Sunday, 1 November 2020
Title: Be Still and Know I am God
By Elder Yu Chin Shie

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46 is one of the favourite psalms for believers in Christ down the centuries. This psalm was written during the reign of Jehoshaphat when the enemies of Judah, viz. Moab, Ammon and Edom came up against Judah. Jehoshaphat knew it was impossible to defeat the vast army attacking his nation. He led his people to cry to God at the temple of the Lord for deliverance. God intervened supernaturally without Jehoshaphat and his army lifting their fingers as we read in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.

Many would know that Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation. However, not many might know the greatest work he accomplished was the translation of the New Testament into the language of the people. He also wrote many hymns and gospel songs. The song for which Luther was well remembered, written circa 1527, is “A Mighty Fortress is our God” which is a paraphrase of Psalm 46.

On the base of Luther’s tomb is inscribed, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

Historians tell us that the song had been sung by the persecuted on their way to exile, and by martyrs before their death. The hymn was translated from German in 1853. Part of the hymn reads :

A mighty fortress is our God
A bulwark never failing
Our helper he amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe
His craft and power are great
And armed with cruel hate
On earth is not his equal

Knowing the background in which the psalm was written and also the hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God” written by Luther, how can we apply this to our life in facing challenges, suffering and pain?

Our meditation this morning is from Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God

We have all faced and experienced suffering, pain and challenges or trials in life. Some are even facing it right now such as: the unexpected passing of a loved one, loss of jobs, pay cut or business affected due to the Covid 19 pandemic or even suffering from a life-threatening illness.

How we react or respond to crisis in life and when confronted with pain and suffering, will determine whether we go to the path of depression and a downward spiral or grow even stronger in our faith and experience the power of Christ in our lives which we might never have experienced before.

I like to propose when we are in times of suffering and pain when facing trials and imminent threats, we take time to meditate on Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God

We are told to be calm and believe “God is indeed God.”

Deuteronomy 7:9 says “the Lord your God is indeed God.”

Normally when facing crisis in life, we panic and become anxious and try our best to solve the problem with our own ability or seek help from others. I am sure we all realize from experience that usually it is a futile exercise because we are often in situations which are beyond our control, for example when a loved one is stricken with a terminal illness.

To believe “God is indeed God” is to acknowledge who He is. From Psalm 46, we learn of His omnipotence, His love and His ultimate plan and purpose for His people.

I can recall two experiences which challenged my faith and caused me to renew my trust in God when I reflected on Psalm 46:10 besides claiming other promises of God from scripture. The first traumatic experience was when I first came to know my mom had breast cancer when I was back home on student vacation from Melbourne at the age of 20. My family had withheld the news from me till I returned home, not wanting the news to affect my studies. I had that year just come back to the Lord and you could imagine the impact on my young faith. By the grace of God, my mom miraculously came to accept Jesus as her personal Saviour 5 years later when I came home for good.

The other challenging experience was when I lost my job at the age of 51. It was not a good time to be out of job at that age as I still had financial commitments and needed funds to educate my kids. As I had shared previously, the Lord had subsequently provided for me in a most unexpected way a good job in which I stayed on for over 16 years. I retired just recently.

I pray if any of us are now facing challenging times or in pain or suffering, please take time to be still and reflect on God’s attributes – His omnipotence, His love, His omniscience, His wisdom, etc. You will be amazed how God will minister to you and give you His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and the faith to believe He works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
You are the Almighty God who is sovereign over all things.
Whatever the situation we are now in, You are well aware and well able to comfort us, provide for us and will hold our hands as we go through the storms of life.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen.

每日灵粮
星期日,2020年11月1日
标题:你们要休息,要知道我是神
作者:余清熹长老 
翻译:巫惠如姐妹

诗篇46:10 你们要休息,要知道我是神!我必在外邦中被尊崇,在遍地上也被尊崇。(和合本)

诗篇46是数百年来基督徒最喜欢的诗篇之一。这首诗篇是在约沙法统治时写的,当时犹大的敌人,摩押、亚扪和米乌尼人与犹大为敌。约沙法知道,要打败攻击他国家的庞大军队是不可能的。他带领人民在上帝的殿里求祂施行拯救。在历代志下20:1-30中,上帝超自然地介入,使约沙法和军队不费力气地战胜仇敌。

许多人知道马丁·路德开启了新教改革。然而,也许没有多少人知道,他完成的最伟大工作是将圣经新约翻译成通俗易懂的语言。他还写过很多圣诗和福音歌曲。路德在大约1527年写了著名的《坚固保障》,这首歌是诗篇46章的改述。

路德的墓碑上刻着”坚固保障”。

历史学家告诉我们,迫害者在流亡途中和殉道者在临死前都唱过这首歌。这首圣诗的译文是1853年。其中部分的内容如下:

上主是我坚固保障,庄严雄峻永坚强;
上主使我安稳前航,助我乘风破骇浪。
恶魔盘踞世上,仍谋兴波作浪,
猖狂狡猾异常。狰狞残暴非常,
阴险绝世恶无双。

既知道诗篇46和路德创作的《坚固保障》的背景,那我们如何在面对挑战及痛苦时,运用在我们的生活中呢?

我们今早将默想诗篇46:10
你们要休息,要知道我是神

我们在生活中都面临和经历过苦难、痛苦、挑战或考验。有些人甚至正在面临爱人意外的逝去、失业、减薪、业务因疫情受影响或甚至患有危及生命的疾病。

我们对生活中的危机以及面对痛苦的反应,将决定我们是走上抑郁和每况愈下的道路,还是信心变得更坚定,并体验到基督在我们生活中前所未有的力量。

我想建议,当我们处于苦难或受到迫在眉睫的威胁时,我们需要花时间默想诗篇46:10。

你们要休息,要知道我是神

我们被提醒要保持冷静,相信“耶和华是真神”。
申命记7:9说:“你们的上帝耶和华是真神”。

在生活中遇到危机时,我们通常会感到恐慌和焦虑,尽力用自己的能力解决问题,或寻求他人的帮助。我确信,我们都从经验中认识到这通常是徒劳的,因为我们往往处于无法控制的境地,就如当爱人患上绝症。

相信“耶和华是真神”就是承认祂是谁。从诗篇46中,我们了解到祂的无所不能、祂的爱以及祂为自己的子民所设定的终极旨意和目标。

我记得有两段挑战我信仰的经历,当时除了抓住其他经节的应许,反思诗篇46:10也使我重新信靠上帝。第一次令我手足无措的经历是20岁从墨尔本回国度假时,我第一次得知妈妈患了乳腺癌。家人一直瞒着我,直到我回家,因为他们不想让这个消息影响我的课业。那一年,我回到主身边,你可以想象它如何影响着我年轻时的信仰。在上帝的恩典下,当我五年后回国定居,母亲奇迹般地接受了耶稣作为她个人的救主。

另一个具有挑战性的经历是我51岁时失去了工作。那时不是失业的好时机,我还承担经济义务,孩子的教育也需要资金。正如我以前所分享的,上帝后来以一种最出人意料的方式为我预备了一份好工作,在这份工作上也留了大概16年。我最近才刚退休。

我祈祷,如果有任何人现在正面临挑战,或是在痛苦之中,请花些时间在安静在主面前,反思上帝的属性 — 祂的无所不能、祂的爱、祂的无所不知、祂的智慧。你会惊奇地发现上帝会赐超过人能理解的平安(见腓4:7),以及赐你信心相信,祂必为爱神的人使万事互相效力(见罗8:28)。

祈祷:天父,你掌管万有,是万能的上帝。无论我们目前处于何种情况,你都清楚并能够安慰我们,供应我们的需求,并会在我们经历生命的风暴时紧握我们的手。奉耶稣的名祷告,阿门。

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