“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (Ps 40:2 NIV)
Seeing the injustice, unrest, and chaos of this society, we may have feelings of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, anger, helplessness, or even hopelessness. Is getting trampled on by ruthless scoundrels justifiable? Violence is not the answer – we need to come together, lift each other up, and ensure justice will be served. Most of us are going through the same storm, albeit in different boats. The storm may be uncertain, but we certainly are in our own boats and trying to learn how to navigate through this storm. When I am in despair, I look to King David and his words of wisdom in the book of Psalms.
Our life is like a marathon to the heavenly kingdom. Just as the end of a matter is better than the beginning, we likewise have to persist to our final destination, where our heavenly Father awaits to take us home. What can we do to ensure that we continue forward in this heavenly journey?
The reign of King Ahab is often described as the “dark ages” of the history of the Israelites. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him, leading the entire nation deep into idolatry (1 Kings 16:33). When Elijah was finally sent to confront the entire Israelite congregation on Mount Carmel, however, he addressed not the king but the Israelites, with a deeper issue at hand. The root cause of their suffering was not solely the blame of faulty leadership; the true cause stemmed from their personal choices.
“LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.”
While many of us are blessed with ample opportunities to pursue higher education and explore our interests in academia, the mentalities, philosophies, and presuppositions that academia holds are often completely different from the Bible. When our increased knowledge carries us to the leading edge of research and education, it is easy to forget our place and elevate ourselves beyond our proper position. We may use our logic, which God created, to challenge or question our heavenly Father, causing us to fall into a downward spiral of unbelief. New, profound ideas may grab ahold of us and eat at the core of our beliefs. At these times, what can we do?
保羅特別為以弗所教會的信徒祈禱，因為他知道活出心意更新的生活不是憑個人的意志力來維繫的。參加靈修活動所能達到的 “屬靈的熱心”， 必然會隨著時間的流逝而消退的。但是心中的熱心仍然須要繼續興旺。要如何做到呢？