在患難中如何感恩

當你面對一個似乎無法掌控的狀況,你怎麼辦?可能是生意不好,或面對重大的財務困境,或是一個無法解決的個人情況,你怎麼辦?憂慮嗎?

對於這種情形,聖經提供了一些非常有趣的真知灼見和建議,要我們不憂慮而應該感恩:「應當一無掛慮,只要凡事藉著禱告、祈求,和感謝,將你們所要的告訴神」(腓立比書4章6節)。讓我們仔細地看看這些建議:
不要為任何事憂慮。憂慮不能改變任何事。你可以把憂慮稱為「光是悶燒而煮不出任何東西」。沒有人是天生就會憂慮的;憂慮是我們學來的反應。你可能從父母那裡學來的。若不是父母,就是向同儕學的,或是從經驗中學到的。這是一個好消息--憂慮既然是學習來的,就意味著我們也可以學習不憂慮。耶穌說:「所以,不要為明天憂慮,因為明天自有明天的憂慮;一天的難處一天當就夠了」(馬太福音6章34節)。 為每件事禱告。用你花在憂慮的時間去禱告。若你禱告的時間有像憂慮那麼多,你需要憂慮的事就會減少很多。有些人認為上帝只關心有多少人上教堂或我們奉獻多少錢。但其實上帝對每件事都感興趣,甚至是我們的汽車貸款和關節痛。這意味著你可以把任何問題都帶到上帝那裡。 凡事謝恩。你禱告時總要謝恩。心理專家告訴我們,人類最健康的情緒不是愛,而是感恩。事實上,感恩能增加我們的免疫力、抗壓力,且比較不容易生病。感恩的人是快樂的。不知感恩的人很可憐,因為沒有一件事能讓他們快樂。他們永遠不滿足,沒有一件事是夠好的。所以若你培養感恩的態度,學習為每件事感恩,就會減少生活中的壓力。 思想正確的事。若你要減低生活中的壓力,你必須改變思想的方式。你思想的方式決定你的感覺,而感覺的方式決定你的行為。所以若你要改變你的生活,就要改變你思想的事。這需要特意選擇去改變你心思的頻道,就像你換電視頻道一樣:你可以選擇去想正確的事,專注在正面的事和上帝的話。為何我們應該如此?因為壓力的根源就在於你選擇的思想方式。正確且正面的思想會降低你生活中的壓力。

我們不再憂慮,我們為每件事禱告,我們感恩,我們專注在正確的事,使徒保羅向我們保證結果會是:「神所賜、出人意外的平安必在基督耶穌裡保守你們的心懷意念」(腓立比書4章7節)。

思想 / 討論題目
當你遭遇難以招架的問題,通常你的第一個反應是什麼?即使你不能做任何事去解決那問題,你是否還是為那情況憂慮痛苦?請解釋。 本文建議你不要憂慮,而要試著為你的困難禱告。你對此建議有何看法? 當一個人面對患難、困苦或似乎無法解決的問題,怎麼還會感恩呢? 華理克博士建議在處理困難的情況時要改變想法,採用更積極正面的態度。你認為這建議切合實際嗎?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26章3節,41章10節;哥林多後書1章3-7節;希伯來書13章5-6節;彼得前書5章7節

HOW TO BE THANKFUL IN TOUGH TIMES
By: Rick Warren

What do you do when faced with a situation that seems beyond your control? Perhaps business is not going well, you are facing major financial difficulties, or a personal situation seems to defy resolution. What do you do – worry about it?

The Bible offers some very interesting insight into this and suggests that instead of worrying, we simply should be thankful: “Don”t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6). Let”s take a closer look at this advice:

Don”t worry about anything. Worrying doesn”t change anything. You could call it “stewing without doing.” There is no such thing as a born worrier; worry is a learned response. You probably learned it from your parents. If not, you learned it from your peers, or you learned it from experience. That is good news – the fact that worry is learned means it can also be unlearned. Jesus says, “So don”t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today”s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34). Pray about everything. Use the time you would spend worrying by praying instead. If you prayed as much as you worried, you would have a whole lot less to worry about. Some people think God only cares about things such as how many people attend church or how much money we give to religious causes. But God is interested in everything, even car payments and aching joints. He is concerned with every detail of your life. That means you can take any problem that you are facing to God. Thank God in all things. Whenever you pray, you should always pray with thanksgiving. The healthiest human emotion, psychology experts tell us, is not love, but gratitude. Being thankful actually increases your immunities; it makes you more resistant to stress and less susceptible to illness. People who are grateful are happy. But people who are ungrateful are miserable because nothing makes them happy. They are never satisfied; nothing is ever good enough. So if you cultivate the attitude of gratitude, learning to be thankful in everything, it reduces stress in your life. Think about the right things. If you want to reduce the level of stress in your life, you must change the way you think. The way you think determines how you feel, and the way you feel determines how you act. So if you want to change your life, you need to change what you are thinking about.
This involves a deliberate, conscious choice where you change the channels of your mind, much like you would change the channels on your TV: You can choose to think about the right things, focus on the positive and on God”s Word. Why should you do this? Because the root cause of stress is the way you choose to think. Think properly and positively and you will minimize the stress in your life.

When we no longer worry, when we pray about everything, when we give thanks, when we focus on the right things, the apostle Paul assures us the result will be, “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

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. He also has written a number of other books, including The Purpose of Christmas.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
When you are confronted with seemingly overwhelming problems, what is your typical first response? Do you worry and agonize over the situation, even if there is little or nothing that you can do about it? Explain your answer. What is your reaction to the suggestion that instead of worrying, to try praying about your difficulties? How can a person be thankful or grateful when faced with adversity, hardships or problems that seem beyond resolution? 4Dr. Warren”s last recommendation for dealing with difficult times is to change your thinking, adopting a more positive and even more proactive attitude. Do you think this is realistic? Why or why not?NOTE: If you have a Bible, consider these other passages that deal with this topic:
Isaiah 26:3, 41:10; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7; Hebrews 13:5-6; 1 Peter 5:7

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