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Never Forsaken

His forty-three years on the mission field saw the tragic death of six of his children, as well as his first wife. He lost his health, was crippled by a fall, and was rejected by his financial supporters because he adopted the ethnic garb of the local people and dared to deploy single women as missionaries. His life was threatened by those he sought to evangelize, and he was consistently criticized by his own mission agency. 

Hudson Taylor had every reason to feel forsaken. 

Yet, on September 4, 1869, at the age of thirty-seven, he wrote, “The Spirit of God revealed to me the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never know it before... I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said, ‘I will never leave thee.’”1 

This promise sustained Hudson Taylor for another thirty-three years as he went on to found the China Inland Mission.

Our brothers and sisters across the globe are clinging to this promise daily. Some face hostility from animists who fear for the safety of their villages, believing that Christians incur the wrath of neglected spirits. Others provoke the anger of Buddhists whose children, in choosing to follow Jesus, cannot be counted on to offer the sacrifices needed to secure a happy eternal state for their parents. In some regions, Christians are persecuted by angry, radical Islamists who condemn them for their false teachings about a divine Messiah and a triune God. Even tolerant Muslims still lash out against the global imposition of the self-indulgent consumerism they associate with Western Christianity. And here in North America, the Church is regularly shredded on Facebook by angry rants of perpetual social outrage. 

God’s people face slander, mockery, loneliness, sickness, oppression, demonic opposition, injustice and violence. But never are we forsaken. Christ’s promise of oneness both beckons us in, and sends us out. In our oneness, his joy becomes ours, pressed down, shaken together and spilling over.

Let us remember to surround our global family with our fervent prayers, to remind them frequently of our love and support and to embrace the oneness into which Jesus invites us.

“And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20, ASV).

1 Taylor, Dr. and Mrs. Howard (2013-05-25). Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret (p. 149). . Kindle Edition.

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