Hudson Taylor, the British missionary and founder of China Inland Mission spent fifty-one years in China spreading the Gospel. His faithful service and witnessing in this vast country resulted in some 800 missionaries and over 120,000 known converts! It was Taylor who once wrote famously, “Christ is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.”
Taylor died at the age of seventy-three in 1905. During the closing months of his life, he said to a friend, “I am so weak. I can’t read my Bible. I can’t even pray. I can only lie still in God’s arms like a little child and trust.” What an interesting statement illustrating the childlike faith Christ expects of all us when we come to Him for salvation and as we depend upon Him for our sanctification.
King David was not much different from Hudson Taylor. In fact, Taylor probably learned from David what it meant to face his own death with triumph and fullness of joy.
David could be on the brink of his own death or maybe feel such danger around him that it seemed like death would snatch him from this world. Regardless, when David senses imminent danger and peril from a human standpoint; he also senses a fullness of joy.
“How,” you might ask. How could any man look at peril or danger or death or certain trouble and smile? How could anyone see these things at his doorstep and be praising God?
Question – “How will you be when death comes knocking on the door? When the doctor says, ‘You only have few months to live?’, what will you say?”
David teaches us what our reaction should be in Psalm 16 – “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’ As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”