軟弱之時的剛強

「所以,我更喜歡誇自己的軟弱,好叫基督的能力覆庇我。 我為基督的緣故,就以軟弱、凌辱、急難、逼迫、困苦為可喜樂的;因我甚麼時候軟弱,甚麼時候就剛強了。」(林後12:10)

這是基督徒生命的一大悖論。使徒保羅怎能把所遭遇的迫害、凌辱,及身處困苦、甚至忍受肉體的痛楚和軟弱當作可喜樂的呢?如果不是「為基督的緣故」,這種事情根本毫無樂趣可言。

Paul was a great man of faith and prayer, and he prayed earnestly that God would remove what he called a “thorn in the flesh” (v. 7), evidently some painful infirmity that he felt was hindering his ministry. God answered his prayer, however, by saying, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (v. 9).

保羅是一個偉大的人的信仰和祈禱,他懇切禱告,求上帝會消除他所謂的“眼中釘,肉中刺”(7節),顯然有些痛苦的身體虛弱,他認為是阻礙他的事工。上帝回答了他的禱告,不過,他說,“我的恩典夠你用的,因為我的實力完完全全的弱點”(第9頁)。

Somehow, one of the most powerful testimonies to the truth of Christianity is given when Christians exhibit patience and joy and fruitfulness in the midst of suffering—whether that suffering be due to illness, or persecution, or loss, or any of a hundred situations that could be unbearable apart from Christ. In Paul’s case, he said that his “thorn” could not be removed “lest I should be exalted above measure” (v. 7) because of the great experiences God had given him as a Christian.

不 知怎麼的,最強大的證詞,以基督教的真理之一時給出的基督徒表現出的耐心之中,喜樂和結果子的痛苦,不管是痛苦是由於疾病或迫害,或損失,或任何一百年的 情況可能是不堪忍受離開了基督。在保羅的情況下,他說,他的“刺”無法刪除“免得我過於自高」最重要的經歷神,因為(第7),給了他作為一個基督徒。

“Grace groweth best in the winter,” and we can testify with the psalmist, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:71). One thinks, for example, of Fanny Crosby, blind since early childhood yet enabled to write 8,000 beautiful hymns in her 95 years.

“恩癬最好在冬季,”我們可以和詩人,“這是為我好,我一直在折磨作證;我學習你的律例“(詩119:71)。跟著感覺走,例如,芬妮·克羅斯比,盲目自小尚未啟用寫在她的95年8000美麗的讚美詩。

The struggling church at Philadelphia was assured of an open door because it had “little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8). It is precisely when we recognize our own weakness in the flesh that we can become strong in Christ.

陷入困境的教會在費城得到保證一個敞開的門,因為它有“小力量,也曾遵守我的道,沒有棄絕我的名”(啟示錄3:8)。正是當我們認識到肉體,我們可以在基督裡成為強者我們自己的弱點。

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