Do Not Fear in Times of Adversity,
in Quietness and Confidence Shall Be Your Strength
Elder Philemon Wu first shared this testimony at
the second meeting of the tenth World Delegates Conference in Taiwan from March 22 to 31, 2011, which was held
only eleven days after the megathrust earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan. Thanks
to God’s grace and protection, all the members and churches in Japan remained
IN THE DAY OF ADVERSITY CONSIDER
I believe that everyone has
witnessed the gravity of the recent disasters in Japan through the television and
media. I also believe that anyone who has an ounce of compassion will be
saddened and moved to tears by what we have seen and heard. But what distresses
us even more is our inability to save the souls of the victims.
The wise one says, “In the day of
adversity consider” (Eccl 7:14). Yet, what are we to consider? Consider how to
flee from the disaster? After this earthquake, many foreigners immediately
hurried to leave Japan,
causing the airfares to rise by 5–20%.
With a magnitude of 9.0 on the
Richter scale, the earthquake also damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The Japanese
government’s experts risked their lives to rescue and evacuate the residents
within a thirty-kilometer radius of the affected plant.
The Tokyo region, where I live, is about 250–300
kilometers away from the Fukushima
nuclear plant. Due to energy shortage, the Tokyo transportation system had to suspend
its services. Surrounding areas also experienced a rotational power outage.
Although their lives were inconvenienced, Tokyo
residents were lucky compared to victims who suffered from cold and hunger or
those who were separated from their family members. For this reason, we can
only thank the Lord continuously from our heart.
There’s a saying that states, “If
anything can go wrong, it will go wrong”. This tells us that we cannot escape
from disaster. Indeed, God has created both prosperity and adversity, “so that
man can find out nothing that will come after him” (Eccl 7:14).
IN QUIETNESS and
confidence shall be your strength
Disasters truly reveal the
weaknesses in our faith. After the great earthquake, some members became timid
and called the resident preacher in tears, asking him what to do. Some others
even advised the preacher to return home to his family members abroad and told
him that they would pay for his airfare. The preacher, however, told them that
he could not leave the sheep behind and flee for his own life. Thank God for
giving us such a good shepherd.
When we encounter adversity, we
must meditate on the word of God and messages received through worship services
such as, “Do not faint in the day of adversity” (Prov
24:10), and “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength if you rely on
the Lord” (Isa 30:15).
Jesus also tells us,
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have
tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)
Although we will inevitably meet
with tribulation in this world, we should not adopt a pessimistic attitude or
just sigh for relief. Instead, let us take courage to face reality, for Jesus
has already overcome the world and will give us His peace, which surpasses all
surrounding the earthquake
Early this year, a sister from the Japanese province
of Nagano, who is also a dialysis
patient, went to Taiwan
for a surgery. She had planned to return to Japan on March 11, 2011 (the day of
the earthquake), after her operation. However, since some Taiwanese members
invited her to attend the Taipei Regional Fellowship on March 13, 2011, she
postponed her return. Thank the Lord for His providence!
On the day of the earthquake, Tokyo’s NaritaInternationalAirport was closed—tens
of thousands of travelers were stranded and unable to travel. If this sister
had returned on March 11, she would not have been able to return to her
hometown, which is about 150 kilometers away from Tokyo. Worse still, she would not have been
able to receive dialysis.
A sister from Sumida church needed to have her cataracts removed.
Initially, the surgery was scheduled for 3 pm on the day of the earthquake. Unexpectedly,
the doctor rescheduled the surgery to around 2 pm or earlier. After the
procedure, as the nurse was wheeling her to the ward, the earthquake set in.
Later on, the doctor came to the ward specifically to congratulate her on her
good fortune. If the earthquake had happened during the surgery, the
consequences would have been unthinkable.
The day before the earthquake hit, my whole family of four went on an
outing to Fukushima
province to see the cherry blossoms and the waterfalls. We left at 9 am and
returned home at 6 pm on the same day. Thank the Lord; I truly know who holds
On the day of the earthquake, I took the coastal freeway to the
hospital for an allergy shot. Soon after exiting the freeway, the earthquake
hit and the freeway was closed due to damages. Mere ten minutes decided over
life and death. God truly controls both life and death, “so that man can find
out nothing that will come after him”.
I thank the loving true God that
He has allowed us to experience His great and indescribable love through this
great earthquake. At the same time, the disaster serves as a sober reminder to
- This calamity has revealed the
weakness of our members’ faith, which reminds us to put more effort into the
- Around 30,000 people died either
as victims or rescuers, and this somber thought urges us to hasten the work of
Lastly, I would like to sincerely
request all brethren to continue to pray for Japan. We ask God to remove His
wrath and have mercy on us, for, unlike the doomed city of Sodom, there are more than ten righteous in