Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Title: Peace I Leave With You
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives…” – John 14:27
“While Christianity was able to agree with pagan writers that inordinate attachment to earthly goods can lead to unnecessary pain and grief, it also taught that the answer to this was not to love things less but to love God more than anything else. Only when our greatest love is God, a love that we cannot lose even in death, can we face all things with peace. Grief was not to be eliminated but seasoned and buoyed up with love and hope.” – Tim Keller
Eight years ago, I came to know a lovely senior couple in their late 80’s. They both attended the church Sunday morning service regularly, and never failed to also attend my adult Sunday school class for seniors. The husband always shared wonderful testimonies of the God’s goodness in their life. His wife usually nodded her head along supporting him quietly and sometimes stopped him from sharing too long! I still remember both of them and their testimonies like it was yesterday. Then, the sweet couple stopped attending church service for two weeks, we called them and visited them, we found that their only son who was a pilot went home to be with the Lord due to a heart attack. Their son attended a different church. As I sat with the uncle holding his hand and tried to comfort him, I did not know what I could say to comfort him. However, the uncle looked at me and with little tears in his eyes, he told me that his son has gone to a better place now, he rejoiced with his son. After he told me that statement, he recited Psalm 23 to me. I was touched by his faith and so amazed with the kind of peace and strength he had in Christ.
One and a half years later, his wife who was suffering from Alzheimers passed away. There I was again sitting with him, holding his hand, and trying to comfort him. Before I said anything, he told me that he felt so relieved that he did not go to be with the Lord before his wife. He was worried that if he had gone before her, she would have faced the painful experience of losing him as her main caregiver. He praised God for knowing his heart’s desire. Again, he recited Psalm 23 to me. What a wonderful and dignified godly man! He truly found peace in Christ, and the peace in Christ gave him strength to face difficult situations and painful grief in his life.
“Paul and James both say that we should rejoice in our trials because of their beneficial results. It is not adversity itself that is to be the ground of our joy. Rather, it is the expectation of the results, the development of our character that should cause us to rejoice in adversity. God does not ask us to rejoice because we have lost our job, or our loved one has been stricken with cancer, or a child has been born with an incurable birth defect. But He does tell us to rejoice because we believe He is in control of those circumstances and is at work through them for our ultimate good.” – Jerry Bridges
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the assurance of peace you give to all of us, your children. We give you praise and thank You, Lord Jesus. You know every pain and suffering we are going through in life. You are our God and friend who is able to understand, and empathize with us. Oh Father, please help many among us who face challenges and difficulties during this trying time of the Pandemic to have your peace that surpasses all understanding to guard our hearts and our minds. We praise you and thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“虽然基督教同意异教徒作家的观点，即对世俗物品的过度依恋会导致不必要的痛苦和哀伤，但它也教导说，解决这问题的答案不是减少对事物的爱，而是爱上帝胜过一切。只有当上帝是我们最深的爱时，一种我们即使死也不能失去的爱，我们才能平和地面对一切。悲伤是无法消除的，唯以爱和希望来调和，使人振作起来的。” — 提摩太·凯勒 (Tim Keller)
保罗和雅各皆说，我们在试炼中应当喜乐，因为试炼于我们有益。逆境本身并不是我们喜乐的源泉。反之，是对结果的期待，是我们品格的发展，让我们在逆境中喜乐。上帝不是要求我们因为失去工作，或因我们所爱的人罹患癌症，或一个孩子生下来就有无法治愈的先天缺陷而喜乐；但祂确实告诉我们要喜乐，因为我们相信祂掌控着这些情况，并通过这些情况为我们最大的好处而发挥作用。“ — 杰里·布里奇斯(Jerry Bridges)