抗拒沮喪

我們大多數人覺得自己有足夠的能力,在危機來臨時,可以盡己所能去克服困難,繼續向前邁進。然而,當我們做了一切我們所能做的,危機仍然存在時,要怎麼辦?我們通常會採用這句格言:「當所有的辦法都行不通,就禱告」。但即使你禱告,仍然沒有得到回應時,要怎麼辦?

若你因為上帝尚未回應你的禱告而沮喪,你要了解延後回應並不表示拒絕。那只表示回應或神蹟尚未來到--那不表示上帝不回應,祂已忘記你,或者祂不關心你。那只表示「時候還沒到!」

靈性成熟的人知道「不」和「時候還沒到!」的區別--也就是拒絕和延後的區別。聖經告訴我們:「那要來的就來,並不遲延」(希伯來書10章37節)。

這個延遲可能是要試驗你的耐心。任何人都可以忍耐一次,或甚至兩次。但許多人無法連續忍耐三次。所以上帝要一再試驗你的耐心--直到你認為自己無法再忍耐下去。

祂為何要這麼做?要看看你多能忍耐嗎?不,祂早已知道。祂延後回應以顯示你忍耐的程度。這樣你會發現自己內在的狀況,並了解自己交託的程度。上帝試驗你的耐心,讓你知道祂是信實的,即使你尋求的答覆延後到來。

若你變得沮喪,就把這負面的情緒轉為記得上帝在這延後的時間裡教導你忍耐,求祂將你的沮喪變為忍耐。

你可能現在正處於困難中,覺得想一走了之,或從地球上消失。你可能變得沮喪,因為你所面對的情況--不論是工作、家庭、財務或健康--都似乎無法掌控、不合理、或甚至不公平。這可能讓你無法忍受,你內心呼叫:「上帝阿,我再也受不了了!」但你能受得住。

你可以忍耐,更長時間處在那情況中,因為上帝與你同在。祂會讓你有能力向前,只要你願意信任倚靠祂。請記住,除非你放棄,否則你絕不會失敗。

不要放棄,抵抗沮喪,並跑完上帝為你預備的道路。

如聖經所說:「你們必須忍耐,使你們行完了神的旨意,就可以得著所應許的。因為還有一點點時候,那要來的就來,並不遲延」(希伯來書10章36-37節)。

思想 / 討論題目
上一次你覺得沮喪是什麼時候?現在你的生活中是否有什麼事讓你沮喪?請解釋那情況,並說明你如何處理。 面對似乎無法解決的狀況,你一向如何反應?例如,對於財務困難覺得不知所措,或工作環境失控,你一向如何回應? 在極大的困難中,你覺得禱告有幫助嗎?為什麼? 在艱困的環境中,你禱告尋求上帝的幫助,但你的禱告似乎沒有得到回應,你會有什麼感覺?你是否同意本文作者所說,這是上帝在培養我們的耐心,並使我們倚靠祂?請解釋。
註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
以賽亞書43章18-19節;耶利米書29章11-13節,33章3節;路加福音11章9-13節;雅各書1章2-4節

RESISTING DISCOURAGEMENT
By: Rick Warren

Most of us feel fairly self-sufficient. When a crisis arises, we do whatever is necessary, work through the problem, and move on. What happens, however, when we do everything we know to do and the crisis remains? Often we then adopt the motto, “When all else fails, pray.” But what happens when even your prayers go unanswered?

If you feel discouraged because of God”s delay in answering your prayers, understand the delay does not mean denial. Just because the answer or the miracle hasn”t come – yet – that does not mean God is not going to answer, or that He has forgotten you, or that He does not care about you. It simply means, “Not yet!”

Spiritual maturity is knowing the difference between “No” and “Not yet” – the difference between a denial and a delay. The Bible tells us, “He who is coming will come and will not delay” (Hebrews 10:37).

The delay may be a test of your patience. Anyone can be patient once, and even twice. And, just about anybody can be patient three times. So God may choose to test your patience again and again – and again, until you think you cannot be patient any longer.

Why does He do this? To determine how patient you are? No, He already knows that. He delays his answer to reveal to YOU how patient you are. In this way you will discover what is inside of you, and be able to understand your level of commitment. God tests your patience so that you can know He is faithful, even if the answers you seek are delayed.

If you have become discouraged, turn this negative emotion around by remembering God teaches you patience during times of delay. Ask him to transform your discouragement into patience.

You may be going through difficult times right now and feel like running away or dropping off the planet. You have become discouraged because the situation you face – at work, in your home, in your finances or your health – seems unmanageable, unreasonable, or even unfair. It may seem unbearable and inside you find yourself basically declaring, “God, I can”t take it anymore. I just can”t take it anymore!” But you can.

You can endure, staying with the situation longer because God is with you. He will enable you to press on, if you are willing to trust Him and rely on Him. Remember, you are never a failure until you quit.

Do not quit. Resist discouragement and finish the race God has set before you.

As it says in the Scriptures, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay” (Hebrews 10:36-37).

Adapted from a column by Dr. Rick Warren, the author of numerous books, including the highly acclaimed, The Purpose-Drive Life, which has been translated into many languages and sold throughout the world. It affirms the importance of having a carefully considered, clearly expressed purpose to guide everyday life. Most recently, he also has written The Purpose of Christmas.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

When was the last time you felt discouraged? Is something in your life causing discouragement for you right now? Explain the situation and how you have dealt with it. What is your typical response to situations that seem to defy resolution? For instance, if you feel overwhelmed by financial problems, or if circumstances at work seem out of control – how do you usually react? Do you find prayer helpful during times of great difficulty? Why or why not? If you do pray and seek God”s help in working through adverse situations, how do you feel when your prayers seem to go unheard or unanswered? Do you agree with Dr. Warren that these are times God can use to build your patience, as well as your reliance on Him? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible, consider these other passages that deal with this topic:
Isaiah 40:31, 41:10; Jeremiah 29:11-13, 33:3; Luke 11:9-13; James 1:2-4

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