Home   e-Library       中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible    
 (Manna 64: Dealing with Calamities)
Do Not Fear in Times of Adversity, in Quietness and Confidence Shall Be Your Strength
TOC | Previous | Next

Do Not Fear in Times of Adversity,
in Quietness and Confidence Shall Be Your Strength

Philemon Wu—Tokyo, Japan

            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 safe.


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 human understanding.

Testimonies 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 tomorrow.

·         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 me:

- This calamity has revealed the weakness of our members’ faith, which reminds us to put more effort into the pastoral work.

- Around 30,000 people died either as victims or rescuers, and this somber thought urges us to hasten the work of evangelism.

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 this place.


PDF Download

Author: Philemon Wu