Friday, 18 September 2020
Title: ‘Only the Wounded…’
By: Ps Cheng Cheung

Psalm 138:8: “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me…”

You know this story in John 5 – Jesus heals a paralyzed man sitting by the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.

“In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.” (John 5:3-4, NKJV)

There is a short play written by American playwright Thornton Wilder called The Angel that Troubled the Waters. It takes place at this very pool.

The plot involves a physician who finds himself at the pool. He is sick and unable to heal himself. His only hope is to be the next one in the pool once the healing angel arrives. He sits at the edge of the water, waiting for any sign of movement. The angel arrives and asks the physician to step back and let someone else receive the healing. The doctor, in turn, argues that if he were healed, he could help more people.

The angel responds: “Without your wound where would your power be? It is your very remorse that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In Love’s service only the wounded soldiers can serve. Draw back, soldier, draw back.”

God wants to work through us, but that only happens when we are empty and let Him fill us. Don’t you realise when God wants to minister to broken people, He uses other broken people to do it?

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

If you’ve been broken on the wheels of living, you’ve got what it takes to reach the broken. The world doesn’t need a strong you, it needs a strong Jesus. A strong Jesus in a weak you. The cleverer you are, the more worldly-wise, the more well-endowed and self-sufficient you are… the ‘stronger’ you will think you are. Will it be possible for God to bring about miracles through you?

Brother, sister, this sharing is not to bash you for all your God-given strengths, gifting and blessings. Remember, these are God-given and He was pleased to bestow these. They are meant to keep us humble and give thanks. Verse 6, “Though the LORD is on high,”
“Yet He regards the lowly;”
”But the proud He knows from afar.”

Do you bear some wounds? Could these be painfully preparing you for some precious service to Jesus and to His people? A follower of Christ may be baffled where the suffering is all heading. Stand firm. The psalmist testifies:
7 “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;…And Your right hand will save me.”

We will then and only then understand:
8 “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me”. God Himself says, ”I wound and I heal; there is not one who delivers from my hand!” (Deuteronomy 32:39)

There is a divine mystery in suffering. “The LORD will perfect…”. When a person who suffers reaches a point where he is no longer asking God to be delivered from it, then the suffering has accomplished its blessed ministry. Only those who have been wounded in the region of their human confidence, whose self-sufficiency has been shattered by the knowledge it is carnal, only they can be the healers of this ailing world.

Prayer for Today

Father, I confess I take pride in my ability in this and that. And the evil one is the first to congratulate me just to boost my ego when things go well. Ah, the vanity of it all!

Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You allow suffering to fulfil the purpose of God in my life. Help me see beyond that suffering. Show me that purpose, so that my entire being might be perfectly still under the Hand of the Almighty. Give me the calm assurance that You are sovereign over everything to work “for the good of those who love Him” In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期五,2020年9月18日
标题:「只有受伤的人…」
讲员:张祯祥传道
翻译:巫惠如姐妹

诗篇138:8 耶和华必成全关乎我的事

约翰福音第五章讲述了一个故事,那就是耶稣医治了一位坐在耶路撒冷毕士大水池,瘫痪已久的人。

约5:3-4「在那里躺着许多病人,有瞎眼的、瘸腿的和瘫痪的。(有些抄本有以下一段:“他们等候水动,因为有主的使者按时下去搅动池水,水动之后,谁先下去,无论甚么病,必得痊愈。)」

美国剧作家桑顿·怀尔德写了一部短剧名叫《搅动水池的天使》,而这部剧的背景就是设在上述的池。

剧中情节是一名医生来到水池。他病了,无法治愈自己。他唯一的希望就是,使人康复的天使到来的那一天,他能成为下一个幸运儿。他坐在池边,等待水动的迹象。天使终于来了,却请医生退后一步,让别人接受治疗。而医生立即辩驳,如果他痊愈了,他可以帮助更多人。

天使回答:「没有你的伤口,你的力量会在哪里?正是你的懊悔才使你的低声细语进入人的心中。天使无法说服可怜不幸的孩子,他们开导人的力量远不如一个受过伤的人。在爱里,只有受伤的士兵才能服役。退后吧,士兵,退后。」

上帝要使用我们,但我们必须先倒空自己,让他来填满。你难道没发现,当上帝要帮助伤心的人,他会使用同病相怜的人吗?

「他对我说:“我的恩典够你用的,因为我的能力是在人的软弱上显得完全。”所以,我更喜欢夸自己的软弱,好叫基督的能力覆庇我。我为基督的缘故,就以软弱、凌辱、急难、逼迫、困苦为可喜乐的,因我什么时候软弱,什么时候就刚强了。」

如果你曾伤心悲痛,那么你就能帮助忧伤的人。这个世界不需要一个强大的你,它需要一个强大的耶稣。软弱无力的你住着无比强大的耶稣。你越聪明,越睿智,天赋越高,越能自立……你会越认为自己很「强」。上帝有可能使用你创造奇迹吗?

弟兄姐妹,这则分享不是用来抨击上帝所赐给你的优点、才干和祝福。请记住,这些是上帝赐予的而他也欢心赐予。透过这些,他让我们学习谦卑及感恩:第六节「耶和华虽高,仍看顾低微的人,他却从远处看出骄傲的人」。

你正忍受一些伤痛吗?它们是否能以如此难受的方式,装备你服侍耶稣和他子民呢?基督的跟随者可能会困惑于苦难的走向。当站稳。诗人在第七节作证: 「我虽行在患难中,你必将我救活。我的仇敌发怒,你必伸手抵挡他们,你的右手也必救我。」

也只有到那时,我们才会真正明白:「耶和华必成全关乎我的事」(第八节)上帝说,「我使人死,也使人活;我打伤,我也医治;」(申命记32:39)

痛苦是有奥秘的。「耶和华必成全」。当一个受苦的人不再要求上帝拯救他时,苦难就完成了它神圣的事工。只有那些自信心受创,明白人类的自给自足也只不过是肉欲,他们才能治愈这病态的世界。

今日的祷告: 父啊,我承认我为自己的一些本事感到自豪。恶者总是第一时间祝贺我,只为了在顺境中提高我的自负。啊,全是虚荣!

感谢你主耶稣,你允许痛苦,为的是要成全上帝在我生命中的目标。帮助我不注视痛苦,乃是望远。求你让我看见人生的目的,使我全人得以在大能者的手中安稳。求主赐我平安的确据,相信在万事都在你掌权之中,「叫爱神的人得益处」。奉耶稣的名祷告,阿门。

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