Do You Trust Jesus?


John and Charles Wesley were brothers and both, after being ordained to the ministry, were sent on a mission to America. On board the ship was a company of Moravians. A violent storm was encountered on the passage one day which threatened the ship. Worship was being conducted at the time and John Wesley was brought face to face with death. He was afraid, and felt that he had not the assurance of peace with God. The Germans, on the contrary, manifested a calmness and trust to which he was a stranger. 

“ ‘I had long before,’ he says, ‘observed the great seriousness of their behavior. Of their humility they had given continual proof, by performing those servile offices for the other passengers which none of the English would undertake; for which they desired and would receive no pay, saying, it was good for their proud hearts, and their loving Saviour had done more for them. And every day had given them occasion of showing a meekness which no injury could move. If they were pushed, struck, or thrown down, they rose again and went away; but no complaint was found in their mouth. There was now an opportunity of trying whether they were delivered from the spirit of fear, as well as from that of pride, anger, and revenge. In the midst of the psalm wherewith their service began, the sea broke over, split the mainsail in pieces, covered the ship, and poured in between the deck as if the great deep had already swallowed us up. A terrible screaming began among the English. The Germans calmly sung on. I asked one of them afterward, ‘Were you not afraid?’ He answered, ‘I thank God, no.’ I asked, ‘But were not your women and children afraid?’ He replied mildly, ‘No; our women and children are not afraid to die.’ ” The Great Controversy, 255. 

The Moravian pastor asked John Wesley, “Do you know Jesus Christ?” John replied, “I know that He is the Saviour of the world.” At that time Wesley did not have as strong a faith in Jesus as the Moravians did. They stayed calm, trusting in Jesus through the storm. John Wesley wanted this same kind of faith that kept the Moravians calm through the storm so he decided to spend a short time with them and was deeply impressed with their Christlike behavior.

Mark 4:37–40 tells the story of Jesus and His disciples while in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was so tired that he fell asleep on a pillow. A great storm came up and the terrified disciples, forgetting Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat, were afraid. They feared they would sink because of the water overflowing the sides of the boat. In their distress they woke Him and asked if He really cared whether or not they perished, a question reflecting their lack of faith at that time. Jesus was not afraid. He trusted in His Father for the outcome. Jesus told the storm to “be still,” and the sea became very still. He then asked the disciples why they had no faith, why they did not trust Him. 

 With similar faith, the Moravians continued their singing through the storm because of their trust. At times we all have storms in our lives. A small boy, struggling with the new experience of his first day at school, called home to talk with his mother. He was angry and afraid and was too upset to speak when his mother answered the call. Not hearing anything from the other end of the line, his mother said, “Hello, who is this?” The little boy burst into tears as he said, “Mom, this is Timmy. Have you forgotten me already?”  

As time moved on John Wesley’s faith grew. “Again and again did John Wesley escape death by a miracle of God’s mercy. When the rage of the mob was excited against him, and there seemed no way of escape, an angel in human form came to his side, the mob fell back, and the servant of Christ passed in safety from the place of danger.   

“Of his deliverance from the enraged mob upon one of these occasions, Wesley said: ‘Many endeavored to throw me down while we were going downhill on a slippery path to the town; as well judging that if I were once on the ground, I should hardly rise any more. But I made no stumble at all, nor the least slip, till I was entirely out of their hands. Although many strove to lay hold on my collar or clothes, to pull me down, they could not fasten at all; only one got fast hold of the flap of my waistcoat, which was soon left in his hand; the other flap, in the pocket of which was a bank-note, was torn but half off. A lusty man just behind, struck at me several times, with a large oaken stick; with which if he had struck me once on the back part of my head, it would have saved him further trouble. But every time the blow was turned aside, I know not how; for I could not move the right hand nor the left. Another came rushing through the press, and raising his arm to strike, on a sudden let it drop, and only stroked my head, saying, ‘What soft hair he has.’ . . . The very first men whose hearts were turned were the heroes of the town, the captains of the rabble on all occasions, one of them having been a prize fighter at the bear garden.’ ” Ibid., 258, 259. 

Timmy’s mother did not forget her little boy, just like Jesus never forgot His disciples during the storm or John Wesley and all of the people on that boat in the middle of the storm. Jesus said, “I am with you always (Matthew 28:20).” Just believe and trust Him.

Judy Hallingstad

January 2010