Monday, 27 July 2020
Title: “How long, Lord, how long?”
Author: Ps Cheng Cheung

Psalm 13: 1 & 2
1 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

The knowledge that God can prevent bad things often leads to the expectation that he should. And then when such expectations are not met, feelings of disappointment, then betrayal, then resentment, and finally anger, can follow.

How long? This question is repeated three times, each pointing at one source of David’s intense feelings of depression, some say even his anger, at God. It shows a very intense desire for deliverance, and great anguish of heart. But beware! Desire may degenerate into impatience and that is only a step away from indulging in a murmuring spirit.

How long will You hide Your face from me is the first critical question. David was showing signs of depression because he thought His relationship with the Lord God was drifting apart due to some strain. We often faint under the simple length of our trials. We feel we could endure almost anything if we knew when it would come to an end; yet sometimes we are tried under problems that make us cry out, “How long?” because there is no light at the end of the tunnel, it seems.

Will You forget me forever?
The pain in David’s heart came from a sense that God had forgotten him and that God was distancing Himself from him. No doubt, David had faced worse circumstances before, but he had faced them more bravely when he clearly sensed the presence of God with him. Yet now, he felt distant from God, and it would not take much to send David into despair and ultimately, possible depression if something did not take place to reverse the spiral he was in.

Of course, God had not forgotten David. Neither did he hide His face from David – but David felt like He had. When we have such strong feelings, the feelings create their own reality. David felt God had forgotten him, and felt God was hiding. So, in a sense, it was true for David – but true according to feelings not according to fact. There is a balance in life when it comes to feelings. Some people ignore feelings and think that feelings should have nothing to do with our relationship with God. This is an extreme viewpoint, because God has given us feelings as an expression of His image in us. We feel anger, joy, love, elation, sorrow, and many other feelings, because God Himself feels those feelings. Feelings are a gift from God and part of our makeup because, our fall did not change the fact we were created in His image.

On the other side, some live their lives ruled by feelings. They believe whatever reality their feelings present them. The problem with this is that though we have feelings because we are made in the image of God, our feelings are affected by our fallenness. We cannot place our trust in our feelings because of this. It was all right for David to feel these feelings, and good for him to take them to God, but he should never have assumed the reality of mere feelings as “the real thing.”

This is a lesson of profound significance, especially for those who possess higher emotional sensitivities.

2a How long shall I take counsel in my soul
No wonder David was discouraged! He took counsel in his own soul and this had led him to sorrow in his heart daily. This naive behaviour was the second source of his feelings of deflation. When discouraged and depressed, the answer is not in looking inside one’s soul, but in looking to the LORD. At such a time, the voices of your saddened feelings and weary soul will speak louder than that of the Holy Spirit. If you, like David, take self-counsel at an emotional low point you will also discover a rather confused state of mind beset by irrational questions. And, lo, before you know it, like Eve, you have made rash decisions driven by impulse and self-imposed pressure. Therefore, brothers and sisters, claim James 1: 5 ”If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” The Lord will surely bring you to a place of quiet repose where you can collect yourself and seek His guidance.

2b How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Here was the third ”How long?” question. David was unable to accept the distinct possibility that if his degenerating emotional condition persisted, his enemies would mock him and would be exalted over him. Can you guess what was the root cause of David’s inability to accept this consequence?

Pride.

David could not bear to see his enemies gloat over his misfortune. After all, is he not the Lord’s chosen one, called to lead God’s people? Yes, he is. Rest assured, the Lord will defend all those whom He has called and will surely vindicate and defend His own when they call out to Him for help. Surrender your pride to Him. If you do all you do with a clear conscience for God’s glory do not fret over “your enemies” and their unkind words. He will uphold you with His victorious right hand.

Prayer for Today

Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for my emotions. Thank you that just as I am capable of great joy, so I am also capable of feeling sad and from time to time, anger at various forms of unfairness and injustice as well.

Thank you that these feelings make me whole and that I can express my full range of feelings, both when I am feeling up or down, happy or sad or angry, to You. Help me draw closer to You, Heavenly Father, as a result. In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

每日灵粮
星期一,2020年7月27日
标题:“多久,主啊,还要多久?”
讲员:张祯祥传道
翻译:林良億姐妹

诗篇13: 1-2
1 耶和华啊,你忘记我要到几时呢?要到永远吗?你掩面不顾我要到几时呢?
2 我心里筹算,终日愁苦,要到几时呢?我的仇敌升高压制我,要到几时呢?

认知上帝可以预防坏事常常导致人们期望他应该这样做。然而,当这些期望没有得到满足时,随之而来的便是失望、叛逆、怨恨和愤怒。

多久? 这个问题被重复了三遍,每次都是大卫很沮丧时对上帝所发的问题,甚至有人说是当他很愤怒的时候。它显示了强烈渴望解脱,以及内心的极大痛苦。但是要当心!渴望可能会变得不耐烦,这与沉迷于抱怨的精神只有一步之遥。

第一个关键问题是: 你掩面不顾我要到几时呢。大卫之所以表现出沮丧的迹象,是因为他认为他与主上帝的关系由于某种压力而正在分崩离析。我们常常在简单的试炼期间就崩溃了。如果我们知道什么时候试炼结束,我们几乎可以忍受。但有时我们受到问题的压迫会使我们大喊“多长时间?”,因为感觉隧道尽头没有光。

你会永远忘记我吗?
大卫心中的痛苦来自一种感觉,就是上帝已经忘记了他,并且上帝正在与他疏远。毫无疑问,大卫以前曾遇到更糟的情况,但是当他清楚地感觉到上帝与他同在时,他就更加勇敢地面对了这些情况。然而现在,他感觉到上帝远离了他,如果没有采取任何措施扭转他的困境,大卫即将会陷入绝望并可能会抑郁沮丧。

当然,上帝并没有忘记大卫。他也没有向大卫隐藏自己的脸,但是大卫感到相反。当我们拥有如此强烈的感觉时,这些感觉会创造出自己的现实。大卫觉得上帝已经忘记了他,觉得上帝在躲藏。因此,从某种意义上和对大卫来说这感觉是对的,但这是根据感觉却不是根据事实。在生活中以平衡的观点看情感。有些人认为感情对我们与上帝的关系无关。这是一种极端的观点,因为上帝给了我们感觉,上帝就照着自己的形像造人也有情感的表达。我们感到愤怒、喜悦、爱、兴高采烈、悲伤和许多其他情感,因为上帝亲身也有这些情感。感情是来自上帝的礼物,也是我们的一部分。因此,堕落并没有改变我们是按照上帝的形象被创造的事实。

另一方面,有些人过着受感情操纵的生活。他们相信感觉是现实的反映。问题是,尽管感觉感情是随上帝的形象造而来的,但我们的感觉却受到堕落的影响。因此,我们不能完全相信自己的感受。大卫有了这些感觉,也将它们带到上帝跟前,但他永远不应该将单纯的感觉视为“真实的事物”。

这是一堂具有深远意义的课程,对那些具有较高情感敏感性的人尤其如此。

第二节的上半段:我心里筹算要到几时呢
难怪大卫灰心了!他心里筹算,这使他终日愁苦。这种无知的行为是他沮丧惘然的第二个原因。当灰心沮丧时,答案不是看内心,而是看耶和华。在这样的时刻,您悲伤的情绪和疲惫的灵魂会比圣灵的声音大。如果您像大卫一样,在情绪低落时采取自我建议,您将发现一个由非理性、困扰、相当混乱的心态像夏娃一样冲动和自我施加的压力下做出了轻率的决定。因此,兄弟姐妹们,在 雅各书1:5“你们中间若有缺少智慧的,应当求那厚赐与众人、也不斥责人的上帝,主就必赐给他。” 主一定会带你到一个安静的地方,安然的寻求他的指导。

第二节的下半段:我的仇敌升高压制我,要到几时呢?
这是第三个 “几时? ”的问题。大卫无法接受这种明显的可能性,即如果情绪状况不断恶化下去,他的敌人就会嘲笑他,并将他升高压制。您能猜出大卫无法接受这后果的根本原因是什么?

自豪。

大卫不愿看到敌人幸灾乐祸。毕竟,他不是被选来带领上帝的子民的吗?他是。放心,主会捍卫祂所呼召的人,当他们向祂求助时,祂一定会辩护并捍卫被选的。如果您尽一切所能,放下你的骄傲,谦卑地、真心地多荣耀上帝的作为,不要为“您的敌人”和他们卑鄙的话而烦恼。上帝会以他胜利的右手来维护你。

今天的祈祷: 亲切的天父,谢谢祢赐的情感。 谢谢祢,让我有能力有极大的快乐,也有能力感到悲伤,有时对各种的不公平和不公正感到愤怒。

谢谢祢,这些情感使我感到完整,而且可以向上帝表达全部的感受、高兴、悲伤或生气。因此帮助我更加亲近天上的父。 奉主耶稣基督的名求的。阿们!

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