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二○一九年十一月十一月十六日/十一月十七日                                                                       Click here for English version

困難為何依舊?

蕭壽華牧師

基督徒常常會發出一個問題,為甚麼神沒有聽我的禱告?為甚麼自己多年來的困難仍得不到解決?其實神留下困難在我們的生命中,有幾個原因:

一、除去眼前的困難會帶來更大的困難:以色列人雖已進入迦南地,但神並未立刻為以色列人全數趕除迦南各族。「我不在一年之內將他們從你面前攆出去,恐怕地成為荒涼,野地的獸多起來害你。我要漸漸的將他們從你面前攆出去,等到你的人數加多,承受那地為業。」(出二十三 29-30)我們常常盼望問題能夠立刻解決,但智慧的主知道解決問題需要與時間配合,否則只會換來另一個新問題。神要待我們成熟到能處理「沒有問題的處境」時,才為我們挪去問題。

二、留下困難、留下繼續學習的機會:士師記從另一個角度解釋為何神不清除一切困難,也留下幾族在迦南地,祂的用意是「好叫以色列的後代又知道又學習未曾曉得的職事。」(士三 2)

我們關注的只是如何解決眼前的問題,但神關注的卻是我們是否已經學懂如何面對問題。祂留下問題是要讓我們得到繼續學習的機會,當我們學懂了,問題便要被挪開。在學習的過程中,神會留心我們的能力是否應付得來,不會容讓困難大得過於我們所能承擔的。

三、要試驗我們,以致祂可以賜福:神要知道我們在困難的環境中,內心對祂如何,是否仍會遵守祂的吩咐、行祂的旨意。以色列人身在曠野,每天只是吃一種他們不認識的食物——嗎哪,這境況持續了四十年,原因是「在曠野將你列祖所不認識的嗎哪賜給你吃,是要苦煉你,試驗你,叫你終久享福」(申八 16)。當神試驗我們,並不是要壓迫我們,而是要找尋根據,以致祂能公正地賜福予我們。

親愛的弟兄姊妹啊,我們只管在困難中安然信靠主,祂實在等候著要施恩給我們。

(本文選錄自蕭牧師著作《牧野心路》)




Pastor's Sharing
Why Difficulties Remain
Rev Gordon Siu

Every now and then, Christians would ask: Why hasn't God answered my prayers? Why does my problem remain unresolved all these years? There are a few reasons why God leaves the difficulties in our lives:

1. Removing the present difficulty may bring about a greater difficulty: The Israelites were in Canaan, but God had not driven away all the local tribes for them. “But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land” (Exodus 23:29-30). Very often, we long for instant solutions to our problems, but the Lord of wisdom knows that questions need to be resolved at the right time. Otherwise, it will bring another problem. God wants to wait until we are mature enough to handle a problem-free situation before taking away the difficulty.

2. Leaving the problem with us enables us to learn: From another perspective, the Book of Judges explains why God did not remove all the difficulties right away. Here is why God left a few tribes in Canaan: “he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience” (Judges 3:2).

While our concern is just to solve the problem before us, God's focus is whether we have learned how to face the problem. He leaves the problem with us to give us the opportunity to learn. And when we have learned, the problem will be removed. In the process of learning, God will pay attention to our capability to make sure we can cope. He will not give us difficulties we can never handle.

3. To test us so He can bless us: God wants to know how we behave in difficulties – how we treat Him in those circumstances, whether we still obey Him and act according to His will. In the wilderness, the Israelites ate a kind of food unknown to them (manna) every day for 40 years. Why? “He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you” (Deuteronomy 8:16). God's test is not intended to pressure us, but to find a basis to fairly bless us.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us calmly rely on the Lord amid difficulties. God is really waiting to give us His blessings.

[The original Chinese article is taken from《牧野心路》(Listen to the Heart of A Shepherd) by Rev. Gordon Siu, published by North Point Alliance Church in 1993.]