down on one’s knees, and accepting this SAVIOUR and His salvation, to praise Him for evermore. Thus while my dear mother was praising GOD on her knees in her chamber, I was praising Him in the old warehouse to which I had gone alone to read at my leisure this little book.”

I’ve always wondered what Taylor read exactly. Well I did. Here are the key words from a little tract entitled, “Poor Richard”:

(Poor Richard) “kept on saying, ‘I am in agony.’ He was then asked if he thought he was too bad for God to pardon him. After some thought he replied very emphatically, ‘No; I believe He will save me, some day!’ The text was then repeated to him, respecting Jesus (1 Peter 2:24): ‘Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.’ Poor Richard intently raised his head off from his pillow and exclaimed, ‘Then it is done!’ He was answered, ‘Yes, Jesus said, It is finished!’ He immediately cried out, ‘Then my sins are gone—my burden is gone. Precious Jesus—He died for sinners—He died for me as well as others.’ From that moment he began to praise God with a loud voice.”

Poor Richard Tract

I am grateful that the same God who led Hudson’s mother to pray that particular afternoon, also led to the tract being in his father’s study, and also led him to wander in and find it. Of course the question could be raised, would this have happened if she had not prayed. I don’t think so.

She isn’t the only mother who prayed of course. Other notables include Susanna Wesley—who prayed for her children and met with them weekly; Monica—Augustine’s mother, who wept more about her son’s spiritual death than most parents weep about the physical death of their children; and James Fraser’s mom—who he credited with turning the tide for his mission work among the Lisu people in China. I have heard that Zwingli’s mom also played a great role for her son. I am sure there are a host more but these great women actually played a huge role for God even though their praying might have seemed limited in the eyes of some people.

So thank you moms for your prayers. Please keep praying. You don’t know but your child may be the next Hudson Taylor who will bring a new tide of Christianity to some far off country, or a John Wesley who will bring sorely needed reformation to the church at home. Hopefully the rest of us will also join you praying.

You can read more about Hudson Taylor at a page devoted to his life at path2prayer.com

Thirsty No More…

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Hudson Taylor was greatly used of God to bring the gospel to China. Raised in a pastor’s home, he sought to have a relationship with God, but gave up during his teen years because it seemed too hard. Then, at a time when his mother was specifically praying for his salvation, he read a tract in his father’s study where he came across the words: “the finished work of Christ.” As a result of reading those words, he gave his heart to Jesus and God began doing a great work in His heart. He soon felt a call to serve God in China, and began preparing by studying to be a medical doctor and learning to live in complete dependence on God there in London. If you want to read more about this I recommend his book Retrospect which you can find as a pdf at my web site.

Taylor was a pioneer in more ways than one. Not only was he one of the first missionaries to go to China, he was also the first Western Missionary to adopt the Chinese style of dress. He was convinced that the best way to reach the Chinese people was to be as much like them as possible so long as one didn’t compromise and sin. There was a blessed response, and many Chinese were won to the Lord Jesus. Hudson Taylor began recruiting volunteers and they came by the hundreds.

In spite of all this work for God, Taylor was a struggling Christian, and bemoaned his constant seeming defeats. Then things changed, and he found that receiving Jesus brought a new victory and joy into his life. As a result his prayers took on a new life. He had a new joy in reading the Bible. He also experienced a new freedom from care and peace that he had not known previously. He began to live a life on the highest plane. It is out of that experience that His preaching took a new joyful and optimistic tone. The excerpt I share on receiving the Holy Spirit comes from a talk He gave in Detroit Michigan at a great missionary conference in 1894. I am sure you will be blessed in reading.

Hudson Taylor: Learning that “Shall” Means “Shall”!:

“A full equipment is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And how simply it is to be attained! You know where to go. That poor Samaritan woman did not know in whose presence she was. The Master said to her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of Him and He would have given thee living water.” And she did ask, very ignorantly indeed, not knowing what she asked. He knew, and He gave her that which she so ignorantly asked. He said to her, before He had fully blessed her, a word that is recorded for your instruction and mine, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” Oh, how true it is; all the waters of earth, how thirsty they leave us, or how soon we become thirsty again! “But,” continued our Master, there is something better, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” — shall never thirst!

“It may have been the end of 1868 or the beginning of 1869 when I discovered that “shall” means “ shall,” and that “never “ means “ never,” and that “thirst” means “ thirst.” I can’t tell you how delighted I was, for I was so thirsty [for spiritual power and fulfillment] at the time. And so hungry and thirsty was I as the Spirit of God threw his own Divine light on those words, that I saw that “shall” means “shall,” and “never” means “never,” and “thirst” means “ thirst.” I leaped from my seat; I could not sit still. How I did praise God that the thirsty days were all past! Well, you know, it is only a little over twenty years since then, and they haven’t come back since; and twenty thousand years hence, when you and I meet up there, I shall have the same story to tell you. He has promised it to me and I believe it.

“But don’t misread His Word. He does not say whosoever drank shall never thirst; but whosoever drinketh. It is in the present tense. We are not, with the appetite taken away, to stop drinking: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” Isn’t it glorious to feel that every one of you may just take that living water now and drink now and thirst no more; and to find you have got the well, and that you haven’t to go and seek it — so different from the old pumping I used to try, and that was so ineffective? You cannot give people that which you yourself don’t possess. What is the use of going over the beds with an empty watering-can? But when the Lord fills it and keeps it full and gives you delight to drink day by day, it just overflows! Go amongst your beautiful hills and see a waterfall, and put a great barrel under the waterfall, and it will soon be full and it will overflow, and as much water will overflow from that barrel as comes down from above. Take that great barrel away and put a little bucket there. The bucket will soon be just as full as the barrel, and when it overflows it will overflow just as much. I am the little bucket; it is easily filled and the flowing is so easy; there is no toil, there is no labor.”

Read more about Hudson Taylor at path2prayer.com

How To Live On Christ

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

How To Live on Christ is the title of the booklet by Harriet Beecher Stowe which Hudson Taylor sent in 1869 to the missionaries affiliated with the China Inland Mission.

Ever since reading the booklet in Broomhall’s book Hudson Taylor: The Man Who Believed God, I have wanted to locate and read it for myself.

As a result I began searching the internet, used bookstore stores, and other sources to find information on the book. I found nothing. I then contacted other ministry leaders. Once again no success! I even visited an archive of Hudson Taylor’s letters and effects in England to see if a copy might be there, particularly focusing on 1869. But the book remained a mystery.

This evening I began using bits and pieces of the famous lines to see if I could find then using Google Books. I succeeded. Harriet Beecher Stowe words in How To Live On Christ are taken from her introduction to Charles Dean’s book on Anne Peck.

Here is the introduction. Read and be blessed!

You can find more resources on this subject at path2prayer.com.

How To Live On Christ

THE following sketch of one, rendered interesting not only by natural amiableness, but by a singularly early devotion and a premature death, we hope will not be found without its uses, especially among those like her in the morning of life.

To some things in it we would especially direct our readers, as uncommon.

1st. It is the example of one who made it a serious and practical endeavor to do all the good she could.

Many Christians are satisfied if they are doing something –others wish to feel sure that they are doing much; but few admit the obligation, or make serious efforts, to do all they can. Very few seem to have made any practical estimates of what they have to give to Christ, or to be inquiring, with deep solicitude, how it may all be employed in his service.

2d. The motive in her case, seems not to have been conscience, nor a sense of obligation working with a powerful and wearying force, but love.

It is this that gives the impulsive, free, and beautiful character to all her efforts. Why, at the age of fourteen, did she go from dwelling to dwelling, urging with childlike simplicity the tender love of Christ; comforting the sick, and praying with the dying? Not because she felt it to be her duty and dared not to do otherwise, but because, full of love to our unseen Saviour, and of pity for those who neglected him, she, like his apostles, ‘could not but speak the things she had seen and heard;’ and so far from regarding it as a wearisome effort to perform these offices, it would have been a more difficult task for her to refrain from them. This explains the reason, why, though she was diffident and retiring, it seemed to her not an obligation, but a privilege, to pour forth her soul in prayer at the social altar. So full of gratitude, devotion, and love was she always, that prayer was to her sweet necessity, a rest, a relief. Hence the frequency of her seasons of prayer, and her artless declaration, that she ‘could not help praying oftener.’

These remarks may assist those, who, conscientiously attempting the duties of religion, find them so often a hard and painful endeavor, and who progress by a constant and desperate struggle. How is all to be made easy?–to flow forth spontaneously and delightfully? Christ certainly had some meaning when he said, ‘Learn of me and ye shall find rest;’–he meant just what he declared, when he said, ‘my yoke is easy and my burden is light;’ and they who do not find them easy and light, may be persuaded that they are not following the practice of religion in Christ’s way, but in some colder and more difficult mode of their own. They may be Christians, and their sad and disheartened endeavors may be very precious in the eyes of Him who will not break even a bruised reed; but while their whole life is a constant conflict of a sense of obligation and duty with an ever rebellious heart, they may be persuaded that they do not yet understand the terms on which their Saviour would have them live with him; nor the perfect ‘freedom of the sons of God.’ There is such a way of living with, or in Christ, that watchfulness, prayer, devotion, patience, gentleness, meekness, become so many sweet and spontaneous impulses, instead of labored acquisitions, alternately the subjects of hope and of despair; and this is true freedom .

The very figure which Christ uses illustrates this idea; ‘as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ Now how does a branch bear fruit? Not by incessant effort for sunshine and air; not by vain struggles for those vivifying influences which give beauty to the blossom, and verdure to the leaf;–it simply abides in the vine, in silent and undisturbed union; and the fruit and blossoms appear as of spontaneous growth.

How, then, shall a Christian bear fruit? By efforts and struggles to obtain that which is freely given; by meditations on watchfulness, on prayer, on action, on temptation, and on dangers? No, there must be a full concentration of the thoughts and affections on Christ; a complete surrender of the whole being to him; a constant looking to him for grace. Christians in whom these dispositions are once firmly fixed, go on calmly as the sleeping infant borne in the arms of its mother. Christ reminds them of every duty in its time and place–reproves them for every error–counsels them in every difficulty, excites them to every needful activity. In spiritual, as in temporal matters, they take no thought for the morrow–for they know that Christ will be as accessible tomorrow as to-day, and that time imposes no barrier on his love. Their hope and trust rest solely on what he is willing and able to do for them; on nothing that they suppose themselves able and willing to do for him. Their talisman for every temptation and sorrow, is their oft repeated, childlike surrender of their whole being to him; as the infant in every trouble, finds a safe asylum in the bosom of its mother. That such was the course of the subject of this narrative is shown by her great and uncommon activity in every good thing; for, we read, ‘He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit ; for without me ye can do nothing.’

Some may say, ‘Truly this is a very delightful state of feeling, but how shall we obtain it? How shall we begin?’

We answer, just in the same way that a sinner begins the Christian life, by coming to the Saviour, and making a full, free and hearty surrender of his body, soul and spirit; fully resolved in future to resign the whole to the Redeemer’s direction. And having made this general surrender, make it also in particular, in reference to every circumstance of every day.

Let us imagine a day spent on this principle. You awake in the morning and commend yourself to Christ’s care for the day. The first temptation that besets you may lead you to a waste of time. Say immediately, ‘Lord, assist me in this particular.’ The next may be a temptation to irritation. Cast yourself again on Christ for this. A few hours after you may be tempted to censorious remarks on some neighbor. Cast yourself upon Jesus. A while after, you may perhaps forget yourself and give utterance to some hasty or ill-judged expression. Turn instantly to Christ, confess your fault, and ask for further help. If you find yourself beset with uncommon difficulties and temptations, and in danger of forgetting what manner of spirit you are of,–steal from your avocations though but for a few moments, and ask help of Jesus. The example of the subject of this memoir, in having a full and stated season of prayer at noon, cannot be too highly commended. The middle is usually the most unspiritual part of the whole day. The cool of the morning is generally to every one a time of good purpose and resolution, and the quiet of the evening is often devoted to penitence and retrospection; but the noon is too often a season of hurry and bustle–there is therefore so much the greater need that we then consecrate a portion of the time as a stated season of prayer. But the Christian, who would live as Christ directs, must beware of making seasons of prayer the substitute for that constant recurrence to him which we have endeavored to inculcate. Morning and evening the little child is with its mother in a long and fond embrace; it listens with rapture to the expressions of her affection, and willingly renders the tribute of promised obedience. But in times of difficulty or danger, it instinctively runs to the same arms for protection, without reflecting whether the danger be great or small.

A direction of great importance to one who would live this life, is this:–In your sins, troubles, and temptations, make no distinction between great and little things. Remember that nothing that has the slightest bearing on your improvement and spiritual progress is insignificant in the estimation of Christ. Now it is a fact, that Christians are more impeded in their progress by little things, than by great ones;–because, for great things, they seek the strength of Christ, and for little ones, they act in their own. But if the little accidents of every day’s occurrence, the petty annoyances to which every one is subjected, be sufficient to ruffle the temper and excite an unchristian spirit, they are to you matters of very serious moment; and as such, you must regard them–nor can you fully abide in Christ by attaching to such things that just importance, which shall lead you to refer them to Him with the same freedom that you feel in reference to what you commonly call serious affairs. If you are conscious of peculiar and besetting faults, familiarize your mind to those incidents of the life of Jesus, which show a particular bearing on them.

If you are irritable, examine all those incidents which show his untiring patience; if you are proud, those which exhibit his humility; if you are worldly, those that show his spirituality; if you are negligent and careless in duty, those which show his incessant zeal and activity. Study them, understand them, keep them in memory, and pray to him to infuse into you the same spirit. The memory too may well be stored with those sacred songs descriptive of the character of the Saviour, or imploring his divine aid; for their sweet words will sometimes come to you in hours of temptation like gentle messages from your Lord.

The remarks now made are intended as general hints; but the only teacher of the true life of faith, is Christ. Go to him and ask him to direct you. Remember the remarkable dying words of the subject of this memoir, in relation to the Saviour, ‘He came and looked upon me and said, “I am willing to make you just as meek as I am, just as patient, just as lovely. Indeed it seemed as if he had been by me long before, only I had not perceived him.”‘ Christ in the Bible says this to every Christian, when he says, ‘I will put my law into their hearts and write it in their thoughts.’ Christ is willing to make you just as meek, just as patient, just as lovely as he is; and if you desire it earnestly, if you desire it more than everything else, if you are willing to give up all beside for it, he will explain to you practically what is meant by ‘abiding in him,’ and by his coming to make his abode with you. Then your Christian race will be full of love and joy; more like the free flight of a bird, than the struggles of a captive. You will naturally lay aside every weight, and the sin that easily besets you, and run with patience the race that is set before you, because your whole soul will be so filled with the view of Jesus at its termination; you will be so inspired with admiration, hope and joy, that you will run because you cannot hold back;–the spectators, the race-course, all about you, will be forgotten in the view of Jesus, at once your helper, your judge, and your eternal reward.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Surrender Brings the Call

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Hudson Taylor 2
Surrender Brings the Call

Abstract: Hudson Taylor’s China venture began at the age of 17 when he offered to do anything God desired if God would only take his heart of stone and replace it with a sanctified heart of flesh.

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ And He said, ‘Go, and tell this people….’” Isaiah 6:8

“And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32

I’ve heard from a number of you who took heart when you heard about the difficult situation Hudson Taylor faced when he first arrived in China at the age of 22, including a revolution where 15,000 rebels were defending the city of Shanghai against a 50,000 member contingent of the Imperial Army, food was selling at famine prices, the dollar was soaring, he couldn’t find lodging, nor could he afford it since his sending organization had not yet sent an all important letter of credit.

To make matters worse, when the letter finally came, he found his annual income was limited to 80, even though renting lodging in the foreign settlement was 120. Adding further difficulty and embarrassment was the sending organization’s decision to not honor bills exceeding 40 per quarter.

Taylor responded by writing and seeking more realistic support, but responses arrived with hardly any acknowledgment of his struggles, and one even spoke of additional missionaries coming to join him.

Not wanting to remain dependent on friends, he moved to a ramshackle place near the Chinese part of the city, outside the protection of the foreign settlement, where the bullets not only sounded in the distance, but struck his home at times—even cannon-balls.

Needless to say it wasn’t the kind of mission service he had dreamed of back in England, yet he continued determinedly learning the language and sharing his faith as possible. Why was he so committed? Where was his confidence coming from?

It came from a sense of his call to China and the preparatory work undertaken in England. One afternoon when he was 17 he wrote his beloved sister Amelia, requesting her to pray for him as he asked God to remove his heart of stone and give him a sanctified heart of flesh. He wanted to obtain “perfect holiness.”

That very day God responded, as he shared after the fact: “If God would only save me completely, then I would do ANYTHING in His cause He might direct. Never shall I forget the feeling that came over me then. Words can never describe it. I felt I was in the presence of God, entering into covenant with the Almighty. I felt as though I wished to withdraw my promise but could not. Something seemed to say ‘Your prayer is answered, your conditions are accepted,’ and from that time the conviction never left me that I was called to China.”

God’s answer had come so quickly that Taylor was able to add a post script to the aforementioned letter to Amelia: “He has revealed Himself to me in an overflowing manner…. Glory, glory, glory, to His ever-blessed Name! I cannot write for joy. I open my letter to tell you.”

He immediately began preparing to serve God in China.

What was the secret of His confidence? He was willing to do ANYTHING in God’s cause that God might direct.

I wonder, are we as willing to do ANYTHING in God’s cause that He might direct our way?

I suspect this kind of surrender is also key in God using us as His witnesses on a day to day basis.

These words came home to me this morning in a special way:

“It is only through the surrendered life that God can work. God cannot use you in any special way if you are holding back part of your life from Him. If there is one little chamber of which you hold the key, and into which God has not fully entered, he cannot greatly use you. Your intellectuality may be great, your genius may be superb, your social standing may be beyond question. But God does not use people for these reasons. God uses them when he has all there is of them, and ONLY then.” Chapman, Power

I want to be a much-used vessel for God. I think you do too. Basic to His using us is our making a voluntary, unselfish and unequivocal surrender of all we are and all we have, to His service—which for many people has begun as a “willingness to become willing!”

Surrender is OUR part. If we do our part, God will be able to do His part. Won’t you join me in making sure God has ALL of us?

Happy witnessing!

Hudson Taylor | Pressing Forward

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

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.

Sadly he 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!

Happy witnessing!

Dan