Wednesday, 1 July 2020
Title: All Ye that Hope in the LORD
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong

Psalm 31:7-13

7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, 8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place. 9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. 11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. 13 For I hear the whispering of many; terror on every side; as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

The psalmist said he will “rejoice and be glad” because he had experienced the mercy and love of God in the past, and he anticipates that God will continue to be faithful and steadfast in the future. He joyfully celebrated in thanksgiving and praise even when he was in the midst of affliction. He was filled with joy because he trusted that God who had paid attention and taken notice of his hardship – vv7, and he believed that God intimately knew in detail of the anguish in him – vv7. The word “know – (Yada) in Hebrew” is also used in Genesis 4:1 “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain…” 

Verse 10 reveals to us psalmist’s profanest sin was the gnawing pain in his heart and it sapped away all his strength. He regretted the sin he had committed. He was well aware that God had every right to punish him by handing him over to his enemy for destruction. God was so merciful toward him that He did not worsen the situation he was in – vv8a. Instead, God gave him sufficient space and time for him to recover and recharge himself – vv8b. God did not forsake him like the people around him. They had abandoned him like rotten trash, increased his pains by slandering him, threatened him, conspired against him and plotted to kill him – vv11-13.

God is always faithful to us when others are even reluctant to associate with us in difficult time. He never thinks less of us when we become like broken vessels. He does not misjudge us and cast us off when the rest of the world despises us, or when our hearts are laden with despondency. Jesus can sympathize with us when no one else can fully understand our sorrow because He had incarnated to be in the flesh just like us. God’s love had led the psalmist to repent, rejoice, and shout praises to God. God had picked him up from where he was, comforted him, strengthened him, and allowed him to start life afresh.  

Every one of us who follows Jesus will have our ups and downs; we will face trials and temptations, and experience setbacks in one way or another. Some are able to hide it well or to put up a brave face, but others might not. As Christians, we are children of God and members of His family; He has given immense mercy and grace to us. Despite whatever circumstances, we are able to praise and worship Him. When we see our brothers and sisters in Christ who are going through afflictions and suffering because of various circumstances, we should imitate our good Lord to be sympathetic and to walk with them with love and compassion. We should not add more grief and agony to them by discriminating against them especially by way of unkind words or slander. “Everyone who hates (do not love) his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1John 3:15)

God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world. We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1John 4:16b-17, 19-21) 

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We praise You and thank You for what You have done for us, O Mighty God! Because of Your love and mercy, we can come into Your presence and worship You! Please forgive us if we have not loved our family, brothers and sisters in the church, and people around us as You have intended us to do. Help us, O Lord, to be compassionate to those who are suffering and have special needs. Teach us to follow the perfect example of our Lord Jesus Christ to love with sacrificial love for others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

每日灵粮
星期三, 2020年7月1日
标题:在困厄中仰望上帝的人
作者:王振威传道
翻译:杨惠光弟兄

诗篇 31: 7-13

我要为你的慈爱高兴欢喜,因为你见过我的困苦,知道我心中的艰难。你未曾把我交在仇敌手里,你使我的脚站在宽阔之处。耶和华啊,求你怜恤我,因为我在急难之中,我的眼睛因忧愁而干瘪,连我的身心也不安舒。我的生命为愁苦所消耗,我的年岁为叹息所旷废,我的力量因我的罪孽衰败,我的骨头也枯干。我因一切敌人成了羞辱,在我的邻舍跟前更甚。那认识我的都惧怕我,在外头看见我的都躲避我。我被人忘记,如同死人,无人记念,我好像破碎的器皿。我听见了许多人的谗谤,四围都是惊吓。他们一同商议攻击我的时候,就图谋要害我的性命。

诗人说,他将“高兴欢喜”,因为他曾经历上帝的怜悯和爱,他期望上帝会继续信实不变。即使他受苦,他仍然在喜乐与感恩中欢庆赞美。他充满喜悦,因为他信靠那关心并留意他苦难的上帝 (第7节),他相信上帝深知他内心的痛苦(第7节)。“知道” (希伯来语:Yada)这个单词也出现在创世记4:1——“亚当得知妻子夏娃怀孕并生了该隐……”

第10节向我们揭示了诗人最亵渎的罪恶。这罪使他心痛如绞并消耗了他所有的力量。他对自己犯下的罪感到遗憾。他十分清楚,上帝有权将他交给敌人来惩罚。但是上帝对他如此仁慈,以至于他没有使诗人在第八节的情况继续恶化。相反,上帝给了他足够的空间和时间让他恢复,给自己充电(第八节下)。上帝没有像他周围的人一样抛弃他。他们视他如腐烂的垃圾,抛弃、污蔑他使他的痛苦加增,威胁他,密谋及要杀害他(第11-13节)。

当别人不愿意和我们共患难时,上帝始终都是信实的。当我们变得像破损的船只时,他从不会漠不关心。当世界鄙视我们时,上帝不会误判我们并抛弃我们。又或者当我们感到沮丧,没有人能理解我们的悲伤时,耶稣怜悯我们因为他自己曾经道成肉身成为人像我们一样。上帝的爱使诗人悔改,欢喜和大声赞美上帝。上帝在他跌倒的地方接纳他,安慰他,增强他的力量,让他重新开始生活。

我们每个跟随耶稣的人都会有起有落。我们将面临审判和诱惑,并在得时不得时经历挫折。有些人能够很好地隐藏自己或摆出勇敢的样子,但有些人则没办法。作为基督徒,我们是上帝的儿女及他的家人;他赐给了我们极大的怜悯和恩典。无论情况如何,我们都可以赞美和崇拜他。
当我们看到身旁信主的弟兄姐妹因各种情况遭受苦难,我们应该效法我们的上帝有怜悯的心肠以充满爱和同情与他们肩并肩。我们不应该歧视他们,给他们带来更多的悲伤和痛苦或用不客气的话诽谤他们。

1约翰3:15
凡恨他弟兄的,就是杀人的;你们晓得,凡杀人的,没有永生存在他里面。

约翰一书4:16b-17,19-21
上帝就是爱,住在爱中的,就是住在上帝里面,上帝也住在他里面。这样,爱在我们里面得到成全,使我们在审判的日子可以坦然无惧,因为我们在这世上以基督为榜样。

我们爱,因为上帝先爱了我们。 若有人说“我爱上帝”,却恨自己的弟兄姊妹,这人就是说谎话,因为人若不爱看得见的弟兄姊妹,又怎能爱看不见的上帝呢?爱上帝的人也应该爱弟兄姊妹,这是上帝给我们的命令。

祷告:
亲爱的天父,全能的上帝啊,我们赞美你,感谢你为我们所做的一切!
因你的爱与怜悯,我们与你同在并敬拜你!如果我们不爱我们教会中的家人、弟兄姐妹或周遭的人,请原谅我们。耶和华啊,帮助我们对那些遭受苦难并有特殊需要的人充满怜悯的心。教导我们跟随我们的主耶稣基督的完美榜样来爱其他人。奉耶稣的名,阿们。

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