BUT IF NOT… 即或不然…

Over fifty years as a Christian, I’ve seen some of the most passionate Christians fall away for some of the most trivial of reasons. I’ve also seen some of the newest of believers go through trials and come through stronger than before. I’ve known high profile ministers fall into immorality. I am also acquainted with ministers who have spiraled into deception, skewing minor truths of the Bible into central doctrines in their teaching. I also know ministers who faithfully serve God in small churches, unheralded and uncelebrated. They lasted the journey, and never gave up!

Have you ever asked yourself what might make you give up the faith and stop running the race? I have often reflected on this. Would it be if some tragedy like an accident, or stroke left you paralysed or blind? Would it be if a beloved member of your family met an untimely death? Or if a business or relationship failure shook you to the core? Or if God seems so “unfair” in your situation? Or you seem not to be getting anywhere in your life, and God seems so far away? Or if a pastor or elder you trusted “let you down” badly, or offended you?

Daniel’s three friends faced the ultimate test. The king wanted them to bow to his idols or face death. They stuck to their guns. God is real, they said. He is the true God. They will worship Him alone and never let go of their faith, no matter what. They would never cease worshipping Him. God will see them through. Their cry was: “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” (Daniel 3:18). Over the years, I have come to quietly embrace this as my foundation when trials and pains come. God, You are able to deliver me. But if not, I will still worship and serve You! But if not… is a powerful phrase for all of us to hold fast to, for only God knows the end from the beginning.

我成为基督徒已超过五十年之久,当中见识过曾经非常热诚的基督徒因无关紧要的原因而远离上帝。与此同时,我也见证过才刚认识主的信徒在经历挫折后变得更强大。我晓得那些有名气的传教士沉沦于不道德的行为。不但如此,我认识一些传教士,他们利用欺诈的手法,企图歪曲圣经里的真理以符合他们所谓的教导。我也认识一些传道士,他们在小教会里忠诚地服事上帝,而他们的举动从未被宣扬过。尽管如此,他们并没有放弃并且坚持地完成它!

您是否问过自己,什么事情会让您放弃您的信仰且不再向着标竿前进?这是我时常思考的一个问题。会不会是因为一起车祸或中风这般的悲剧发生,导致您变残废甚至失明?或者是因为您其中一位家庭成员在毫无预警之下突然离世?又或者是因为您在生意或关系上受到打击,让您难以振作起来?您觉得上帝对您‘不公平’吗?还是您觉得您仍停留在原地,而上帝也显得非常的遥远?还是您信任的长老或牧师让您‘失望’或冒犯您呢?

但以理的三位朋友经历了终极的考验。当时的王命令他们向敬拜他所立的金像,不然就会被赐死。他们宁死不屈。他们说,上帝是真的,祂是惟一的真神。他们也只会敬拜上帝,无论如何都不会放弃他们的信仰。他们不会停止敬拜上帝。上帝必会把他们救出。他们呼喝道:“即或不然,王啊,你当知我们决不事奉你的神,也不敬拜你所立的金像。“(但以理书3:18)多年来,当我经历挫折与苦难时,我学会应用当中的真理作为基础。上帝啊,祢是能够解救我的。即或不然,我仍然会敬拜与事奉祢!即或不然…这是我们都可以坚信的一个有能力的词语。因为惟有上帝才能够从起初指明末后的事。

Philip Lyn 医生牧师

By | 2018-09-05T13:29:39+00:00 September 2nd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments