Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once preached a sermon on the terror of the disciples during the storm on Galilee.
He ended with a sharp conclusion: “I do not care what the circumstances may be, the Christian should never be agitated, the Christian should never be beside himself, the Christian should never be at his wit’s end, should never be in a condition in which he has lost. … It implies a lack of trust and confidence in Him.”
I have seldom been so reprimanded by a sermon or so thankful for it. In our distresses in life, we must trust God with the impossible and leave room for Him to work, for the Lord has promised to fight for us. Search out this truth in Scripture, and you’ll discover it’s one of the truths the Lord most often repeats. Here are some examples:
“Do not be terrified. … The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you” (Deuteronomy 1:29-31).
“All this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:47).
“If God is for us, who can be against us? … In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:31, 37).
When the Communists overran China following World War II, a thousand missionaries with China Inland Mission (CIM) were trapped behind the Bamboo Curtain. CIM ordered a total evacuation in January 1951—but was it too late?
Arthur and Wilda Mathews applied for exit visas, but days passed with no action on their requests. Meanwhile citizens were executed on the town’s athletic field every day. From the kitchen, Wilda heard the shots. The strain grew unbearable, and she was overwhelmed by fear.
On March 21, Wilda fell to her knees in prayer, and her trembling fingers found 2 Chronicles 20:15, 17: “The battle is not yours, but God’s. … stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Wilda clamped onto those words, and two weeks later she wrote, “The conflict has been terrible, but peace and quiet reign now.”
Over the next two years, the Mathews family repeatedly faced dangerous situations—their baby in harm’s way, the pantry empty, their enemies surrounding them, but they committed each situation into the Lord’s hands. In God’s timing, all the CIM missionaries got out, the last being Arthur Mathews.
When we cannot solve problems, heal hurts, change circumstances or win our own battles, we must kneel in prayer, then stand to see what He will do. We must leave room for God, staying calm and giving Him time to work.