Sunday, 6 December 2020
Title: Have you forgotten me, Lord?
By Elder Yu Chin Shie

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 must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Psalm 13, written by David, is another psalm which most of us can identify with. This psalm may be a reflection of the deepest of all pits that David had experienced. In this psalm, David was all alone and momentarily felt that even God had left him. It was one of David’s darkest hours when he felt abandoned by God.

Undoubtedly, we are not in the same situation as David. In this psalm he could be on the run from King Saul who was after his life. He had to hide in caves for his own safety. I am sure all of us had experienced a time/times of feeling being abandoned by God or felt distant from God. Perhaps some of us are having this feeling even right now.

In the opening 2 verses of Psalm 13, David asked the Lord four times “ ’How long’ will you hide your face from me? “
It is hard to continue praying when God doesn’t seem to hear or answer. We pray for a job, for healing and for salvation of a loved one. Sometimes it seems our prayers are falling on deaf ears or never went beyond the ceiling.

Many of the psalms express this kind of lament with God’s people wondering why God seems so distant in their period of suffering. Often, God’s silence has made our anguish even deeper and like David, we cry out “ every day, we have sorrow in our heart”.

How then shall we pray in these situations?

Firstly, from Psalm 13:1-2, we learn it is alright for us to be honest with God and tell Him of our anguish. Communication is important in any relationship and certainly with God. It is alright to have struggles and feel anguish.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Secondly, Psalm 13:3 encourages us to pray for the Lord to “look on me and answer”. This verse reminds me of the Priestly Blessing given during benediction at the end of service.

“The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Num 6:25-26.

We seek God’s face to be on us as it signifies His favor and grace on us.

Finally, Psalm 13:5 -6 end with confidence and trust in the Lord that He will answer :

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.”

When we bring our requests
to God, we receive the blessing of peace that surpasses all understanding, Philippians 4:6-7.

David’s peace and trust are not anchored in what God will do but what he knows God has done. His experience of God in the past gave him the confidence God will continue to hear him and deliver him from all his troubles.

A testimony –

More than 10 years ago, I had a very unpleasant health condition which caused me great anguish. Unexpectedly, I discovered I had a severe eczema attack. For those of you who may not know what eczema is, it is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, cracked and rough. Some types can also cause blisters.

Eczema is a skin condition which nobody likes to have and it affected my legs and parts of my body except my face. The affected parts were very itchy and the inflammation of my skin was quite unbearable. I had seen the dermatologist and he had done whatever needed but to no avail. I was desperate for relief of my skin condition and needlessly to say, I prayed fervently for God to heal me. My agony lasted for nearly a year. My dad (now with the Lord) who visited me then asked “Is Jesus going to heal you?” I told him, “Dad, He will. In his time.”

There was never a doubt in my mind that Jesus would heal me during that period, even though like David, I prayed so often “why the delay, Lord?”. Looking back, I am thankful for the experience even though it was tough. I believe I had strengthened the faith of my dad who was a young Christian. Also, I had learnt to wait on the Lord, developed patience and spiritual maturity.

For any of you who are now in situations where you feel God is silent during this time of Covid 19 pandemic, I plead with you not to lose heart. Continue to trust in Him and pray faithfully. He will surely sustain you and deliver you as He has done in the past in His time.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,
We thank You that although at times we feel You are distant from us, You are actually ahead of us and waiting for us to catch up. Please grant us patience and faith in Your unfailing love for You will never forsake Your children.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

每日灵粮
星期日,2020年12月06日
标题:主啊,你是否已忘了我?
作者:余清熹长老 
翻译:巫惠如姐妹

诗篇 13:1-2
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?
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?

大卫所写的诗篇13是另一首能引起我们大多数人共鸣的诗篇。这首诗也许反映了大卫处在最深低谷中的感受。如这篇所述,大卫孤身一人,片刻里感到连上帝都离他而去。这是大卫感觉被上帝抛弃时最黑暗的时刻之一。

毫无疑问,我们与大卫的处境不同。在这首诗篇中,他可能正逃离扫罗王的攻击。他不得不为了个人安全而藏在洞穴里。我确信,我们所有人都经历过一段时间,感觉自己被上帝抛弃或与上帝的关系疏远。也许我们当中有些人现在也有这种感觉。

在诗篇13的前两节经文里,大卫四次问上帝, “你掩面不顾我要到几时呢?”
当上帝似乎听不到或没有回复,我们很难继续祈祷。我们祈求得到一份工作、得医治和所爱的人得救恩。有时,我们的祈祷似乎被置若罔闻,或从未顺利传达到上帝那里。

许多诗篇都向上帝表达了这种哀叹,他们想知道为什么上帝在他们的苦难时期显得如此遥远。上帝的沉默常常使我们的痛苦更加深刻,就如大卫,我们“终日愁苦”。

那么,在这些情况下,我们该如何祈祷?

首先,从诗篇13:1-2中,我们明白,我们可以诚实地告诉上帝我们的痛苦。沟通在任何关系中都很重要,当然与上帝的关系也如此。有挣扎和感到痛苦都是人之常情。

希4:16 所以我们只管坦然无惧地来到施恩的宝座前,为要得怜恤,蒙恩惠,做随时的帮助。

第二,诗篇13:3鼓励我们祈求上帝“看顾我,应允我”。这节让我想起了在崇拜结束时牧者的祝福。

民6:25-26 愿耶和华使他的脸光照你,赐恩给你! 愿耶和华向你仰脸,赐你平安!

我们寻求上帝的面,因为这象征上帝对我们的恩典和恩惠。

最后,诗篇13:5-6以他相信上帝会回应他作为本篇的收尾:

但我倚靠你的慈爱,我的心因你的救恩快乐。
我要向耶和华歌唱,因他用厚恩待我。

当我们祈求上帝,我们得到上帝所赐出人意外的平安。 (参腓 4:6-7 )

大卫心里的平安和信靠并不取决于上帝会做什么,而是取决于他知道上帝已经做了什么。他过去与上帝同行的经历给了他信心,上帝会继续听他的话,把他从各种麻烦中解救出来。

见证:

10多年前,我的健康状况非常不好,使我感到很痛苦。出人意料地发现我患了严重湿疹。对于那些可能不知道湿疹是什么的人来说,这是一种令皮肤斑块发炎、发痒、破裂和粗糙的病况。某些类型也会导致水泡。

湿疹是一种没人喜欢的皮肤病,除了我的脸,它影响了我的腿和身体的某部分。受影响的部位非常痒,皮肤的炎症让我难以忍受。我见过皮肤科医生,他竭尽所能帮助我,但都毫无用处。我迫切地想要缓解我的皮肤状况,我也恳切地祈求上帝让我痊愈。我的痛苦持续了将近一年。我父亲(如今已安息主怀)拜访了我,然后问: “耶稣会治愈你吗?” 我告诉他,“爸爸,他会的。按祂的时候。”

在我心中,我深信耶稣会在那段时期治愈我,尽管我像大卫一样,经常祈祷“上帝啊,你为什么拖延呢?”回首往事,尽管这段经历很艰难,我感恩经历了这一切。我相信这场病也因此增强了我父亲的信仰,因为他当时才刚信主不久。此外,我学会了等待上帝,培养了耐心和属灵生命的成熟。

对于你们任何一个在疫情中感到上帝是沉默的,我恳求你们不要失去信心。继续信靠他,忠心祈祷。他一定会像过去那样扶持并带领你。

祈祷: 天父,我们感谢你,虽然有时我们觉得你离我们很远,但实际上你总是在前方等待我们赶上。请赐我们耐心和信心,相信你永远不会放弃你的孩子们。奉耶稣的名祷告,阿门。

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