Sunday, June 7 2020

Psalm 56: 3 & 4

3 When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you,
4 In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?

I was reading Psalm 56 last week when Pastor Isaac asked the elders to contribute a devotion once a month. Immediately the message I wanted to share came to my mind. It is from a passage of scripture I had read and meditated upon in my morning quiet time from Psalm 56:3-4 quoted above.

Psalm 56, specifically v 3 & 4b, had been a source of great comfort and hope to me when at the time, about 20 years ago, I was having a stressful time at work.
I am sure all of us at one point in time, even now, have been fearful or afraid. It is part of what we experience and feels as humans which not many have overcome from young to even now when we are at a more advanced age. When we were young, we feared whether we will ever pass our exam and do well to get our dream job, later whether we will ever get to marry our desired life partner or get married at all. When we first started in our careers, we feared whether we will do well to provide for our family or whether our kids will do well in their exams. Some fears are real and some imaginary. Fears are real when we are being confronted with actual situations like when we have to go for an open heart operation and we worry whether we could make it through the procedure.

Now most of us are fearful of the Covid 19 pandemic. Fearful of being infected and have to be hospitalised and perhaps put under a ventilator which is like a death sentence. Many are fearful of the future. Some have already lost their jobs or have pay cuts while others have businesses that face the prospect of closure. All these fears are legitimate and hence we need an antidote to overcome this feeling of fear.
I believe Psa 56:3 & 4 is as relevant to us now as was then when David was fearful for his life when he was pursued by King Saul who wanted to kill him and when the Philistines had seized him in Gath.

The one powerful and effective antidote we can learn from King David when faced with fearful situations is – to Trust Him v 3. To repeat – When I am afraid, I put my trust in you ( God ). Often when we are afraid, we seek advice from man or used whatever resources at our disposal to overcome the fear like reading up all the news from social media on how to prevent ourselves from being infected with Covid 19.

What is involved in trusting God?

Simply put, trusting God is liken to a child trusting his father. The child has no qualms in completely trusting his earthly father to always be there to protect him and keep him safe. This is being reinforced to me when I see my two year old grandson, Josiah in Adelaide so totally trust his dad, David to protect him whenever he is with someone he is not so familiar. He will let you carry him but he knows the moment he feels unsafe, his dad is there to take over.

Similarly, we have our Heavenly Father to be always there for us, more than our earthly father can ever be. More than that, our Father in Heaven is the sovereign God who is all-powerful and nothing is impossible to Him and He loves us.
Last week many of us have been praying for Pastor Allan Webb who went for a major open-heart surgery in Gold Coast, Australia. He had an aortoplasty procedure and a mitral valve replacement surgery. At the age of 81, there is certainly an element of fear and who wouldn’t. Pastor Webb has blessed many in his years of student ministry at Swanston Street Church of Christ, Melbourne and later with the OMF. His friends organised a prayerathon for him on May 27-28 to cover him in prayers. Praise God he had a successful operation and recovering very well. It was really encouraging to note on the second day post surgery, he managed to call his wife and son with the aid of a nurse and his son reported: “he sounded very alert and quoted Ephesans 3:20”

I am sure Pastor Webb has been claiming the promise and affirming his trust in Jesus Christ with his meditation on Eph 3:20 which many of us would have memorised – Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

Another beautiful image of trust is found in Psalm 57:1b “ I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disease ( Covid 19 pandemic ) has passed.
The outcome of putting our trust in God
I shall not be afraid!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we confess at times and even now, many of us are fearful over many things. Our health, our finances, our jobs, our businesses, our investments and families. We thank you from what we learn from King David. When we are afraid, we put our trust in you. Please grant us your protection, presence, peace and joy during this period of uncertainty.

In Jesus name, we pray

Amen

Elder Yu Chin Shie

星期日,2020年6月7日
诗篇56:3-4
作者:余清熹长老
翻译: 方美珠姐妹

3我惧怕的时候要倚靠祢。
4 我倚靠神,我要赞美祂的话。我倚靠神,必不惧怕,血气之辈能把我怎么样呢?

上周,当以撒牧师要求长老们每个月提供一个灵修题材时我正在读诗篇56篇。我想分享的信息立即就浮现在我的脑海。信息来自于我早晨灵修时所阅读及冥思的经文,取自诗篇56:3-4节。诗篇56,特别是第3和第4节下半段,在大约20年前带给我极大的安慰和盼望,当时我正處在巨大的工作压力下。

我可以肯定即使是在现在,我们所有人都会在某个时间点,甚至是此刻,都曾经或正在感到恐惧和害怕。这是我们身为人类的经历和感觉的一部分,更是我们从年轻到年老都还没能克服的问题。当我们年轻时,我们担心我们是否会考试及格并成功获得我们梦想的工作,后来又担心我们是否会结婚或会嫁娶我们想要的伴侣。当我们开始了我们的职业生涯时,我们担心我们能否养家糊口,或是我们的孩子在考试中能否表现得很好。有些恐惧是真实的,有些是虚构的。当我们面对现实情况时,恐惧是真实的,例如当我们须要进行心脏手术时我们会害怕我们是否能手术成功。

现在我们大多数人都害怕新冠肺炎流感。害怕被感染而必须住院,也可能需要使用呼吸机器,好似被判死刑一样。许多人担心未来。有些人失业了或被减薪,有些人的企业则面临着倒闭的可能。所有这些恐惧都是合乎常理的,因此我们需要一味解药剂来克服这种恐惧感。

我相信,诗篇56:3-4对现今的我们和当初被扫罗王所追杀,并被非利士人在加特所抓住并为自己的生命感到恐惧的大卫,是非常有关联的。我们可以向大卫王学习面对恐惧与害怕的时候最有能力及有效的解药剂是在第3节“倚靠祂”。我惧怕的时候要倚靠祢(上帝)。经常当我们恐惧的时候,我们向人寻求劝告或利用任何我们可以支配的资源来克服恐惧,例如阅读社交媒体上有关如何防止自己感染新冠肺炎的所有新闻。

信靠上帝会涉及什么?
简单的说,信靠上帝就好像一个信任父亲的孩子。孩子全然不质疑并全然相信自己在世的父亲会永远在身边保护他确保他安全。当我在澳洲阿德莱德看到我两岁的孙子约西亚(Josiah)与我这一个不太熟悉的人在一起时,因着他全然的信靠他的父亲大卫(David)会保护他,他会让我抱住他,但他也知道当他感到不安全的那一刻时,他父亲就会在那里接应他,这使我更加确信这个信靠。 同样的,我们有天父一直在我们身边,比我们尘世的父亲在我们身边更多。不仅如此,我们在天上的父亲是全能的主宰上帝,在祂凡事都能, 祂爱我们。

上周,我们当中有许多人在为艾伦韦布牧师(Allan Webb)祈祷,他在澳州黄金海岸进行了一次重大的心脏直视手术。他进行了主动脉成形手术和二尖瓣置换手术。他已经81岁,和大家一样,肯定会有恐惧的元素。韦布牧师多年来在墨尔本斯旺斯顿街基督教堂服事学生群体并祝福了许多人,后来他也在海外基督使团(OMF)任职。他的朋友们于5月27日至28日为他组织了一场马拉松祈祷,以祷告掩护他。赞美上帝,他的手术成功并康复得很好。令人鼓舞的是手术后第二天,他在护士的帮助下竟能给妻子和儿子打电话,据他儿子说:“他听起来非常警戒,并摘引以弗所书3:20”。我确定韦布牧师一直在申告上帝的承诺,并以我们大家都熟悉的经句 以弗所书3:20的冥思来肯定他对耶稣基督的信靠 – “神能照着运行在我们心里的大力,充充足足地成就一切,超过我们所求所想的。”
另一个美丽的信任图象可以在诗篇57:1b中找到:“我要投靠在你翅膀的荫下,等到灾害(新冠肺炎流感)过去。
我们相信上帝的结果:我不害怕!
祷告
天父,我们承认有时,即使现在,我们当中许多人都对许多事情感到恐惧。我们的健康,我们的财务,我们的工作,我们的生意,我们的投资和家庭。感谢祢我们从大卫王那里学到当我们感到恐惧时,我们能信靠祢。在这个疑惑的时期,请赐给我们祢的保守,同在,和平与欢乐。
我们奉耶稣的名祈祷
阿门

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