你感受到祂的喜悅了嗎?──DO YOU FEEL HIS PLEASURE?

做什麼事能帶給你很大的喜樂呢?你的工作或其他經常做的活動會給你帶來愉悅的感受嗎?我可以從個人經歷中告訴你,沒有什麼比知道自己走在上帝的旨意中,而且是用祂給你的能力和恩賜做祂希望你做的事,更令人振奮的了。

我永遠不會忘記第一次看到電影《火戰車》,它成為我始終最愛的體育電影之一,也是一部記錄了兩個截然不同的真實人物生活的電影。哈羅德˙亞伯拉罕斯 ( Harold Abrahams )是劍橋人,英國猶太人,1924 年世界上最快的短跑運動員,而李愛銳 / 埃里克˙利德爾 ( Eric Liddell ) 則是蘇格蘭人,虔誠的基督徒,是亞伯拉罕斯在 1924 年法國巴黎奧運會上最強勁的對手。

亞伯拉罕斯非常希望能獲得成功,但李愛銳的動機則是希望透過自己所做的一切事奉和榮耀他的主。李愛銳知自己被呼召到中國宣教,也強烈地感受到神要他參加奧運會。多年以後,隨著他在中國的過世,在他的個人日記中發現了這些話:「我相信上帝創造我是有意義的,而且祂也給我奔跑飛快的恩賜。當我跑步時,我感受到祂的喜悅。這些令人難忘的話語是《火戰車》中扮演李愛銳的演員的台詞。

當初我和同事一起看這部電影時,我還不是基督徒,但被李愛銳的故事深深打動。我懷疑這是三年後促成我決志信主的幾個因素之一。作為一名運動員,我能認同這兩個人之間的競爭。事實上,我在看完這部電影後,就立即拾起慢跑當成一種休閒活動。這部電影激勵我在跑步時試著感受上帝的喜悅。

這些日子以來,因與基督同行而改變的我,從做的許多事情感受到祂的喜悅。無論是在我的保險業務上與客戶們打交道,或打一場高爾夫球,或寫作或是和我門訓的人會面,我都能感受到上帝很喜悅我追求祂擺在我面前的任務和機會。我必須要謙虛地說,因為我知道還有許多其他人也能夠在日常生活中感受到祂的喜悅。我的生活現在以基督和聖靈為中心,引導我度過每一天。你能體會嗎?你可以感受到祂的喜悅嗎?

讓我們透過耶穌和祂的門徒的話來查驗這個想法。在約翰福音中,耶穌這位大祭司的祈禱快要結束時,我們看到祂代表我們向天父祈禱:「我已將你的名指示他們,還要指示他們,使你所愛我的愛在他們裏面,我也在他們裏面。」(約翰福音 17:26)。當我們每天在生活中相信並跟隨基督時,就能感受到因 神的喜悅而表現出在神裡面的愛和喜樂。

在腓立比書 3 章 7-9 節,使徒保羅宣告:「只是我先前以為與我有益的,我現在因基督都當作有損的。不但如此,我也將萬事當作有損的,因我以認識我主基督耶穌為至寶。我為他已經丟棄萬事,看作糞土,為要得著基督;並且得以在他裏面,不是有自己因律法而得的義,乃是有信基督的義,就是因信 神而來的義。」從保羅的書信中可以明顯的看出來,即使在試煉和環境中,保羅也確實體驗到了上帝的喜悅。

讓我直接問你:你在生活中感受到上帝的喜悅嗎?如果沒有,你願意嗎?因為所有以謙卑和悔改的心來到基督面前,並相信祂是救主和主的人,都可以得到這份喜悅!

Jim Langley從事人壽健康保險業已經超過30年了。最近幾年,他熱心於將自己與神的關係書寫出來,目的是要鼓勵其他人更加親近神。他也是CBMC的長期會員,在2014年時,他開始寫作「比賽第四節策略」(Fourth Quarter Strategies)。

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關內容,請參考以下經文 :(請查閱未列出的經文馬太7:21-23)
以弗所書 1章5-10節
1:5 又因愛我們,就按著自己的意旨所喜悅的,預定我們藉著耶穌基督得兒子的名分,
1:6 使他榮耀的恩典得著稱讚;這恩典是他在愛子裏所賜給我們的。
1:7 我們藉這愛子的血得蒙救贖,過犯得以赦免,乃是照他豐富的恩典。
1:8 這恩典是 神用諸般智慧聰明,充充足足賞給我們的;
1:9 都是照他自己所預定的美意,叫我們知道他旨意的奧祕,
1:10 要照所安排的,在日期滿足的時候,使天上、地上、一切所有的都在基督裏面同歸於一。
提摩太後書 1:11-12
1:11 我為這福音奉派作傳道的,作使徒,作師傅。
1:12 為這緣故,我也受這些苦難。然而我不以為恥;因為知道我所信的是誰,也深信他能保全我所交付他的(或譯:他所交託我的),直到那日。
雅各書 1章25-27節
1:25 惟有詳細察看那全備、使人自由之律法的,並且時常如此,這人既不是聽了就忘,乃是實在行出來,就在他所行的事上必然得福。
1:26 若有人自以為虔誠,卻不勒住他的舌頭,反欺哄自己的心,這人的虔誠是虛的。
1:27 在 神我們的父面前,那清潔沒有玷污的虔誠,就是看顧在患難中的孤兒寡婦,並且保守自己不沾染世俗。
約翰一書 2章4-6節
2:4 人若說「我認識他」,卻不遵守他的誡命,便是說謊話的,真理也不在他心裏了。
2:5 凡遵守主道的,愛 神的心在他裏面實在是完全的。從此,我們知道我們是在主裏面。
2:6 人若說他住在主裏面,就該自己照主所行的去行。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你如何定義「喜悅」?從我們在電視、電影、甚至雜誌和網路上看到的內容,你認為什麼是一般文化觀點的經歷喜悅?
  2. 生活中有哪些事情給你帶來喜悅?請舉一、兩個例子。
  3. 無論你是否熟悉電影「火戰車」,它描繪了一個人致力於跟隨他的神以及盡最大的努力發揮自己的運動能力。在影片中,李愛銳 (Eric Liddell) 說:「當我跑步時,我感覺到上帝的喜悅。」你有任何能與這連結的相關經驗嗎?請解釋你的答案。
  4. 大部分的日常工作生活是乏味的、平凡的,甚至有時令人感到挫折的。你認為在這種情況下還可能感受到上帝的喜悅嗎?


DO YOU FEEL HIS PLEASURE?

By Jim Langley

What do you engage in that brings you great joy? Does your work, or other activities that you regularly pursue, bring you a sense of pleasure? I can tell you from personal experience there is nothing more exhilarating than knowing you are in God’s will, doing what He wants you to do with the abilities and gifts He has given to you.

I will never forget the first time I saw the theatrical film, “Chariots of Fire.” It has become one of my all-time favorite sports films, but it is also a film that documents the lives of two diverse, real-life figures. Harold Abrahams was a Cambridge man, a Jewish Englishman, and the fastest sprinter in the world in 1924, while Eric Liddell was a Scotsman, a devout Christian, and Abrahams’ greatest rival in the 1924 Olympic Games that were held in Paris, France.

Abrahams was driven to achieve success, but Liddell’s motivation was to serve and honor his Lord through everything he did. Fully aware that he was being called to the foreign mission field in China, Liddell also felt strongly that God wanted him to compete in the Olympics. Years later, following his death in China, these words were found in his personal journal: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” These unforgettable words were spoken by the actor portraying Liddell in “Chariots of Fire.”

I was not yet a follower of Jesus Christ when I originally saw the film with a co-worker but was greatly touched by Liddell’s story. I suspect it was one of several contributing factors to my faith commitment three years later. As an athlete, I could identify with the competition between these two men. In fact, I took up jogging as a recreational pastime right after seeing the film. The film inspired me to at least attempt to feel God’s pleasure as I ran.

These days I feel His pleasure in much that I do and in the person I have become through my walk with Christ. Whether it is dealing with clients in my insurance business, playing a round of golf, writing, or meeting with someone I am mentoring, I sense God’s pleasure in pursuing tasks and opportunities He places before me. I say that with humility, because I know there are many others who also feel His pleasure over the course of their daily lives. My life now centers around Christ and His Spirit, guiding me through each day. Can you relate to this? Do you feel His pleasure?

Let’s look at this idea through the words of Jesus and His disciples. Toward the end of Jesus’ high priestly prayer, found in the gospel of John, we see Him praying these words to His Father in Heaven on our behalf: “I have made You known to them, and will continue to make known in order that the love that You have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:26). That love and joy can be expressed in His pleasure as we trust and follow Christ in our lives each day.

In Philippians 3:7-9, the apostle Paul declares, “…whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” It is apparent from his writings that Paul truly experienced God’s pleasure, even in his trials and circumstances.

Let me ask you directly: Do you feel His pleasure in your life? If not, would you like to? It is available to all who come to Christ in humility and repentance, and place their trust in Him as Savior and Lord!

© 2021, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1.  How would you define “pleasure”? Based on what we see on TV, in the movies, even in magazines and on the Internet, what would you say is the prevailing cultural view of what it means to experience pleasure?
  2. What kinds of things bring pleasure to you in your life? Give an example or two.
  3. Whether you are familiar with the film, “Chariots of Fire,” or not, it is a depiction of a person committed to following his God – and pursuing opportunities to maximize athletic abilities. In the film, Eric Liddell states, “when I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” Can you relate to that in any way? Explain your answer.
  4. Much of the typical workday is tedious, mundane, even frustrating. How do you think it is possible to “feel God’s pleasure” under those kinds of circumstances?

NOTE: For more about what the Bible says about this topic, consider the following passages:
Matthew 7:21-23; Ephesians 1:5-10; 2 Timothy 1:11-12; James 1:25-27; 1 John 2:4-6


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